June 12, 2020

Good Law | Bad Law - The Angel of Death: A Conversation w/ David Marwell

Who was the real “Angel of Death?”


Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Dr. David G. Marwell to discuss David’s new book, Mengele: Unmasking the “Angel of Death.” In today’s conversation, Aaron and David talk about the infamous Nazi doctor and his mark on history, as well as the broader concepts of justice, evil, medicine, and science.


One of the most notorious Holocaust mass murderers, Josef Mengele was the embodiment of bloodless efficiency and passionate devotion to a grotesque worldview. A German SS officer, Mengele was a physician with a particular interest in anthropology and genetic science. Mengele has become the benchmark of evil and has come to symbolize the Holocaust itself as well as the failure of justice that allowed countless Nazi murderers and their accomplices to escape justice. Whether as the cold doctor who directed mass killings and unethical, horrific experiments, or the elusive fugitive who escaped capture, the myth of Mengele has loomed large. Throughout today’s episode, David and Aaron delve into the story of Josef Mengele – the man and the myth.


Dr. Marwell is a former Justice Department official; his new book is a gripping biography about the monstrous Mengele from the perspective of someone who was tasked with uncovering the Nazi doctor’s fate.  As chief of investigative research at the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, David conducted research in support of the investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals in the United States. As a part of this effort, he played major roles in the Klaus Barbie and Josef Mengele investigations and helped to author the two major reports that resulted. In 1988, Dr. Marwell became the (last) Director of the Berlin Document Center, a repository for captured personnel-related files of the Nazi Party and its component organizations. After overseeing the completion of this collection, David returned to the States to become the Executive Director of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board. Following this service, he became the Associate Museum Director at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, overseeing key museum departments (exhibitions, collections, archives, education, international programs, library.) In 2000, David was appointed Director & CEO of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, leading the institution for fifteen years before stepping down at the end of 2015.



To learn more about David, please visit his website here.

To learn more about David’s book, Mengele: Unmasking the “Angel of Death,” please click here. 


Host: Aaron Freiwald

Guest: David Marwell



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