Mengele fled to South America, but moved from country to country afraid of being caught There were many warrants, rewards, and bounties offered, but he was lucky.

He divorced Irene Mengele and in 1958, Mengele married his brother Karl's widow, Martha. Later she and her son moved to Argentina to join him. His life had now established itself into the comfortable and secure routine of a family man in a 9-to-5 job with good prospects.

Despite international efforts to track him down, he was never apprehended and lived for 35 years hiding under various aliases. He lived in Paraguay and Brazil until his death in 1979. One afternoon, living in Brazil, he went for a swim. While in the ocean he suffered a massive stroke and began to drown. By the time he was dragged to shore, he was dead.

People didn't find out about Mengele's death until the mid 1980's when Nazi hunters, using newly discovered information, uncovered his grave marked "Wolfgang Gerhard" at Embu. It was then that his family admitted they had shielded him all those years and they turned over his diaries and letters to investigators.