Brazilian twins mystery solved: It was ‘rogue gene in town’s women NOT Nazi Angel of Death Mengele’ that caused birth boom

To his Brazilian patients ‘Rudolf Weiss’, a grey-haired and bewhiskered man in his 50s, was seen as very model of a kindly and urbane doctor.

But to the inmates of Auschwitz, Josef Mengele – his real name – was known as the Angel of Death, responsible for up to 400,000 deaths in sickening medical experiments.

Years later, after he had left Candido Godoi, residents of the small farming community also learned the terrifying truth that the Nazi ‘todesengel’ had lived in their midst.

Then came the strange boom in the area’s twin numbers. That Mengele had a particular fascination with the town’s pregnant women couldn’t be coincidence, could it?

For years this speculation – and others, such as whether it was something mysterious in the water –were considered possibilities.

Now, however, scientists say they have found the truth.

Ursula Matte, a geneticist in Porto Alegre, Brazil, said a series of DNA tests conducted on about 30 families since 2009 found that a specific gene appears those mothers in Candido Godoi who have borne twins.

The phenomenon is compounded by a high level of inbreeding among the population, which is composed almost entirely of German-speaking immigrants, she said.

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