Nazi 'Angel of Death' Mengele's diaries bought by Jewish collector

Josef Mengele fled to South America in 1953

Josef Mengele fled to South America in 1953

An Orthodox Jewish man has paid more than £150,000 for the diaries of a man held responsible for murdering and maiming thousands of people during the Holocaust.

The 31 notebooks are an account of Josef Menegle's life after the Holocaust in South America. Known as the Angel of Death, Mengele carried out grotesque and often lethal "research" experiments on concentration camp inmates, including twins and children.

Despite controversy over the sale, the 3,400 hand-written pages were put up for auction on Thursday in Stamford, Connecticut.

The buyer, who paid less than the amount the diaries were expected to go for, has not been identified but is understood to be a collector of Holocaust-era memorabilia.

The diaries cover the period between 1960 and 1975, after Mengele fled post-war Germany – where he had been posing as a farm labourer - for South America in 1953.

Although he was put on trial for war crimes in 1985, Mengele was not present in court and some months later a body was exhumed in a Brazilian town near Sao Paulo. It was later confirmed as that of the Nazi doctor and it emerged he had died of drowning in 1979.

The sale of the diaries was condemned as distasteful and crude by Holocaust survivors and academics.

    Last updated: 9:28am, July 22 2011