I appreciate your interest in the Mengele "death" hoax (Times, Dec. 19), but we want to clarify several points in the article; points supplied by Dr. (Gerald) Margolis and Rabbi (Marvin) Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center; suggestive points presented with a derogatory innuendo--derogatory to our motivation in trying to expose the Mengele hoax.
(1) Neither my wife or I ever intended to write a book about Mengele. (The only book I'm working on is a novel dealing with a return of Jesus in modern times.)
(2) I did want to write an article about our emotional feelings in looking for Mengele; an article hopefully capped with his apprehension and a personal interview with Mengele, so that the public would not forget the Mengeles of this world.
(3) We had made it clear from the start to Rabbi Hier that we would never accept reward money and that in the event we qualified, we would donate all such funds to the center and other Holocaust-related organizations.
(4) Yes, had any country or organization made any effort to check on our findings and to arrest Mengele, I would have liked to have collaborated on a screenplay on this sophisticated, upper-class Nazi monster. But since he was, again, allowed to escape using a "death" hoax for the fourth time, I never wrote such a screenplay and did not "submit it to 20 or 30 people." (Who are these people, Rabbi Hier, and how do you know?)
Our sighting of Mengele on Porto Santo was subjective and circumstantial. We did not expect to have anyone take our word for it without a follow-up investigation of the suspect; a follow-up investigation of which Rabbi Hier, as late as June 25, 1985, "had never heard another word."
We did, however, expect to be listened to when we could prove that the Brazilian inquest conclusions did not account for a strong possibility that a fourth "death" hoax had been perpetrated by Mengele and his Nazi friends--that much of the anthropological/dental findings had been correlated with highly suspect "evidence" based solely on unsworn testimony of the Bosserts, the richly rewarded Nazi friends of Mengele who had helped him hide from the authorities; that much-touted findings, such as that Mengele had had a shorter leg and fractured hip, had been quietly erased from the inquest report without (authorities) telling the media; that strong political interests exist to prevent Mengele from being caught and tried.
Anyone who knows us even vaguely, including your own reporter, would realize that Rabbi Hier's statement--that we tackled the Mengele case because it would "amount to a new life style"--is utter nonsense; we live in the most idyllic life style in a tropical garden on the Malibu Beach, and adventure is nothing new to me. In World War II, I was condemned to death by the Nazis, worked as a spy, ran the Dutch Resistance film and photo units, was on the staff of the commander in chief and represented Holland in international politics in London.
I'm 66 and don't need new adventures, but I have a deep-seated American opposition to the political cover-up of the Mengele case . . . Mengele, who sent 400,000 to their death, did vivisection on children, and whose powerful family corporation together with other ex-Nazi industrial giants, such as the Krupps, the Farbers and the Flicks, still pull the right-wing purse strings that maintain the present conservative West German government.
Eleven million people died in their Nazi concentration camps: 6 million Jews and 5 million non-Jews, including many of my friends--both Jews and non-Jews . . . and Germans.
That is why I am interested that the public and the media be given a chance to, at least, be presented with the why and how of the probability of a Mengele death hoax. Any money I may make on presenting this to the press will be donated to CANDLES, the organization of the survivors of Auschwitz, the victims of Dr. Mengele.
TONY VAN RENTERGHEM and SUSANNA SEVEREID (MRS. T. VAN RENTERGHEM)