Cândido Godói (CG) is a small municipality in South Brazil with approximately 6,000 inhabitants. It is known as the “Twins’ Town” due to its high rate of twin births. Recently it was claimed that such high frequency of twinning would be connected to experiments performed by the German Nazi doctor Joseph Mengele. It is known, however, that this town was founded by a small number of families and therefore a genetic founder effect may represent an alternatively explanation for the high twinning prevalence in CG. In this study, we tested specific predictions of the “Nazi’s experiment” and of the “founder effect” hypotheses. We surveyed a total of 6,262 baptism records from 1959–2008 in CG catholic churches, and identified 91 twin pairs and one triplet. Contrary to the “Nazi’s experiment hypothesis”, there is no spurt in twinning between the years (1964–1968) when Mengele allegedly was in CG (
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 8-June-2011
Author(s): Tagliani-Ribeiro A., Oliveira M., Sassi A., Rodrigues M., Zagonel-Oliveira M., Steinman G., Matte U., Fagundes N., Schuler-Faccini L.