The SS tortured, killed, not out of revenge, not in hot blood, not carried away by the frenzy of fighting the enemy, but calmly, systematically, carefully. They practiced killing as if it were eine Beruf, a profession.
When entering camp E to select the Häftlings for crematoria SS-Hauptsturmführer doctor Mengele was always looking very smart, dressed up as if for ceremony: freshly ironed uniform, impeccably polished boots, mew riding whip. When performing the selections he was always in high spirits, his face beaming with pleasure. Only once was he seen frowning. He had given the order that 50 woman detainees be selected for working in Germany. When reviewing the detachment he stopped and looked annoyed at the third row.
"Who made the selections?" he furiously asked his attendants.
Indeed -- the second detainee in the third row a mere skeleton, a gust of wind would have knocked her down. She was staring pointblank with big sensitive eyes. It was probably her beautiful eyes that had melted, for a second, the oldObsersharführer's heart, reminding him the eyes of his wife, or daughter, or sister.
"Obersharführer Scmidt, Herr Huptsturmführer", came the scared answer.
"For how long has he been in Birkenau-Auschwitz?"
"For three months, Captain."
"You brought him here in vain. Send him back tomorrow to the front. He doesn't know seinen Beruf, his job."