Brazilian scientists have rejected claims that the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele – notorious for his experiments at Auschwitz – was responsible for creating a tribe of twins in a small town near the border with Argentina.
In his book, Mengele: The Angel Of Death In South America, Argentine historian Jorge Camarasa claims that Mengele made regular trips to Linha São Pedro, a small and predominantly German settlement near the city of Cândido Godói in Brazil, during the 1960s. Shortly afterwards, the birth rate of twins began to spiral, he says.
However, Ursula Matte of the medical genetics unit at Porto Alegre Hospital in Brazil and her colleagues reject any notion that Mengele was responsible for the phenomenon. Her team was invited to Linha São Pedro during 1994 to investigate reports of a higher than average number of twin births in the town.