/BY DR. DAVID RYBACK/ //SPECIAL FOR THE AJT//
Although his name is never mentioned outright, this film is ostensibly about the infamous Dr. Mendele and his retreat to Argentina at the same time that Eichmann was kidnapped there and brought to Israel for trial.
Briefly, the film is about the German doctor finding more subjects for his cruel experiments in human physiology, in this case experiments with growth hormones which, to that point, had only been tested on animals, except for Dr. Mengele’s terrible experiments on Jewish prisoners.
The doctor happens to come across a diminutive 12-year-old girl who is teased by her friends for her stunted growth. He befriends her family and insidiously gains its trust in order to use this girl as a human subject for his experiments on growth hormones.
As it turns out, the mother of the family is pregnant with twins, and here is another prospect for experimentation that the doctor cannot resist.
Despite the fact that the suspicious father forbids the doctor to do anything with his daughter without his express permission, the doctor moves ahead with his work by getting the confidence of the mother and then decides to experiment with the mother’s new-born twins as well, one being used as a control, while the other comes close to death due to the side effects.
A photographer, who happens to be an Israeli contact with the Mossad, recognizes the evil doctor for who he is and, before you know it, the Mossad is on his trail. But, because of the media broadcasts about Eichmann’s capture, the doctor and his Nazi associates are preparing for his escape.
In the final scenes, as we painfully see the life of one of the twins ebbing away, with close-ups of the tearing mother’s face, the Mossad is in pursuit of the evil doctor. At the last moment of this exhilarating chase, the doctor is whisked off by his friends in a hydroplane taking off from a nearby lake. The evil perpetrator has escaped, as the film music score rises in volume to painful decibels.
So, what is the unique lesson this difficult film offers? That never before has there been (and mercifully never will be) such a genocide in which the technology of a highly educated and sophisticated culture allows itself to be used by the pathologic and crazed evil of a psychopathic dictator.
Ethnic cleansing, sad to say, continues even in our time—in Europe, Africa, and some of the Arab countries. But never has this been done in such a cold-blooded manner as did the Nazis.
“Never again!” warns the husband when he learns of the doctor’s meddling in his family’s life, and possible death.
We can only echo that declaration: Never again!
Dr. David Ryback is an Atlanta psychologist, author and speaker. He can be reached at David@EQassociates.com.