Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A shocking coincidence!

Last night, after collecting our tickets, a coworker and I sat down and began chatting. Somehow the conversation veered toward Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi physician who performed human experiments on his concentration camp prisoners. I mentioned that my father was involved in the famous "Obedience to Authority" experiment by Dr. Stanley Milgram, some 46 years ago. The experiment tried to explain why normally decent people could commit attrocities against their fellow man. My coworker said he'd never heard of the experiment, but he'd be sure to check it out online. I wrote Milgram's name on a slip of paper and handed it to him. Before sitting down again, I reached for a copy of yesterday's New York Times which a passenger had abandoned on a nearby seat. There, on page 4, was a small photo of my father being shocked in the Milgram experiment. The paragraph below suggested that reader's check out more pictures from the experiment here:

What a coincidence!

P.S. After initially posting this story, I found that my niece Cara had emailed me a link to the full Times' story. Read it here:


Liz said...


What an incredible story! I collect coincidences and have blogged about them, too, but your's is absolutely one of the most incredible I have ever heard. I know of the experiment you said your father participated in and have even talked about it to my sixth grade students when we talk about peer pressure. That is quite a coincidence, too!

If it all right with you I would love to share your story with them this coming year.

Martin Wagner said...

And your father even made it on the cover of our UK edition.
Let me know if you want me to send you a copy.

missinsidegirl said...

Wow, what a small world! That would've made my mouth gape open. Then again, it's quite rare I've had family members make any newspaper, despite my writing for one :)