3 photos of John Grøver = Josef Mengele?

I got the following three photos of John 'Jensen' Gröver from the local newspaper in Fredrikstad in Norway, Fredriksstad Blad, in 2003:

Click here for the first photo
Click here for the second photo
Click here for the third photo

© Fredriksstad Blad

The photos are reproduced here with permission from Fredriksstad Blad.

Two photos of Mengele from the web:

Picture 1 of Mengele
Picture 2 - top picture is similar

Sheila Faith Weiss's photos of prewar Mengele are very interesting. Some stories deserve mention: 1) It was in the sixties while we lived in Moldeliveien that Gröver/'Mengele' ordered the new 'Aschehougs Konversasjonsleksikon', where I think one of the editors was called 'Tveteraas'. There was some reason, I recall, for remembering the scene with the opening of the volumes. Could be that was only because people do not buy lexikons too often, but I also noticed the scenes when he later was leafing in the volumes in the bookshelf and he looked rather much like the second photo. 'The arrival of the lexikon' could be the title to the photo series. 2) Why have these photos from 'Max Plank' institute surfaced in the public so late? I recently saw a photo of Che Guevara on the front page of a book where it looked as if his eyes had been replaced with Freddy Fjellheim's eyes and mouth (could be that was a subjective idea of mine?), and I recalled the situation in Rome 1981 when I showed Fjellheim a photo I had made of myself with Mona Lisa's eyes or mouth (or was it Mona Lisa with my eyes and mouth). 3) If 'the arrival of the lexikon' were the theme with a reference to the story from the mid sixties, I can add that Gröver/'Mengele' gave me a bunch of magazines from his youth interests, as he said: It was some 5-6 copies of a magazine (co)edited by Asbjörn Brynhildsen and those before the war. I think the colour of the cover was orange. He had earlier told me that he had had some books and other things at his mother's in Klipra but was unable to pick them up there because he could not take the communication with her (prophetically about me?), but somehow these 5-6 copies of the old magazine had surfaced. I am not totally mistaken and bought those old magazines in an antiquariat? I don't think so - I think he gave them to me - if the story is not that I had bought them and he said that he had read that magazine himself. (About 'prophetic', there is also a line in my Endmorgan Quartet for 22.10.98: "Jackson on 42111: / Who is this?"). The photos seem to be new on the web, at least I have not found them before now in May 2008 - but the name of the source should not be confused with a 'Visthouse camera' phenomenon. However, I did see a T-shirt recently, white with the single word 'Faith' written across it and divided by a buttoned opening. If 'Max Planck' is the source, then one can add the observation that one of Nelly Sachs' uncles was called 'Maximilian Alexis Sachs' (married to 'Klara Solmitz'), who could be that 'uncial M' which in Dante Par.XVIII,98 is what turns into the eagle which perhaps could be a part of the Fredrikstad scene since about 1963 and which could make 'Vaterland' a counterpart to 'Tantolunden' and thereabout close to Nelly Sachs' home on Söder. 'Tantogatan' = 'TAN took Athens' for the line of Iliad I,56: 'Married the DAN/Greek for watching the TAN/dead'. This TAN ('thanatos' etc) could also be the 'Solaris' phenomenon. Is it the distance between the eyes which is too small for Gröver to be this prewar Mengele? Of course the original Mengele could have been executed by some activist in the fities and a standin was found to take his place and that was 'Gröver' and therefore they planned a smooth transition later by way of these photos. Could be even with some edited photos of other people. Then the conclusion could be that if other historic photos were edited, why shouldn't these of Mengele be edited?

Of much interest is the photo from the ramp of Auschwitz:

Click here for a detail from a photo (321 kB) from the ramp in Auschwitz of a man who is quite similar to John Gröver who lived in Fredrikstad. The photo is on page 195 in "Das Auschwitz-Album" on Wallstein Verlag / Yad Vashem and I refer the reader to the book for a better impression. The body height is approximately right and all proportions of the head seem to be about the same. If one suspects Gröver of having been Mengele in Auschwitz, then one can also speculate if he could have had just a little silicon under his eyebrows after the war (and the nose had been broken and perhaps pressed a little in at the root - a sort of 'Innsbruck' phenomenon perhaps - and if the roots of the hair on top of his forehead were removed, he would be rather similar. In a period in the sixties, Gröver was somewhat fatter.

And here is alarger excerpt from the same photo (747 kB) from the ramp in Auschwitz - with the 'Gröver'-looking person to the right and maybe the one to the left, hidden behind another person, is apparently normally identified as Mengele.

Here is the same photo from the archives of Yad Vashem, excerpted from the 'Auschwitz Album', but with too low resolution on the internet to make the person to the right recognizable.

Click here for the photo of Mengele in Auschwitz which I discuss in the following - compare with the second and third photos above.

The photo of Mengele in Auschwitz shows him with some equipment in his hands and some notable features of his head and face outlines. If one compares with the photos of Gröver, there is the notable difference in the inside of the ear. Here is an analysis which suggests what it could be about:

The photo seems to represent the placenames around Bjarne Eidsvig's oyster farm on 'Vågstranda' = 'voks-te-randa' = 'wax-to-the-brim', explaining the strange shadows inside the ear.

For getting to Vågstranda from Molde, one takes the ferry to 'Vikebukt' (or 'Vike') which is represented in the parting of his hair which shows a 'vike', which means that the hair is showing some indentation in the parting. 'Bukt' = 'bay' or 'curvation' - here the slight 'vike-bukt' = 'parting-curvation'. Also, the parting is visible on the head which is nodding forwards = 'bukt' ('bukket' = 'bowed/bent his head forwards').

'Vestnes' is the other ferry station: The ferry goes from Molde to Vikebukt and Vestnes and back to Molde again. 'Vestnes' = 'west-nose' and this could be the ultimate reason for the slanting nose of Gröver. It was abnormally flagging westwards - which means that it clearly had been knocked out of position at some time - nobody is born with that sort of nose. It also looked as if it had been pressed a little down at the upper part, close to the eyebrows. This would have served to change the face - and it would have represented this 'Vestnes'.

Travelling from Vikebukt to Vågstranda is only a few minutes' drive. And another few minutes on takes it to Måndal - pronounced [mondal] - which seems to be the name of Walter Mondale, former democrat vice president. Then another few minutes on one comes to 'Isfjorden' (if I remember right from my childhood), which could be the white glint in his hair, in the front top part of it on the Auschwitz photo. It would be on that part of the head where Mengele had hair and where Gröver had not - which means that if it was the same man, he would have had it removed. This could perhaps have been done with some chemicals once and for all - something which destroyed the roots of the hair. It would have been very 'icy' - and 'is-f-jord-en' could perhaps cover the process. He had some grey-brown patterns with some apparent and slight 'pigment-forskyvning' ('pigment-displacement') there - but I assumed that it was only that kind which normally follows with age - some pigmented dots in the skin in the upper part of the forehead when the hair retracts.

'Åndalsnes' = 'spirit-valley-nose' and could have been the probably articifial depression on the top of the nose, close to the eyebrows. Åndalsnes is the end of the railway from Oslo to Sunnmöre.

On the collar he has a sign which looks like Hebrew vowel points for 'a' plus 'u'. It could be for 'a-u-schwitz'. Norwegian for 'collar' = 'krave', 'collars' = 'kraver', 'the collar' = 'kraven'. Replacing the 'a' with the 'u' makes for 'Kruver' (by some rewrite or the plural form) and is probably as close to 'Gröver' as one can come with the Hebrew vowel points. It would suggest a 'schwitz' from Mengele to Gröver - a 'secret agent' that would have had to be, as suggested by that collar.

Then there is the equipment in his hands. If it is about tools for murder, it suggests 'Molde' which could be a pun on 'minor' (vs. 'major') tonality and hence 'De-moll' ('D minor') = 'Devold' by a nasality rewrite. The conclusion is probably that the photo supports the hypothesis that Mengele changed identity to 'John Gröver' in Norway after the war. Could be it was not his last identity-change.

John Bjarne Grover
On the web 29 April 2004
Last updated 22 May 2008