Meanwhile, Hitler invaded and conquered Yugoslavia after a massive bombing attack. Then, in what was seen as an insane move, he attacked his own ally--Russia, and encircled Leningrad, planning to starve the city to death. The United States finally joined the war after the Japanese devastated Pearl Harbor in Hawaii with a 360‑plane surprise attack. The attack happened on December 7, 1941 and although a surprise aerial attack was extremely successful, Japanese submarines failed to finish off any wounded ship inside the harbor. They had deceived the U.S. by expressing interest in continued peace. However, the success of the attack, which came under the command of Admiral Nagumo, surprised the Japanese as much as the Americans. Their force consisted of six carriers with 423 planes, and killed 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians, with 1178 wounded. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy," in reference to the attack. The following day, Congress declared war on Japan with only one vote against it. The vote against it was of Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who had also voted against U.S. entry into World War I. For Jerry, Pearl Harbor was bitter-sweet. News filtered back that Jews were being slaughtered in mass in the dreaded Concentration Camps, something known as "the final solution." Hitler said that it was the only fate deserved by the "Untermenschen, "‑‑the sub‑humans.
German physicians carried out cruel experiments on those held in many Concentration Camps. One of these “doctors” was in the infamous Josef Mengele, who worked in Auschwitz. His experiments included putting victims in pressure chambers, testing drugs on them, freezing them, attempting to change their eye colors by injecting chemicals into children's eyes and various amputations and other brutal surgeries. Those who managed to survive his horrific experiments were almost always killed and dissected shortly afterwards.
Mengele liked to experiment with Gypsy children. Vera Alexander was a Jewish inmate at Auschwitz who looked after 50 sets of Romani twins. She recalled:
“I remember one set of twins in particular: Guido and Ina, aged about four. One day, Mengele took them away. When they returned, they were in a terrible state: they had been sewn together, back to back, like Siamese twins. Their wounds were infected and oozing pus. They screamed day and night. Then their parents – I remember the mother's name was Stella – managed to get some morphine and they killed the children in order to end their suffering.”
To be continued.