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Miklós Nyiszli was born to a Jewish family in Szilágysomlyó, Hungary. He attended the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Breslau, Germany, completing his medical degree in 1929 with a specialty in forensic pathology. In 1930, he began working in the town of Oradea in the Transylvania region -- then part of Hungary, present-day Romania -- often assisting the police and the courts in identifying unusual or disputed causes of death. In 1944, he, his wife, and young daughter were deported to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. There he was separated from his family and put to work with the Sondercommando, then as a physician to the SS and as the chief pathologist under the direction of SS officer Josef Mengele. Dr. Nyiszli was forced to perform Mengele's medical experiments and conduct the autopsies on the bodies of dozens of victims. In 1945, along with an estimated 66,000 other prisoners, he was forced on a death march into German-occupied Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Austria, ending up in the Melk an der Donau camp. There he survived to be liberated by U.S. troops. His wife and daughter also survived Auschwitz and were liberated from Bergen-Belsen. After the war, the family settled again in Oradea, where he returned to private practice. His memoir, Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, was first published in 1947. Critics have called in inaccurate and some have labeled it a historical novel. It was adapted into the 2001 movie The Grey Zone.
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