Boekverslag : Ira Levin - The Boys From Brazil
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 2354 woorden.


Chapter 1 of 9:

September 1974: A couple of men are going to a meeting in a Japanese restaurant, somewhere in the South of America. The meeting looks like a fancy party, at first several courses of Japanese food, with beer instead of saki, and after they've eaten, they want brandy and cigars. The men are all dressed in dark suits except for the one who's giving the party, he's dressed in white. At first they talk about all kinds of nonsense, and when they become serious they all get a weird assignment, they all have to kill certain men.

Schwimmer goes to Great Britain, because he speaks fluent English.

Farnbach has to kill men in Sweden.

Traunsteiner goes to Norway, and Denmark.

Kleist has to go to The Netherlands, and the upper part of Germany.

Mundt has to deal with the lower part of Germany, and the whole of Austria.

Hessen is planned to kill some men from Canada and the United States of America.

All men are about 65 years old civil servants. These men live in different countries and are of no importance to society. At the end of the meeting the man in white said something, so you know that they're a bunch of Nazis. Before they leave, one of the owners said that a friend of the well-dressed man came by, but he didn't want to disturb them by their meeting, so he left. "Senhior Aspiazu", the man in white asked the serving girls if someone wanted to place listening equipment in the room. He promised not to do any harm to the girls, and he offered a lot of money. One of the girls confessed, and said how he looks like and that he's staying in a hotel. The nazi's started to look for the man. This spy, who called himself 'hunter', but really is called Barry Koehler, is in the mean time listening to the tape in his hotelroom. Thinking that the conversation is very strange, he decides to call Yahov Liebermann, the German Nazi hunter. He explains, and begins to play the tape over the phone. After Yahov having heard a few sentences, the Nazi's sneak in the spy's hotel room, and kill him. Liebermann had heard the names of the Nazi's, including the real name of the man in white: Josef Mengele, the head of Auschwitz, who did horrible experiments with twins, and a few countries in which the to-be-killed men live.

Chapter 2 of 9:

Liebermann got this strange call and doesn't know what to do about it. Liebermann just moved into a smaller office, and is very busy. He talks with his employees, and some good friends, decides more or the less not to do anything about it, but the question does stay with him, so when he's giving a college he asks his students a "hypothetical" question, so at the end, he comes to the following list:


Link at earlier age?

Where born?

Spring '77 (end of the murdering period)

Relations? Friends?

Why M???

In the same chapter a man gets killed. He's the first one on the black list of Mengele. It looks strongly like an accident. The murderer got to know the victim and he took him to a certain place. The victim is urinating when a massive piece of stone and building bricks fall on him.

Chapter 3 of 9:

Mengele seems to be very convenient about his plans. He even makes a sign-painter paint his schemes on the wall. He doesn't know yet, if Jahov Liebermann knows about. Meanwhile Liebermann has contacted a friend of him, because this friend can give him classified files about people who have died a violent death, and are about 65 years old. He starts to talk with relatives and friends of Doring, the first one to be killed. He investigates the whole "accident" and concludes that it was probably an accident but it might have been a murder. There was one strange thing that wasn't right. Doring was carrying a gun, he always did because he was a little paranoid, but this time it was loaded.

When he talks to Frau Doring, he comes out to know how their little boy looks like. It got to him, a little of artist, a sharp nose, and dark hairs. Frau Doring and her little son had always arguments with their dad / man

Chapter 4 of 9:

Liebermann deals with the other cases in the same way. He visits the other widows of the may-be-killed-men, Klaus Von Palmen and Liebermann's employees help him with that. The investigations is Europe don't shine any light on the case, so Liebermann doesn't know so much yet and he goes to the USA to give some lectures. Since he is in the USA he can investigate some 'accidents' happened there. When he's visiting an American widow he sees the son and he sees the resemblance with Dorings son. Liebermann finds out that the boys were adopted, because he mentions that he saw another kid strongly look alike. The mother doesn't like him noticing him that and she seems a little bit angry. When Liebermann is out of the house he starts to think. There is more resemblance. A good sun to mother relationship, the boys interests, the age of the boys, and the age of the parents. There is also a link between the resemblance of the boys and Mengele. Mengele did cruel experiments with twins in Auschwitz. Liebermann starts to think he's really on to something and calls the others. They have seen the same kind of boy. Liebermann gets worried and cancels the rest of the USA tour.

Chapter 5 of 9:

When he's back home, he finds out that Frieda Maloney has something to do with it. He questions her and he finds out that she arranged the adoptions while she had a post in the archive of an adoption agency. The boys were delivered on an airport with real adoption papers, but the adoption was in fact illegal. However Frieda happened to remember a few names so Liebermann knew whom to watch. (for example Wheelock wasn't on the list of accidents yet) He can know on what day Wheelock will be killed from the ages and dates of the other killed men. It's Klaus who finds out how the boys can look so strongly like each other. The technique is called cloning. So they go together to a professor in microbiology to get some information.

Chapter 6 of 9:

Mengele finds out that Liebermann knows all about his plans and decides to kill him. He also gets to know that the old SS murderers came back because it became too risky for them. He also decides to do that himself. He books a room in the same hotel as Liebermann will sleep (back in the USA to protect Wheelock) but Liebermann doesn't show up, because he's too late and stays in another hotel. He was too late, because he was with the young Jewish defenders asking them to protect Wheelock. Wheelock doesn't cooperate because he feels quite safe with his dozens of Dobermans. Liebermann makes an appointment with him the next day to convince him. So next day Mengele goes to Wheelock a little earlier and pretends to be Liebermann. Once he's in the house and having studied Wheelock for a while he kills him. Just before that he makes Wheelock lock up his dogs.

Chapter 7 of 9:

Liebermann goes to Wheelock, and Mengele opens the door. Since he pretends to be Wheelock, this time, Liebermann goes in and remarks Mengele's little German accent. Mengele shoots Liebermann but Liebermann is not dead at once. He tries to let the dogs out and that works out, but he got shot several other times. Mengele has one bullet left, and he shoots a Doberman. The rest of the Doberman don't get scared, and being the one, moving and yelling, the dogs stay with him, and don't do anything as long as he doesn't move. He does move, so he gets tortured a bit, but the dogs don't kill him. Since they're waiting till someone comes home (Liebermann is badly wounded, and can't call t he cops and Mengele can't move) Mengele tells his whole plan:

He did the experiments on twins in Auschwitz, because he wanted to clone people. In this was he could investigate a lot of DNA-resemblance. He was far ahead of the normal scientists, and he predicted he could clone people, within a couple of years. He convinced Hitler, and got some blood of him, which he froze to make little Hitlers later. Therefore he let them get adopted by parents, look alike the real Hitler parents and therefore, the men had to die. It is not just DNA who makes the person, but also the social conditions. Liebermann already knew some of that, but now he knows it for sure. The little Hitler boy comes home, and sees his dead father, and the two wounded men. After a lot of falling and trying to convince him. The boy gives the sign to kill Mengele, and because the dogs only listen to him, they rip Mengele apart. The boy's going to take a walk, but first he called the police. The police came, and the boy didn't know anything (at least, that's how they told it to the police) he came home, saw a deadly wounded man, his shot father and a ripped-apart-man.

Chapter 8 of 9:

While Liebermann is lying in the hospital and following the news about himself, he and Gorin made an appointment. When Liebermann is out of the hospital, he, Gorin and the rest of the Young Jewish Defenders ate together, discussing what to do with the Hitler clones. First they all wanted to kill them, but Liebermann starts to think this is ethically not right. He would be just the child-killer as Mengele was. He and the Young Jewish Defenders can't agree, so he tells he has to use the toilet, went, ripped the list with the boy's names apart, and flushed it down the drain. There is a very big chance that none of the clones really become as Hitler was.

Chapter 9 of 9:

On of the Hitler clones is drawing a picture of a leader and a cheering crowd, as in the old Hitler movies and dreams about being a world leader.


In this book is described, how the history could have looked like. The writer wrote the novel, in such a way, that it is very realistic. Using facts and the names, and/or characters, of people who have actually really existed, he created something like an alternative history. He made a change of history, with the facts of genetic engineering, of which people are really afraid to get used by criminal organizations. This technique, cloning humans, sounds like science fiction, but people who know a little about genetic engineering, know that it hasn't been done yet, but science is able to. People are also very afraid of dictatorial regimes. That's why a lot of people like this book.

This book is written in a very traditional way. The story is told in a chronological order without using flashbacks, and flashforwards. It's mostly written in the perspective of Liebermann. The fact that there are some little perspective-changes makes the story only more exiting, because you know a little more than Liebermann.

The title

The little clones of Hitler, were, of course all boys, and the cloning took place in Brazil.

Main characters

Yakov Liebermann.

In real called Simon Wiesental, a Jew from Austria. He dedicated his life tracking down war criminals. He was responsible the arrest for many criminals. Frieda Maloney, and Adolf Eichmann, are the two nazi's, also called by their real names in the book. The character of Yakov in the book is in contrast with the stereotypical image of the young nazi-hunter, who plays the lead role in several war-movies. He's almost an old man, who isn't so healthy anymore. His wife died a couple of years ago, so his private life wasn't as good as it could have been. Even on his work, everything's wrong. He had to move into a smaller office, in which he can barely store his archives, and people don't have many interests anymore in arresting old ss-officers, because it is so long ago. He is a merciful man, according to the last paragraph.

Dr. Mengele.

He's the sick Doctor, who did cruel experiments on twins. After the Second World War, people like Mengele moved to South-America, mainly Brazil. In the story, he used his knowledge to make new Hitlers.

Other characters

Barry Koehler.

The student, who started the whole thing. He got to know something, about the nazi's, and taped the conversation between them. He has been killed.

Klaus Von Palmen.

A very intelligent young man, whose parents where nazi's. He offered his help, and risked his live, for a clear conscience, he didn't have to earn something.

Rabbi Gorin.

Based on Rabbi Meir Kahane, leader of the militant Jewish Defense League. In the story, he leads the Young Jewish Defenders. They have, both, in the book and for real, been very much in the news, for their extreme ideas, and violent actions.


The plot of Dr. Mengele is that he wanted to clone Hitlers, place them in a family, don't let the boy know, that he has been adopted, and simulate the real Hitler's social conditions the best he can. He hopes Hitler to rise again, in every country, and create the 'fourth Reich.'


The question evoked by the story is whether violence should be met with counter-violence, and following from that; 'Is men inclined to evil, and should this be suppressed with violence?'

Another question, evoked by the story is if men should keep up his dignity, if the fate of mankind is in danger. If not, this danger can be rapid taken away.
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