Joseph Mengele was born Günzburg, Bavaria; Joseph was mostly raised only by his mother. Joseph had two siblings, Karl and Alois. In 1930 Joseph left Günzburg to study at the University of Munich. While attending Munich, he studied medicine and anthropology. In 1935 he graduated from Munich with a doctorate in anthropology. He later moved on to Frankfurt University and in 1938 earned his doctorate in medicine. While in college he studied a lot about different racial features such as examining different shapes of jaw bones, and many other facial features. In 1931 he joined a nationalist group called Shalhelm This organization was later reorganized into the SA (storm troopers). Joseph left the SA because of poor health. Later in 1937 he joined the Nazi party, and then in 1938 he joined the SS (Schutzstaffel). In 1939 he married a woman by the name of Irene Schönbein Together they had one child, a son named Rolf. In 1940 he was placed in the reserve medical corpse, and then was placed in the 5th SS Panzergranadier Division Wiking. In 1942 Joseph was wounded on the Russian front and recorded as medically unfit to continue fighting, and then was promoted to an SS- Captain.
In 1943 he was sent to replace a doctor at an extermination camp known as Birkenau. May 24, 1943 he became chief medical officer of Auschwitz- Birkenau. Within his 21 months of Aushwitz he had earned the nickname “Angle of Death” he earned this nickname for his cruelty he inflected upon the prisoners in Auschwitz. What Mengele is most famous for is deciding what the fate of the new comers to Auschwitz would be if he thought they had the capability to work then usually he would let them live, on the other hand if he thought a prisoner was unfit and weak then he would send him or her to the gas chamber to be killed. One time during Mengele’s career he went to the children’s block and drew a line on the wall that was about five feet to about 5 feet 2 inches, the concept of this was that if any child was shorter than this mark then Mengele sent them to be killed in the gas chamber. Mengele’s favorite experiments to perform were on twins, the reason for favoring twins was for heredity purposes Mengele thought that by examining twins that he could gain a better understanding on how twins are made, Mengele thought that this could benefit the cause of the future of the Aryan race. Mengele believed that if every German woman could give birth to twins with blonde hair and blue eyes then the dream of a future Aryan race would be saved. For along time little was known about Mengele’s experiments. Most survivors of Mengele’s crazed experiment recall when “Uncle” Mengele would walk in to the twin bunking area and give them candy and clothes. Then he would transport the twins to his medical laboratory in a truck with a Red Cross emblem painted on the side or in his own car. Once there Mengele would begin his experiments on the twins. One twin reported "Dr. Mengele had always been more interested in Tibi. I am not sure why - perhaps because he was the older twin. Mengele made several operations on Tibi. One surgery on his spine left my brother paralyzed. He could not walk anymore. Then they took out his sexual organs. After the fourth operation, I did not see Tibi anymore. I cannot tell you how I felt. It is impossible to put into words how I felt. They had taken away my father, my mother, my two older brothers - and now, my twin ...” In the end approximately 960,000 Jews, 75,000 Poles, and about 19,000 Gypsies were killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau most of these deaths were because of Joseph Mengele.
After the war Mengele was on the Allies most wanted list for his war crimes but they couldn’t find him so they assumed that he was dead. But, he actually ran off to South America. Mengele lived in Argentina for a while but in fear of being captured he left Argentina and moved to Paraguay. He felt that Paraguay would be safer because the dictator was of German decent. He then moved to Brazil in 1960 under the name Wolfgang Gerhard. On February 7, 1979 Joseph Mengele died while swimming in the ocean then had a stroke and then drowned.