Hitler loved the mountains at Bariloche so like the Bavarian Alps

Did Hitler live to old age here in Argentina?
The Sun investigates Mountain Haven for Nazi war criminals
Exclusive From Oliver Harvey, in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
4 March 2012

Standing amid the sunflowers beside his log chalet in the Argentine mountains Jorge Priebke happily reminisces about the Third Reich’s most evil men.

Pointing to the next street, the old man revealed in a heavy German accent:

"
That’s the Hotel Campana where Dr Mengele stayed for a time. Eichmann passed through here too. I worked with him for a year at the Mercedes Benz factory up in Buenos Aires but never met him here in Bariloche. He was very quiet".

The men so casually dropped into conversation by Priebke are Auschwitz concentration camp’s grotesque “Angel of Death” Dr Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann, coldly efficient architect of the Holocaust

Grey-haired Priebke’s Heidi-style cabin shrouded by the snow-tipped Andes is in the Bavarian-style ski resort of San Carlos de Bariloche, some 600 miles south of Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Built by German immigrants in the late 19th Century, today Bariloche’s fondue restaurants and lonely mountain trails are a haven for backpackers and hikers from all over the globe.

Yet in the years after the Second World War this charming mountain getaway gained infamy as a haven for fleeing Nazi war criminals.

Sensational claims have recently re-surfaced that Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler escaped his fate in his Berlin Bunker and lived out his old age here in the wilds of Patagonia.

The controversial book "Grey Wolf, The Escape Of Adolf Hitler", by British authors Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan, published in October, describes how Hitler and wife Eva Braun even had two daughters who were still alive around a decade ago.

They insist Hitler and Braun escaped the Bunker in a secret tunnel and were replaced by doubles who committed suicide.

And they claim it was the burned bodies of these doubles that were discovered by the avenging Red Army.

In what the authors call “the greatest sleight of hand in history” Hitler and Braun then escaped to Argentina in a submarine before setting up home in a remote hideaway close to Bariloche.

Here, so the theory goes, the tormented Führer spent his time plotting the emergence of a Fourth Reich before dying at 73 in 1962, his remains cremated and scattered.

“Hitler here in Bariloche?” Jorge, 71, a pizza restaurant handyman, mused.

"It’s possible. But I never heard anything about Hitler being here when I was growing up. Papa never spoke about him or the war".

The man Jorge calls “Papa” is as likely as anyone to have known if the Führer lived out his dotage in South America. For Papa is Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke, Captain in the Waffen SS. He would certainly have recognised Hitler, even with his appearance altered.

Jorge said:

"Papa was a language expert and translated for Hitler three times when he met Mussolini".

Still alive aged 98 and, says Jorge, in good health, Priebke senior was extradited from Argentina to Italy in 1995 to stand trial for his role in the massacre of 335 civilians in Nazi-occupied Rome.

The SS man was convicted three years later, after admitting shooting two people and helping round up the victims.

Now under house arrest in the Italian capital, he insists he was following Hitler’s direct orders.

Priebke, who today proudly displays a photograph of himself wearing an SS Death’s Head cap badge on his own website, had escaped to fascist-sympathising Argentina from the ashes of the Third Reich using the escape routes dubbed "Ratlines".

The mountains around Bariloche — so like the Bavarian Alps beloved by the Nazi hierarchy — were a home-from-home for a Nazi on the run in the late Forties.

  Hitler is believed to have hidden in the foothills of the Andes Mountains

The secluded little town had long had Nazi sympathisers in its midst such as Adolf Eichmann who lived in Bariloche for years in the open.

Sepia-tinted photographs from the Thirties show locals gathered around a picture of the Führer and proudly flying the Swastika.

The Ratlines turned the ski resort into something of a mini Reich.

There was Josef Schwammberger, commander of three Nazi labour camps and in charge of the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Przemysl, Poland.

Also there was Nazi diplomat Horst Wagner, a man with the blood of at least 350,000 Jews on his hands, who used the Ratlines to reach Bariloche in the Fifties.

The membership list from the late Forties of mountaineering association Club Andino Bariloche, set up in 1931 by Otto Meiling, a former member of the Hitler Youth, include Hans Ulrich Rudel, former hero of the Luftwaffe and a close confidant of Hitler, and Frederich Lantschner, the former Nazi governor of the Tyrol.

Hugo Jung, the club president, remembers Rudel well:

"I know he was a Nazi, but it doesn't bother me at all. He was a great man and despite the fact that he had only one leg, he still managed to be an excellent skier".

Perverted Angel of Death Mengele — who conducted vile medical experiments on children at the Auschwitz death camp — is said to have taken his driving test here twice in the Forties after an initial failure.

Now retired, Francisco Calo, who ran the tests, said:

"There were always rumours that Mengele was here, but when I saw his face I was certain it was him".

In Bariloche’s Bavarian-style wood and stone square of municipal buildings, Ernesto Martinez takes photos of passing tourists with his pet St Bernard dog Amancay at 60 pesos a time.

The grandfather of eight, 75, said:

"Of course we knew we had former Nazis here. I used to go to the Delicatessen Erich Priebke ran and got on well with him. He worked hard and lived quietly".

So could Bariloche’s holidaymakers be walking among descendants of the Führer?

“Hitler in Patagonia?” Ernesto smiles. "It’s completely ridiculous".

But local historian Abel Basti, who has written a guidebook telling tourists where to find homes of the former Third Reich men, is convinced Bariloche provided a bolthole for Hitler.

He has written a series of books on the subject. At his home in Bariloche Basti, 56, shows me documents, declassified files and witness testimonies that he believes are evidence of the Führer’s presence in South America.

Hitler's 'secret' mountain refuge
Argentina's idyllic, infamous village sheds no light on its history
Ricky Hunt
5 Nov 2010 

San Carlos de Bariloche is the biggest town in Argentina’s Lake District. Snow-capped Andean mountains encircle the area and reflect off the impressive Lago Nahuel Huapi, the biggest of the seven lakes in the region, its turquoise water clear down to the bed.

It’s a tourist haven that offers skiing, paragliding, kayaking, bike trails and superb hiking at inflated prices in immaculately kept national parks. It’s also the place to which the Nazis fled and which they made their stronghold after World War II.

Bariloche sells itself as a little Switzerland and the Germanic influence is evident — from the Bauhaus lettering on shop fronts and menus to the cutesy Fräulein dolls with blonde pigtails that welcome you into the surprisingly large number of chocolatiers or fondue restaurants.

But there’s little to suggest the Nazis were here at all. Only a suggestion of their presence lingers in the town, an undercurrent that they were here, in the form of some graffiti about Hitler and the Hotel Edelweiss — named after the mountain flower found in the Swiss Alps that was the symbol of the German Luftwaffe during the war. Ask around town where you can find signs of the Nazis and all you get are confused looks and shoulder shrugs.

So what’s a tourist who comes to Bariloche not for the exquisite scenery but for a tour of 20th-century conspiracy theory to do? Surely the Bariloche tourism board would not have missed out on such a delectable alternative-travel idea?

Enter Abel Basti, a journalist who lives and works in Bariloche and who has been researching Nazis in Argentina for the past 15 years. He tried to popularise the tourism opportunities with his 1996 tour guide-style book, "Bariloche Nazi", which contains a map that the tourist office doesn’t distribute [and doesn’t even seem aware of] and directs interested visitors to Nazi sites. The book’s publication broke a silence about the town’s Nazi heritage and didn’t make Basti a popular figure among the locals.

"Many families [of the Nazis] still live here," he says.

In 1995 he covered the extradition to Italy of the former Nazi Erich Priebke, who had lived in the town since the late 1940s after escaping from a British detention camp in northern Italy shortly after the war. Priebke was a notable member of the community, the head of the Bariloche German cultural association and the head of the board of governors at the local German school.

Basti estimates that about 1300 Nazis entered Argentina after the war, a large number of whom settled in Bariloche. "Look at this place," says Basti, "the Nazis had good taste".

With a climate similar to that of northwestern Europe and surrounds that resemble the Swiss Alps, where many high-ranking officials liked to get away from the dirty business of genocide, it seems logical they would have chosen this idyll in the wild south of Patagonia as the locale for their escape plan.

"This was their Plan B," says Basti — Plan A, presumably, being the Aryan race’s goal of world ­domination.

There is anecdotal and, Basti claims, documented proof that the Nazis in Bariloche provided domicile for Josef Mengele, aka Dr Death, the villain who masterminded the experiments on the Jews in the concentration camps. He later moved to Buenos Aires, where he became a well-respected doctor.

Basti even claims that the Führer himself escaped to Argentina after the war and had a sprawling mansion, where he lived with Eva Braun, just 80km north of Bariloche. Basti has written two books on the subject — "Hitler in Argentina" and "The Exile of Hitler" — and is working on another, "The True Death of Hitler".

"There is more evidence for him coming here [to Argentina] than there is for him committing suicide," says Basti. "It’s the best-kept secret of the 20th century".

Reinhard Kopps, a former SS lieutenant, owned and ran the Hotel Campana in Bariloche for many years under the name Juan Mahler.

"He was always very nice to me," says Gerardo Bochert, who worked for Kopps in the hotel from the age of 13. The hotel has since been split into offices, which Bochert manages and Mahler’s (Kops’s) children own.

Other high-profile Nazis who are known to have lived in the town include former SS officials Martin Bormann and Adolf Eichmann.

"The Nazis had all the power in the town. There was a very strong circle. People worked for them," says Basti.

When Soviet troops entered the refuge of Hitler, the Russian leader Josef Stalin immediately ordered a report.  The news he received from his generals was definite: the most wanted man had escaped.  Stalin communicated this news to the United States, however, the enlargement of the impressive initial information is worrisome because the Soviets also claimed that Hitler had fled in a submarine, with Spain or Argentina as alleged to destinations.

All of the above is documented - was published even by the newspapers of the time - and anyone who wants to question Hitler's escape should start by knowing this part of the official history is also covered with official misinformation

"Hitler is alive, he escaped to Spain or Argentina". The statement was released, without doubt, by Stalin to answer a question from James Byrnes, US Secretary of State, during the Potsdam Conference, 17 July 1945. The Soviet dictator accused the Western allies of being complicit escape the Nazi leader.  In the previous month, General Georgy Zhukov, one of the leading generals of the Red Army, had spoken in a similar vein at a press  conference. Hitler escaped by plane possibly before the siege of Berlin is closed, he said.

But was it not the Russians who had found the remains of Hitler and his wife Eva Braun? Was it only charges used by the wily Stalin to sow discord in the lobby of the Cold War?  With quick reflexes, the British mandated its own investigation by Hugh Trevor Roper, who served as an intelligence officer. Through interviews with members of Hitler's entourage he arrived at the "strict" conclusion of suicide. He concluded that Hitler married Eva Braun on 29 April 1945 and the next day both took their own lives in the underground Bunker of the Chancellery, surrounded by Russian troops. Then their bodies were burned in the gardens of the building by his acolytes, inside a crater caused by a bomb. 

Trevor Roper published his work in 1947 as a book ["The Last Days of Hitler"] and this was foundational to the suicide theory.  Most of the researchers who succeeded him  cited it over and over, without doubting his findings. Michael Musmanno, one of the American judges at the Nuremberg process, wrote his own book with interviews with Nazi officials ["The Last Witness of Hitler"]. The American judge reached similar conclusions to Trevor Roper's. 

But, beyond the testimony of those who "saw Hitler die", were there other tests?
Where was the body?  After Stalin's death in 1953, the Russians reported that the remains of the Führer had been properly identified. Dental bridges had been the key to conclude that Hitler was died. 

Then the corpses of Hitler, his wife and the Göbbels family were buried in the Magdeburg barracks. In 1970 all the bodies were exhumed and, except for a piece of Hitler's  skull,  were burned and the ashes thrown into the sea. In the 90s, the Russians exhibited for the first time what was supposed to be the last vestige of the skeleton of Hitler. They said it was conclusive proof that would silence the rumors.  But American experts called in for an investigation revealed on "History Channel" that the piece of skull was that of a woman between 20 and 40 years. 

The contradictions, cross versions, the lack of tangible evidence prepared the ground for a line of parallel investigation, which rejected the official version and sought to know what was really behind the 'Death of Hitler'.
The Hungarian-Argentinean Ladislao Szabo threw the first stone in 1947, with his book "Hitler is alive", claiming that the leader of the Third Reich had escaped from Europe in submarine. Several authors picked up the glove and followed the tracks over the course of the years. Jeff Kristenssen [pseudonym of Captain Manuel Monasterio] and Italian Patrick Burnside were among them. In recent years, research deepened: two British authors, Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan, with "Grey Wolf" and an Argentine, Abel Basti, with "Hitler's Exile" and other publications. 

They continued to lag behind, providing data and taking for granted that the Nazi dictator fled and lived quietly in Argentina, and stating the exact day of his death. They talked about the found  clues that led them to say that. They revealed that two other "dead" in 1945, Martin Bormann, right hand man to Hitler and Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo, had organized the escape plan.

New Questions Arise on Fate of Gestapo Chief
By Henry Weinstein
Los Angeles Timesr
27 February 2001
 
For more than 50 years, Nazi hunters and historians have tried in vain to discover what happened to Gestapo chieftain Heinrich Müller, who vanished in 1945 at the end of World War II. Of all the major Nazis, Müller, who was Adolf Eichmann's immediate superior, is the most important still unaccounted for, according to numerous Holocaust experts.

Now, efforts to solve the mystery are resurfacing, including attempts to answer the most provocative question of all:  Was Müller briefly in U.S. custody after the war? If so, did he escape, or was he freed to become a CIA spy?

Müller is officially registered as dead in Berlin. But his grave turned out to contain two unknown soldiers when it was opened more than 30 years ago. His children subsequently removed the headstone from the burial plot.

U.S. Army Intelligence records indicate that Müller -- who was nicknamed "Gestapo Müller" to distinguish him from the hundreds of other Müllers in the Nazi hierarchy -- was captured by Americans in 1945, says historian George Chalou, who worked at the National Archives for 28 years.

But what happened after that "is the $64 question", he said.

According to sometimes contradictory intelligence documents and media reports, over the years Müller was "sighted" in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Cairo, Damascus, Moscow, Washington, D.C., and Portsmouth, N.H.

In about a month, the National Archives plans to release a 500-page Central Intelligence Agency file on Müller, which may shed further light on his postwar activities, according to Greg Bradsher, a historian at the archives. So far, the bulk of publicly available material on Müller comes from U.S. Army Intelligence files and material gathered by historians.

Müller "has been the subject of interest for decades, including to this day by my office," said Eli M. Rosenbaum, head of the Office of Special Investigations, the Justice Department's Nazi war criminal unit, who believes it is possible that Müller became a Soviet intelligence agent at the end of World War II and scoffs at the idea that he ever played a similar role for the United States.

The reason for Rosenbaum's interest is clear. Müller rounded up thousands of Jews from the Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia to be deported to Auschwitz for extermination. In addition, one recently released U.S. government document states that Müller ordered the execution of prisoners at Buchenwald, a death camp near Weimar, Germany.

"We've never given up" the hope of finding Müller, "though it is now more a historical question than a law enforcement question," Rosenbaum said. Müller, who was born in 1900, is presumed to be dead.

Last week, a German television network aired a program -- based in part on documents from the U.S. National Archives in Maryland -- claiming that Müller was captured by the U.S. Army, but released for unknown reasons. The program speculated that Müller may have been employed by a U.S. intelligence agency, but offered no substantiation for that assertion.

This weekend, Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said if there is any possibility that Müller played such a role "the U.S. government should launch a formal inquiry. There is an obligation to those who suffered under the Gestapo."

However, Rosenbaum, who reviewed the same records, said "the conclusion that 'Gestapo' Müller was apprehended by American authorities and used by American intelligence is supported by no credible evidence." Efraim Zuroff, who runs the Wiesenthal Center's office in Israel, said he thought it highly unlikely that the United States would have used Müller after the war.

"It would be surprising if the Americans tried to use someone of Müller's stature. . . . He was an incredibly important player in the implementation of the 'final solution' " -- Hitler's program to exterminate the Jewish people, Zuroff said.

The veteran Nazi hunter said he thought it probable that Müller, who was reportedly in Hitler's secret Bunker the day before the Führer killed himself on 29 April 1945, was killed at the end of the war. But he quickly added, "I have no proof." What happened to Müller remains "the big question mark in terms of the perpetrators of the Holocaust," Zuroff said from Jerusalem.

Müller was born in Munich, became a fighter pilot and was awarded several medals. After the war, he joined the Munich police force. In the late 1920s, he became the Munich police's expert in the battle against "leftist movements," according to the "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust". Müller became a key aide to Reinhard Heydrich, the Bavarian police chief. His reports on Communists brought him to the attention of Heinrich Himmler, who eventually became the second-highest official in Nazi Germany.

During the 1930s, Müller won a rapid series of promotions in the SS, the German secret police that served as the Nazi regime's principal tool of terror, and his power continued to grow. He was one of 15 people who participated in the January 1942 Wannsee conference, where the "final solution" was planned.

Within a few months, the first gas chamber camps were set up in Poland, according to professor Louis L. Snyder's "Encyclopedia of the Third Reich". Müller also played a key role in investigating a plot by a group of German army officers to kill Hitler in 1944 and remained loyal to Hitler until the end, according to Holocaust historians. Whether Müller lived past 29 April 1945, has been the subject of intense speculation for years.

There have been unconfirmed reports that he served as an "enforcer" for former Nazis living in South America and that he was kidnapped from Argentina in 1956 by Czech agents. When famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal issued a list of the 10 most wanted former Nazis in 1987, Müller was on it.

In December 1999, the National Archives issued a one-paragraph news release stating that it was opening 135 pages of files on Müller, primarily covering the period from 1945 to 1963, but also including some earlier Nazi government documents.

The files contain tantalizing material, including many items that contradict one another. Despite the fact that the files were opened more than 50 years after the end of World War II, numerous portions have been redacted.

In February 1999, eight months before the Army records were made public by the National Archives, Army officials sent Rabbi Hier a letter saying some of his requests for information on Müller were being denied on grounds of "national security," including the possibility that more complete disclosure could compromise intelligence-gathering methods.

Among the materials the National Archives made public are the following:

• A December 1945 interview with a former Nazi stating that Müller escaped from Berlin through a secret underground passage that only he and Eichmann knew about.
• A July 1946 Army Counter-Intelligence Corps document saying "reports from the Russian zone of Berlin seem to indicate" that Müller shot and killed his wife and three children and then himself, two days before Hitler died.
• Index cards stating that Müller was in custody first in the town of Ilmenau and then in December 1945 in a "civilian internment" camp in Altenstadt in Upper Bavaria. The card does not state what happened to Müller at Altenstadt. It ends with the cryptic and provocative sentence, "case closed 29 Jan 46." It is unclear who placed the information on the card, which states that a Müller dossier was to be sent to Frankfurt.
• Another U.S. Army document dated 11 July 1946, states that British officials requested an investigation of Müller in the Würzburg area, saying that it was believed he was dead. But the document ends with: "results negative."
• A 1951 document, saying an informant had said Müller was in Czechoslovakia where he "is supposedly directing intelligence activities for the Soviets against the U.S. zone of Germany."
• An August 1960 document saying Müller was believed to be corresponding with relatives.
• Numerous other documents from the 1950s and early 1960s indicating the belief that Müller was alive and that U.S. officials were interested in finding him.

There are no new reports after 1963. Hier said he hopes that the soon- to-be-released CIA files will shed new light on Müller. Rosenbaum, who has spent nearly two decades in the Justice Department's Nazi war crimes unit, said he has reviewed those files and they provide no definitive answer. "If ever a Nazi just disappeared into the mist, it was Müller," Rosenbaum said. "It's one of the great unsolved mysteries of World War II. The answer may be in Soviet files," he said.


"Times Washington" Bureau Chief Doyle McManus contributed to this story.

After recalling the lack of forensic evidence about the death of Hitler and his wife, both Williams and Dunstan and Basti wonder why the intelligence services of the United States continued to look for Hitler and their agents receiving reports from South America, where several people claimed to have seen Hitler.

"If one media accesses times, newspapers, news agencies, radio broadcasts and more, the news is that Hitler escaped," Basti said, recalling the history of Stalin and Byrnes cited at the beginning. 

But how was it possible that Hitler escaped? 
Whose was the body found? The answer to the first question "With the complicity of the Western Allies". The second: With a double.
In fact Dunstan and Williams say that on the last known footage of Hitler it is not he, but Gustav Weler, his double. The tape was recorded on 20 March 1945 [s/b 20 April] and shows his double-or Hitler with Artur Axmann, Hitler Youth leader, handing out medals to children-soldiers defending the ruins of the Third Reich.

In reaching this conclusion, the authors of "Gray Wolf"  resorted to facial analysis by a leading British expert in forensic science.
After the escape from Hitler's Bunker, the unfortunate Weler was shot and was "planted" as Hitler's body.
 

The year 1943 marked a turning point in the war. The Axis was in retreat and it was clear that the Allies were advancing toward a clear victory. Realizing this, Bormann planned  Aktion Feuerland [Tierra del Fuego] with the intention of negotiating with the West the escape of Hitler and himself and the evacuation of the Nazi treasure, accumulated from years of plunder in the occupied countries and including countless looted works of art. In return, the secretary of the Führer offered sensitive information about advanced Nazi secret weapons and the location of researchers and technicians, for the United States to recruit. Furthermore, he was offering the surrender of millions of  Wehrmacht soldiers who still fought in Italy. 

But not all were promises, there were also threats.
 One, blow the mines where were hidden thousands of works of art stolen by the Nazis, representing the best of European centuries of culture In addition, there was the rumor that the Reich had long-range missiles -similar to the V2- with the ability to strike the east coast of the United States. 

The trading partner used by Bormann, with the help of "Gestapo" Müller and Ernst Kaltenbrunner, was none other than Allen Dulles.

Who was Dulles?

Dulles in Switzerland led the main European center of OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, the Intelligence Service of the United States during the war.
 Dulles had been doing his job with skill, recruiting agents throughout the old continent, many of them Nazi diplomats. Faced with the imminent clash with the Communist bloc, Dulles believed Bormann was more important in negotiating for German technology, rather than the fate of Hitler, already defeated. Later, Dulles was the first civilian director of the CIA. That agency provided almost no activity in relation to the search for Hitler in South America, unlike the FBI. Chance?

With some minor differences, Dunstan-Williams and Basti agreed that Hitler left the Bunker on foot through a connection to the Berlin subway, from there he flew by plane to Denmark, then to Spain, to board a submarine to the Canary Islands. Final destination: the Patagonian coast. In southern Argentina he was expected by Hermann Fegelein, who was married to the sister of Eva, Gretl Braun. Fegelein had escaped shortly before and had also set up a stage in Berlin to fake his death. One of the pilots transporting Hitler, Captain Baumgart, raised the issue in 1947. This is reflected in the newspapers of the time. He even said it in court in Warsaw, but no one listened and he disappeared into oblivion.

Argentina was one of the last countries to declare war on the Axis and allowed the actions of Nazi spies almost unmolested.
In the last two years of the greatest war in history, Bormann  transferred assets to the region, especially to Argentina for more than six Billion Dollars. One of the main contacts in Buenos Aires was the entrepreneur Ludwig Freude, close to Juan Domingo Peron, whose son, Rodolfo Freude, was secretary of the Peronist leader during his first presidency. The entry of German scientists to the country, and also many Nazis war criminals, was part of the consideration. 

The Billions served to open bank accounts, buy industrial patents, start businesses and buy the silence of many.
 The German community, a strong presence in southern Argentina, played a role in paving the way for Hitler's rise to a mountain paradise similar to the one the dictator had loved in Bavaria. The authors of "Grey Wolf" give a major role to Eva Peron, and noted that during his trip to Europe in 1947, she held a meeting with Bormann, who had stayed there a while longer. The wife of Perón facilitated the arrival of Bormann to Buenos Aires, but broke the covenant and only "returned" 25% of the transferred money.

At that time, deputies Silvano Santander and Raul Damonte Taborda denounced the Nazi activity in Argentina and its alleged links with the increasingly powerful Peron.
 Because of their activities, he had to go into exile in Uruguay after the coup of 4 June 1943. 

Hitler would have spent his first night in Necochea Argentina. Then he would have flown to Neuquén and Bariloche airport, which at that time was on the grounds of Estancia San Ramon, "a place closed and fully controlled by Germans". Ex-sailors of the 'Graf Spee', sunk off the coast of Montevideo after the Battle of the River Plate, acted as custodians of Hitler.

San Ramon sheltered Hitler, his wife and his dog Blondi, who had also made the journey on the submarine U-518, which brought him from Europe, for nine months. 

Oblt. Hans-Werner Offermann was one of the youngest U-boat commanders during WWII when he left on patrol with U-518 from Lorient, France on 23 January 1944. He was only 22 years old at the time. He brought his boat to Lorient 106 days later.

He commanded the boat on another 102 day patrol before being lost with his entire crew 42 days into this third patrol on 22 April 1945 when U-518 was sunk by the US destroyer escorts 'USS Carter' and 'USS Neal A. Scott'.

After that time, they moved to the shelter the money from Bormann had allowed to be build about 100 kilometers away. The place was Inalco, on the Chilean border near Villa La Angostura. The new home of Hitler had a similar Berghof, the resting place of the dictator had in Obersalzberg in the Bavarian Alps, constructed.

Dunstan and Wiliams claimed that Hitler made trips to Laguna Mar Chiquita in Córdoba, where he underwent surgery to remove chips from an old wound caused by the bomb attack on 20 July 1944. He also would have passed through La Falda, to visit the Eichhorns, a German couple who had contributed money to the Nazi cause from the beginning.
Impunity was such that an FBI report published in "Grey Wolf", was by an by agent who saw Hitler "on vacation" in Casino, Brazil, in 1947. The movements of Hitler by Argentina were witnessed by countless witnesses interviewed by the authors. A former custodian of Peron even  told them that the three-time president met with Bormann.

The researchers said that Hitler and Eva Braun had at least one daughter, Ursula "Uschi", born before the war, in 1938, and concealed from the German public. He had also concealed his relationship with Eva for years. Another version speaks of a daughter or a son born in Argentina.  Where Dunstan and Williams differed with Basti  is on the date and place of death of Hitler. For the former, the "Austrian corporal" expired on 13 February 1962 in La Clara, acplace where he had moved after the coup that overthrew Peron in 1955. Abandoned by Eva, who had gone to Neuquen, Hitler would finally die,  surrounded by his guardian, Heinrich Bethe and his doctor, Otto Lehmann. 

To Basti, Hitler's demise occurred in Paraguay, on 3 February 1971 in Guarani, where the former Nazi dictator had traveled, fearing that Peron's fall could lead to the withdrawal of protection. 

According Basti, Alfredo Stroessner gave asylum to Hitler in his last days.

Hitler would have lived in Paraguay, after having been in Argentina, according to the story of lawyer and history professor Mariano Llano. The data would have been confirmed to Llano by the former president of that nation, Alfredo Stroessner. Llano had as father-in-law the deceased Paraguayan general Emilio Diaz de Vivar, who served as Commander in Chief of the Paraguayan Army, beginning in 1950.

From a family relationship, Llano obtained information that Hitler had been in Paraguayan territory.
In 2004, Llano published these data in the first edition of the book "Hitler and the Nazis in Paraguay", limited edition edited in Asunción. The author to make such a statement was based on the interviews he had with the former intendant of Asunción, Agustín Ávila, about the talks held with his father-in-law Diaz de Vivar, and the information provided by Manuel Bernárdez, director of the daily "La Mañana".

According to the Paraguayan historian, after the Perón government was overthrown in 1955, Hitler, along with other Nazis, left Argentina and settled in Paraguay. According to Llano, General Emilio Diaz de Vivar met with Hitler in a fifth house in the area of ​​Areguá. According to the story, a woman from the von Schmeling family was the one who introduced Hitler to Diaz de Vivar, and a witness to that meeting was the maid "Kika" Maria Acosta, who attended the two men. Also present at the meeting would be a lady, Carmen, who acted as a translator. Llano said that in 1994 he had a telephone call with former president Alfredo Stroessner, whom he knew, who was in exile in Brasilia. In this regard, he said that on that occasion he asked Stroessner about the subject and that he confirmed that Hitler had lived in Paraguay while he was the first magistrate of that nation.

-- "Behind the Steps of Hitler", Abel Basti, Editorial Planeta.

Will the corpse of Hitler ever appear? Basti says yes. "In these kind of hidden and secret stories, more information will be revealed over the years, with all information finally coming to light, including the exact location of the remains," he said.

 

Businessman offers to sell proof Hitler died in Argentina
UPI
19 February 1987

MENDOZA, Argentina --  A businessman says Adolf Hitler died in Argentina a month ago, not in his Berlin bunker at the end of World War II, and he will sell proof of his claim for $500,000.

The businessman, Max Gregorcic, also says Hitler's wife, Eva Braun, is still alive.
 
Braun and Hitler were married shortly before their suicides 30 April 1945, in the Bunker of the Chancellery in Berlin, according to accepted historical accounts.

Gregorcic and a business associate, Juan Aguilera, say their evidence included paintings reputedly done by Hitler in Argentina and his cemetery registration number in the town of Palmira, 30 miles east of Mendoza.

He described the $500,00 pricetag a "modest" finder's fee and says if the evidence is proven false, he and Aguilera will return it.

The Argentine government declined to comment on the alleged discovery.

David Goldberg, president of 'Argentina's Delegation of Israelite Associations', the largest Argentine Jewish organization, says he was skeptical when Gregorcic recently approached him about the evidence, but said the claim should be investigated.

Perhaps that is why not many people in Bariloche, apart from those who want to keep it under wraps, can tell you much about the Nazis who established their beautiful town. In the centre alone are 10 previous Nazi sites within about a 1 km radius that just about every tourist who visits will walk past.

Priebke’s old house has been divided—half has been turned into a bar, the other half into an office that sells bus tours.

Club Andino, once a popular watering hole and meeting spot for the fascist crowd, now bears no trace of the baddies who may have stumbled off-kilter down its stairs.

The fact that Argentina harboured Nazis seems to be not a fascinating footnote of history but rather a source of great embarrassment.

The Argentinian government destroyed the bomb shelter the Nazis built—presumably in case they were discovered in Bariloche—on Isla Huemul, a small island in the middle of Lago Nahuel Huapi. But its destruction speaks to a kind of forced amnesia, a monument to both their denial and that the Nazis were welcomed in Argentina. The island is not on the tourist map.

He insisted a witness he spoke to had received a menacing phone call warning, saying: "The Gestapo are still active so keep quiet".  Basti added: "I don’t think the old Gestapo secret police still exist but there are Right-wing groups who identify with their ideals".

What about hard scientific evidence? As yet Basti has produced no DNA samples from possible Hitler or Braun grave sites and no living Argentine relative.

At his suggestion "Sun" photographer Scott Hornby and I visited an isolated, Bavarian-style rambling mansion on the banks of the slate-grey Nahuel Huapi lake, which he claims was, for a time, Hitler and Braun’s hideaway.

Hidden by thick woodland, Inalco, 53 miles north of Bariloche, near the village of Villa la Angostura, it is certainly eerie enough. Approaching the guest houses and barns of the complex down a rutted mud track we were stopped by a bolted gate with a sign warning “private property”. Chilean dad-of-one Esteban Beroisa, 61, who has lived in the outbuildings for three years, invited us in to take pictures. We stared through the windows of one of the guest houses. Esteban said: "You won’t see any Swastikas in there. I don’t know if Hitler lived here. But I get two or three people every day coming to ask about him". He said the complex was for sale and warned we needed permission to go to the main house.

Last night TV journalist Gerrard, 52, said a docu-drama on "Grey Wolf" will be released this year and Hollywood had shown interest in a movie. The author said: "A deal was done between US intelligence, big business and the Nazis to let Hitler and Braun get out of the Bunker and disappear. The evidence is compelling".

Experts have been quick to debunk the notion that Hitler plotted a rebirth of his Master Race fantasies in Patagonia.

Sergio Widder, 43, Latin America director of Nazi hunters the Simon Wiesenthal Center, last night insisted: "Argentina was the main haven for Nazi war criminals. Men like Mengele and Eichmann were protected by the Argentine state. But there is no serious evidence Hitler survived the war, let alone came to Argentina. These stories should be for novels, not history".

Author and historian Guy Walters — who wrote "Hunting Evil" on the escape of Nazi war criminals — last year labelled the Hitler in Bariloche theory as the “Worst sort of junk history”.

"Eye witnesses testify to Hitler dying in the Bunker. In 2009 I interviewed Rochus Misch, Hitler’s personal bodyguard, who was in the fortification with the Führer as the Russians closed in.

"He told me that on 30 April 1945, Hitler left his final followers and entered a private room with Braun. Misch said they waited around 45 minutes “for the shot”. Rochus said: "I saw Hitler slumped by the table. I did not see any blood on his head. And I saw Eva lying next to him on the sofa, with her knees drawn up. Hitler was taken outside to be burnt. It was over".

Back in Bariloche, Jorge Priebke says local Nazis would toast Hitler’s birthday at a local inn well into the 1960s. He said: "They would drink themselves under the table. I think patriots still celebrate his birthday in other parts of the country, but not here".

A large Swastika — with a line drawn through its centre — has been spray-painted on a wall not far from the Priebke family home. The message is clear: No Nazis.

Local mum-of-three Catherine Connon, 54, insisted: “Bariloche is not swarming with Nazis. It’s a modern holiday resort now. Those times are long gone".

The Girls From Argentina: Daughters of Adolf Hitler Who Escaped From Berlin On 27 April 1945 Thanks to Franco in Spain
By Bill Warner
18 March 2012

An investigator claims the Nazi leader fled to Barcelona instead of committing suicide in Berlin Bunker. Nazi leader Adolf Hitler spent a month in Spain before fleeing Europe for South America, according to an Argentine investigator. Abel Basti claims to have found an FBI document, which states Hitler did not commit suicide in his Berlin Bunker. Instead, he flew to Spain with lover Eva Braun and 13 high-ranking Nazi officials.

Nazi sympathisers in San Carlos de Bariloche Argentina; Bariloche made headlines in the international press in 1995 when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.

In his 2004 book "Bariloche Nazi-Guía Turística", Argentine author Abel Basti claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun and their children lived in the surroundings of Bariloche for many years after World War II. A book published by British authors Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan in 2011 proposed that Hitler and Eva Braun hid at Hacienda San Ramon, six miles east of Bariloche, until the early 1960s.

867 pages of files copied from FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and archived on CD-ROM covering matters investigated in the United States by the bureau related to Adolf Hitler. Files contain approximately 350 narrative pages. Files document the FBI’s treatment of a wide variety of “alive” sightings of Hitler after the war. The bureau maintained files relating to sightings in Argentina. Also FBI lab reports on authenticating Hitler’s marriage certificate, will, and other political documents.


Upon closer inspection, we learn that this ambiguous suggestion
originally came from TASS, the Soviet mouthpiece The TASS journalist himself cites "an unnamed source" as saying that Hitler "may have been" flown to South America. Needless to say, TASS propaganda, reprinted
in a U.S. newspaper, does not constitute "documentation" of anything.
It is quite likely that the Soviets may have been toying with the
idea of casting Hitler as a coward who abandoned Berlin

On 16 July 1945, the "Chicago Times" carried a sensational article on the Hitlers having slipped off to Argentina.

U-Boat U-977 arrived at Port of Mar Del Plata of Argentina on 17 August 1945, Hitler was to be on board. What if Adolf Hitler was able to fly out of Berlin on 27 April 1945, after his phony suicide plot, with lover Eva Braun and their two children, girls.

“They took off from Berlin and landed in Barcelona on 27 April 1945, via Linz in Austria,” claims Basti, who is investigating post-World War II Nazi activity in his native Argentina. The FBI paperwork claims the Nazi leader and his party travelled in a Junkers 290 aircraft, which had the serial number 0163. In the summer of 1945, Allied forces discovered this plane in the Travemünde airbase, close to the German city of Hamburg.

Russian Marshal Zhukov alleged June 1945 that a large U-Boat left Hamburg at the end April 1945 with a woman aboard: Argentine sources report a large U-Boat unloading on Necochea beach 28 July 1945 had a female aboard.

Using its flight documentation, the military traced the aeroplane’s movements to Spain. In 1947, the US army searched for the Führer, but the Nazi leader had long gone. "Hitler used Spain as a ‘trampoline'. He spent a month in the country before escaping to South America by submarine. By the time, US soldiers started their search for him, Hitler was in Argentina," Basti claims. Germany was an close ally of General Franco, the right-wing dictator who ruled Spain following his victory in the Civil War in 1939 until his death in 1975. The Germans supplied Franco’s rebellion in the first days of the Civil War with supplies, such as ammunition, weapons and military intelligence.

The German Air Force – the Luftwaffe – is claimed to be behind the bombing of the Basque town, Guernica, in 1937. Basti, who will soon publish "Destino Patagonia. Cómo Escapó Hitler" – his third book on Nazi movement in Argentina, believes the accepted suicide of Hitler was "a ruse," so that the leader of the Third Reich could escape the advancing Allied soldiers.

The Germans left the body of Hitler’s double in the Bunker. The Nazis also left unknown corpses, which had in their pockets the paperwork of the hierarchy that escaped with the Führer. This deceived everyone into thinking they had all killed themselves. Basti believes that Hitler, Braun and the 13 officers arrived in Argentina, between July and August 1945. He then moved between the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza and La Rioja.” The 51-year-old journalist claims Hitler died in the South American country in 1960. Aribert Heim – the Austrian doctor know as the Butcher of Mauthausen for his vicious experiments on prisoners in Nazi concentration camps – also spent time in Spain before fleeing to Chile.

Thanks to a Spanish neo-Nazi network reminiscent of Frederick Forsyth’s partly-fictitious Odessa organisation, Otto Ernst Remer was living in a rented villa, thought to be paid for by Spanish neo-Nazis, overlooking the Mediterranean. He was new here in 1994 but there are thought to be around 40 senior Nazi officers living prosperously in Spain, mostly along the Costa del Sol, around Barcelona, or on the Balearic Islands [same place Mohamed Atta and other Al-Qaeda members met in 2000].

While hundreds went on to Latin America after the war, partly the theme of Forsyth’s "The Odessa File", those who stayed here have been protected by an Odessa-like group called the Spanish Circle of Friends of Europe, known by its Spanish acronym, Cedade. The group is registered as a cultural association and is the hub of the European neo-Nazi movement’s propaganda network, printing neo-Nazi books, magazines and leaflets openly in Barcelona. Belgian SS General Leon Degrelle spent the post-war years in Spain, protected first by Franco, then by the neo-Nazi network and died in Malaga this year, aged 87.

Although he is theoretically under house arrest, there are no policemen outside Otto Remer’s villa in Marbella and he has been seen, in a wheelchair pushed by friends, in the city centre.

The high court of Spain ruled against appeals made by the German government to extradite Remer, claiming that he had not committed any crime under Spanish law. He remained a wanted man in Germany until his death on 4 October 1997 in Marbella at 85.

Did Hitler Fake His Death?
5 October 2011 
by David Meyer
 
According to history books, Adolf Hitler shot and killed himself on 30 April 1945 while residing in an underground Bunker in Berlin. His remains were subsequently burnt. But this story has long been questioned. Did Hitler truly die in the Bunker? Or did he escape to somewhere else, unidentified and unpunished? Was there a Hitler Death Conspiracy?

The Hitler Death Conspiracy?

While most people believe the official version of Hitler’s suicide, others are unconvinced. Perhaps the most diligent and respected researcher in this area is Argentina-based journalist and historian Abel Basti. In 2010, Basti published "El exilio de Hitler" [Hitler’s Exile: Las pruebas de la fuga del fuhre a a la Argentina], in which he claimed that the official story was a fabrication. In fact, he believes in a Hitler Death Conspiracy.

According to an interview with "Deadline-Live", Basti believes that Hitler escaped the Allies and fled across the ocean, ultimately taking up residence in Argentina.

“Hitler escaped via air from Austria to Barcelona. The last stage of his escape was in a submarine, from Vigo, heading straight to the coast of Patagonia. Finally, Hitler and Eva Braun, in a car with a chauffeur and bodyguard—a motorcade of at least three cars—drove to Bariloche [Argentina]. He took refuge in a place called San Ramon, about 15 miles east of that town. It is a property of about 250,000 acres with a lake-front view of Lake Nahuel Huapi, which had been German property since the early twentieth century, when it belonged to a German firm by the name of Schamburg-Lippe".

Evidence Supporting the Hitler Death Conspiracy?

Here is some of the evidence Basti uses to back up his various claims of a Hitler Death Conspiracy
.
◾ Hitler escaped to Spain?: Several eyewitnesses, including a still-living Jesuit priest “whose family members were friends of the Nazi leader,” spotted him in Spain after his supposed death. FBI documents indicate they were looking for Hitler in Spain after the end of World War II. And an "authenticated secret German document…lists Hitler as one of the passengers evacuated by plane from Austria to Barcelona on 26 April 1945".
◾ The Secret Submarine?: A British secret services document indicates that a Nazi submarine convoy left Spain around that time. It stopped in the Canary Islands before finally reaching Argentina.
◾ Life in Argentina?: Hitler’s post-war life appears to be a bit of a mystery. Basti has met numerous South American eyewitnesses who say they had known Hitler. They state that the former Nazi leader shaved his head and mustache and had several meetings with other Nazi officials. Also, FBI documents show that there were claims of Hitler living in Argentina after the war.

All in all, the evidence supporting a Hitler Death Conspiracy is pretty flimsy. And yet, so is the evidence that Hitler died in the Bunker. It rests on testimony provided by fellow Nazis who were fanatical devotees of Hitler. As such, its not hard to imagine they might’ve lied to help their former leader. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that major intelligence agencies believed that Hitler might’ve survived the war. The FBI conducted “an extensive 11-year probe into the possibility that Hitler faked his own death with a bogus suicide in 1945". Soviet officials gave conflicting reports on whether or not they had found Hitler’s remains. Meanwhile, Josef Stain, Premier of the Soviet Union, maintained a strong belief that Hitler escaped Germany, a fact which he relayed to President Truman in 1945.

As for physical evidence, the Soviet Union has long been in possession of skull fragments taken from the bunker. These have always been considered definitive proof that Hitler committed suicide via gunshot. In 2009, forensic investigators examined these fragments and determined that they came from a woman instead. And just like that, all physical evidence pointing to suicide vaporized into smoke. If there is other physical evidence pointing to suicide [or to his escape], it is either lost to time or locked away somewhere [the U.S. government continues to keep many of its Hitler-related files classified, supposedly for National Security purposes – this same obsession with secrecy led to the nearly century long classification of World War I documents showing how to create invisible ink].

So, did Hitler fake his death and escape to Argentina? Was there truly a Hitler Death Conspiracy? While it’s impossible to say for sure, it certainly seems reasonable. Lesser Nazi officials successfully fled Germany and took up residence in South America. And the testimony supporting the suicide theory seems questionable at best.

Basti is presently searching for Hitler’s grave in Argentina, hoping to prove his case once and for all.  If Hitler escaped, the world deserves to know the truth about how he got away…and why his escape remained a secret for so long.


In Argen­tine Haven for Fugi­tive Nazis, April Means Choco­late Eggs and Hitler Parties
Twenty years after the cap­ture of Erich Priebke, some in Bar­iloche are try­ing to come to terms with the city’s legacy of silence
By Mered­ith Hoffman

Tablet magazine
29 April 2014

As a lit­tle boy Hans Schulz, the blue-eyed son of a Hitler Youth mem­ber, would walk uphill half a block each after­noon from the Ger­man school to his white stucco house in the Argen­tine ski resort of Bar­iloche, steps from an icy lake hugged by Andean peaks. Inside he’d often find his dad—the pres­i­dent of the town’s 'Ger­man Argen­tin­ian Cul­tural Association'—sitting with his vice pres­i­dent and close friend, an aus­tere, well-respected Del­i­catessen owner named Erich Priebke.

Priebke, who was also direc­tor of the town’s Ger­man school, the 'Cole­gio Ale­man', would bring his wife over, and they’d all dance in the liv­ing room. At Hal­loween, he appeared dressed up as a pirate. Even­tu­ally, Priebke—who arrived in Argentina after World War II—ousted Schulz’s father, a native of the town, as pres­i­dent of the Ger­man asso­ci­a­tion. “He entered Bar­iloche,” Schulz remem­bers, “and climbed, climbed, climbed.”

Last Octo­ber, Priebke died in Rome, where he spent his final years under house arrest serv­ing a life sen­tence for his role in car­ry­ing out the mas­sacre of 335 civil­ians at the Ardea­tine Caves in 1944, when he was a cap­tain in the Nazi SS. But from 1946, when he was smug­gled to Argentina, until 1994, when the TV jour­nal­ist Sam Don­ald­son con­fronted him on a Bar­iloche street, Priebke lived a com­fort­able, if fab­ri­cated, life in this Bavarian-styled city at the bot­tom of the world.

Priebke’s inter­view with Don­ald­son and sub­se­quent extra­di­tion to Italy to face trial for war crimes drew the world’s atten­tion to the fact that Bar­iloche, founded more than a cen­tury ago by a Chilean of Ger­man ances­try, had become a quiet haven for fugi­tive Nazis. Priebke was outed by his for­mer com­rade Rein­hard Kopps, a Nazi espi­onage agent who lived in the town under the name Juan Maler. Josef Men­gele report­edly turned up there, briefly, after flee­ing Buenos Aires fol­low­ing the Mossad cap­ture of Adolf Eich­mann in 1960; an entire cot­tage indus­try sprang up around the leg­end that Hitler him­self faked his sui­cide and took up res­i­dence at a com­pound out­side the town.

Today, 20 years after Priebke’s arrest, Bar­iloche is still strug­gling to come to terms with its Nazi legacy. Some, includ­ing mem­bers of the alpine town’s small Jew­ish com­mu­nity, say they are happy to sim­ply for­get and let the past die with the Nazis who lived there; oth­ers are deter­mined to lever­age the link to draw tourists. Yet oth­ers, like Schulz, insist it’s past time for their remote Ger­man colony to come to terms with the Third Reich and the Holo­caust in the same way Ger­many itself has. “Bar­iloche has stayed in the past,” said Schulz, now a bald­ing school­teacher with a stately demeanor. “Priebke died, but the ghosts are still here.”

***

I spent Easter morn­ing watch­ing men in white chef shirts and hard hats drive pick-axes into a three-story choco­late egg. Bar­iloche is famous for its Ger­man choco­late, and the annual cel­e­bra­tion, next to a stone bell tower in the Plaza San Mar­tin, has made the "Guin­ness Book of World Records". This year there were thou­sands of peo­ple crowded in the square: sweet tooth-crazed kids with bunny ears leap­ing fiercely for pieces of choco­late tossed to the crowd; giddy women scal­ing secu­rity gates to pho­to­graph the sten­ciled mon­stros­ity; the city’s mayor and other local offi­cials smil­ing benignly on the chaos.

Mean­while, just out­side of town, a more exclu­sive all-night cel­e­bra­tion was wind­ing down. April 20 wasn’t just Easter—it was Adolf Hitler’s birth­day, his 125th, in fact. The jour­nal­ist Abel Basti, who has writ­ten a con­tro­ver­sial book claim­ing that Hitler escaped to Bar­iloche and lived here for decades, told me the birth­day par­ties used to be held at a hotel down­town but have moved to obscure estates in the years since Priebke’s arrest. Basti, who has also writ­ten tour guides to Bariloche’s Nazi sights, said he had a spy at this year’s party but laughed when I asked if he could get me in. "It’s too dan­ger­ous," Basti told me when I sug­gested tag­ging along. He had been crack­ing jokes and chuck­ling through our inter­view at a Ger­man Bier­garten, but sud­denly he shifted tones. "I’m not sure he’s going to talk to you," Basti told me. The "spy," he said, was sup­posed to be help­ing him find the last pic­ture of Hitler alive in Latin Amer­ica, proof that has so far remained elu­sive. "This is seri­ous ter­ri­tory," Basti went on. "I laugh to be able to deal with this all the time. Oth­er­wise I’d write and I’d write and then I’d com­mit suicide".

A few days later, Basti agreed to give me a phone num­ber for his alleged spy, a stocky telephone-company worker in a base­ball hat who told me he wasn’t Basti’s spy at all. "I’m writ­ing my own guide," the man, Pedro Fil­ipuzzi, told me. And that wasn’t all. "I’m think­ing of start­ing a tourist com­pany out of this," he went on, excit­edly. "Abel was smart because he made the first tourist guide to Nazis in the world, but I’m mak­ing the first one for Buenos Aires".

The Bar­iloche Hitler party, he explained, was closely linked to a Buenos Aires Nazi. The night before, he told me, he’d called the host club pre­tend­ing to be a guest and asked, "Is Adolf’s party still on?" They told him yes, he insisted—but he hadn’t been able to get past secu­rity. "I counted 48 cars just out­side the gate, and there were many, many more inside," Fil­ipuzzi told me, his eyes wide and his voice ampli­fy­ing. "In Buenos Aires," he went on, "there’s a restau­rant that has a Hitler toast, but here’s the grand party".

"I thought you were look­ing for the last photo of Hitler alive, to help out Abel?" I asked. "Well, of course I’m look­ing for it, too," Fil­ipuzzi replied. "But on my own. Everybody’s look­ing for it".

A few hours before I met Fil­ipuzzi, a taxi dri­ver had claimed he could drive me to a "Nazi com­mune" four hours away for a few thou­sand pesos, or a few hun­dred dol­lars. I’d told him I was inter­ested, but then he showed up red-eyed to my hos­tel door and said he’d actu­ally need to drive me to another Ger­man town three hours away to find some­one there who could help us access the sup­posed Nazi Mecca—and wanted pay­ment up front. "This is the only chance," he said, angry, when I told him I would pass on the offer. He stormed off.

***

Bar­iloche is a siz­able city, but most of its Nazi attrac­tions are within a few-block radius, includ­ing Priebke’s 'Cole­gio Ale­man', also known as 'Primo Capraro', and other Ger­man cul­tural insti­tu­tions. Along with its thriv­ing ski and choco­late indus­tries, it attracts hip­pies and intel­lec­tu­als; yet, as with tourist towns every­where in the world, there are always peo­ple like Fil­ipuzzi or my taxi dri­ver look­ing to expand the trade. Even the city’s offi­cial tourist office, located in the Plaza San Mar­tin, will pro­vide infor­ma­tion from Basti’s tour guide to Nazi land­marks if vis­i­tors ask for it.

One place rarely vis­ited by tourists is the home of Jorge Priebke, son of Erich, a quiet cabin with a flower gar­den patrolled by a pack of fero­cious Dober­mans. The house, across from a lush pine-filled park and two blocks from the 'Cole­gio Ale­man', is sealed off by two metal gates. I opened the first and called out for Jorge at the sec­ond, where I met the dogs bark­ing and pounc­ing at my legs. A mousey gray-haired woman with glasses asked what I wanted; when I said I was a jour­nal­ist, she yelled that he’d gone out of town and added that he’d had a heart attack. Jorge Priebke has given a hand­ful of inter­views, but now that his father’s dead, the woman—his wife—told me, he wanted to be left alone. "He’s done," she said. But then she kept talk­ing about her late father-in-law. "It’s really not fair, they all said he was such a bad man, like it was all his fault," she whined through the metal gate. "And after he died they were all like ‘poor man.’ But you know how they are".

"Who? The world? The town?" I asked.

"The Jews," she replied. "They’re always like that. But Señor Priebke did a lot for this town". Then she shooed me off her prop­erty, telling me she had guests inside await­ing food. "All right, ciao ciao," she said, by way of goodbye.

Hers was far from the only defense of Erich Priebke I fell upon in Bar­iloche. "It was unjust," said Luis Sch­lik, the man­ager of a bar where I sat down to eat and write, when he learned what I was work­ing on. A native of north­ern Argentina, Sch­lik is of Aus­trian descent and moved to Bar­iloche 12 years ago, long after Priebke had been removed to Rome. Yet his opin­ions were firm: "He fol­lowed orders. What about a pilot with his plane that threw bombs over a city and killed civil­ians? Why isn’t he an assas­sin? They received an order. It’s the same with Priebke".

At the Casa Raul book­store, where I bought a copy of Basti’s Nazi guide, the owner, Nelly Gar­cia, leaped to defend her children’s for­mer leader at the 'Cole­gio Ale­man', call­ing him "this poor guy". When I asked if the school had the Holo­caust in its his­tory cur­ricu­lum, she said no. "There are worse mas­sacres that don’t get taught," she said, "like Rus­sians killing Gyp­sies. Why do we have to study the Holocaust?"

***

One of the most promi­nent Jew­ish lead­ers in Bar­iloche is Car­los Suez, whose DVD store is a block away from Erich Priebke’s old house and across the street from Rein­hard Kops’. When I vis­ited him, he shrugged off ques­tions about his town’s Nazis. "In every place in the world you’ll find anti-Semitism," he told me. At this point, he insisted, most local res­i­dents don’t know who Priebke is any more and don’t care. "He doesn’t have impor­tance," Suez said. "I see Nazism here as some­thing overcome".

But that laissez-faire atti­tude isn’t good enough for Schulz, the his­tory teacher, who believes that even if other towns­peo­ple have moved on, he still has a respon­si­bil­ity to atone for his own com­plic­ity in allow­ing men with a direct role in the Holo­caust live out their days undis­turbed by jus­tice. "In Bar­iloche there was never a pub­lic debate about Nazis," Schulz told me when we met for tea at the famed Ger­man choco­late shop Rapa Nui in down­town Bariloche. "It’s like hav­ing an assas­sin in your house and never talk­ing about it. You get sick". For him, the town’s Hitler indus­try is nec­es­sar­ily evil. "It’s a way to res­cue Hitler, to say they didn’t kill him," he said. "I lived with nega­tors of the Holo­caust. I came from the inside. It’s a very per­sonal thing".

Schulz sifted through piles of old pho­tos at our café table, includ­ing one of his dad with the mayor of Bar­iloche and a young, grin­ning Priebke. Schulz shows this pic­ture when he gives the lec­ture "Argentina and the Nazis," in a new dis­cus­sion series by an Amer­i­can tour com­pany that passes through Patag­o­nia. "I kept talk­ing to Priebke when he was in jail in Italy, we’d send let­ters back and forth. I wanted to learn why all this hap­pened," Schulz told me. "He died still say­ing that the gas cham­bers didn’t exist … claim­ing he never had any prob­lems with the Jews in Berlin".

That revi­sion­ism still finds an easy home in Bar­iloche, a fes­ter­ing infec­tion inside the lake’s aqua waves and moun­tains that bleed like pow­der into the clouds. The city is so far from Europe that, even in today’s hyper connected world, it can cre­ate its own ver­sion of the past, even as it tries to model itself after Euro­pean cities. Car­los Echev­er­ria, a Bar­iloche native who pro­duced a doc­u­men­tary about Priebke called "Pact of Silence", says the Nazis were hon­ored for their Ger­man roots, in a region that often favored Euro­peans over native peo­ple. "There are peo­ple who con­tinue remem­ber­ing that era with nos­tal­gia," Echev­er­ria told me of Bariloche’s Nazi zenith. Despite the film, released in 2006, Schulz insisted the dan­ger­ous silence still con­tin­ued and that the "Nazi men­tal­ity" con­tin­ued in forms of anti-Semitism and min­i­miz­ing the Holocaust.

Now 58, Schulz found him­self gal­va­nized by Priebke’s arrest. "I saw him as a good neigh­bor," he told me, using a phrase—"buen vecino"—I heard over and and over again by those who wanted to excuse Priebke’s Nazi crimes. He started by join­ing the board of direc­tors of the 'Cole­gio Ale­man', which is known as one of the best schools in Bar­iloche. The school, an arm of the 'Ger­man Argen­tin­ian Cul­tural Asso­ci­a­tion', offi­cially taught a state-mandated curricu­lum and was open to stu­dents of all back­grounds. But Schulz said when he joined the board, it was known that the con­tracts of teach­ers who taught much about the Holo­caust were gen­er­ally not renewed. His hope that he could change the insti­tu­tion from the inside was quickly dashed: In 2008, after Schulz attended an obser­vance of the 60th anniver­sary of Israel’s inde­pen­dence held by the town’s small Jew­ish com­mu­nity, his fel­low board mem­bers called him. "They asked me, ‘What were you doing there? Were you rep­re­sent­ing us?’ I told them I just went on my own, and they said they didn’t sup­port that," Schulz recalled. That year the direc­tors didn’t invite him back to the board.

Schulz decided to take his two chil­dren, then 10 and 13, out of the school, and dove into work­ing on a mem­oir about his fam­ily, his child­hood in Bar­iloche, and the dis­crim­i­na­tion he saw embed­ded in the town’s cul­ture. Most of the book, "Mandato Paterno" [Paternal Mandate]—focuses on Schulz’s father, who was born in Argentina of Ger­man descent and had been sent as a teenager to a six-month Nazi train­ing camp in Ger­many to become a “Hitler Youth” just before the war. "When I pub­lished my book, the 'Cole­gio Ale­man' board asked why I didn’t present it to them, since they were Ger­man," Schulz told me. "But to me the 'Cole­gio Ale­man' is not the Ger­many that exists now. I said 'I’m Ger­man too and I don’t think like you'.

School admin­is­tra­tors never responded to my requests for inter­views, and when I vis­ited the campus—a four-story beige build­ing with a green shin­gle roof—staff who greeted me insisted they had noth­ing to tell me about Bariloche’s Nazi cul­ture. At least one grad­u­ate, a 26-year-old named Pablo Roig, said he remem­bered being shown a video doc­u­men­tary about Priebke and the Ardea­tine Caves mas­sacre a few years after Priebke’s arrest. After­ward the stu­dents asked the teach­ers what should hap­pen to Priebke, whose case was still being appealed at the time. "She said he was older, and that peo­ple can change, and he seemed to have repented," Roig told me, when we met in Buenos Aires.

***

Mer­lin Maler, Rein­hard Kopps’ grand­son, is a scruffy blond Bohemian who makes his liv­ing as a snow­board instruc­tor. As a kid, he idol­ized his grand­fa­ther, who went by Juan Maler, the older man a devoted geol­o­gist who taught his grand­son about rocks and often took him on fish­ing trips. As a teenager, he once sold Kops’ Nazi medals for money to buy a skate­board; the neigh­bor who paid him drew a Swastika shape in the air so the boy would know what to look for as he rifled through his granddad’s cabinet.

"I was so stu­pid, I didn’t know what the sign meant," Maler, now 28, told me. He lives in a plant-stuffed roof loft in his grandfather’s old house, a laven­der cot­tage just uphill from the 'Cole­gio Ale­man' and Priebke’s Deli. "My friend explained to me that the sym­bol was bad, so I didn’t sell any­thing else because my skate­board sud­denly felt unclean," he went on. "But the neigh­bor kept com­ing back to ask for more".

The day Kopps outed Priebke, Maler’s lib­eral class­mates greeted him with applause at school, he remem­bers, but many in the Ger­man com­mu­nity shunned the boy for his relative’s defec­tion. "I asked my fam­ily when I was a child, 'Why don’t we speak about it?' Maler recalled as we sat at his hand­made wooden table. "My grand­mother said it was too painful, and that they were taken advan­tage of. I always saw my grand­mother as a vic­tim of the Nazis". The fam­ily leg­end, he explained, was that his grand­fa­ther fled to Argentina because he turned against the Nazis at the end of the war.

But Kopps is infa­mous for writ­ing anti-Semitic books and help­ing start a neo-Nazi com­mu­nity in Chile once he moved to Argentina. "He never taught me that." Maler insisted. "I’m a lover of nature, and [my grand­fa­ther] made me that. And human beings are a part of nature, so I love them all".

Reinhard Kopps was an SS Officer for the Nazi Party during World War II. Following the defeat of Germany in World War II, he helped Nazis escape to Argentina, finally fleeing there himself. Under the assumed name of Juan Maler, Kopps was hiding in the small town of Bariloche in the Andes Mountains. Bariloche was the home of many Germans after World War II.

Recently opened Nazi archives in 1994 caused ABC News to research Nazi war criminals. After research revealed many Nazis living in Argentina, Sam Donaldson confronted Maler on camera, getting him to admit that he was Reinhard Kopps, a former Nazi, and that he assisted Nazis to leave Germany and settle in Argentina. In order to deflect attention away from himself, he told Donaldson that an ever worse war criminal, Erich Priebke was also living there, confirming ABC News research. Priebke was soon arrested, and Kopps fled. The story was made for ABC's "Primetime Live," as well as "Nazi Hunters".


How Wall St. Bailed Out the Nazis
6 June 2013 

The amoral calculations of Wall Street insiders guided Washington’s post-World War II decision to give many Nazi war criminals a pass if they’d help in the Cold War against the world’s socialist movements. CIA Director Allen Dulles was just one of the ex-investment-bank lawyers pushing the trade-off, writes Jerry Meldon.

Near the end of World War II, the secret collaboration between U.S. spymaster Allen Dulles and Nazi SS officers enabled many German war criminals to escape prosecution and positioned them to fan the flames of post-war tensions between the former allies, the United States and the Soviet Union.

In that way, the Old Nazis — aided by Dulles and other ex-Wall Street lawyers – prevented a thorough denazification of Germany and put the Third Reich’s stamp on decades of atrocities during the long Cold War, spreading their brutal death-squad techniques to faraway places, especially Latin America

Though the World War II generation has largely passed from the scene and the Cold War ended more than two decades ago, the consequences of Dulles’s actions in those final days of World War II are still reverberating in Germany.

One of the after-shocks was felt in a Munich courtroom just last month, with the opening of the trial of Beate Zschape, a 38-year-old neo-Nazi who is accused as an accessory to two bombings, 15 bank robberies and ten murders between 2000 and 2007 by the terrorist cell, the “National Socialist Underground” [NSU].

Two male fellow gang members reportedly took their own lives to avoid arrest before Ms. Zschape torched their hideout and turned herself in, in November 2011. But the back story is no less disturbing.

Nine of the NSU’s ten murder victims were immigrants, eight of them Turkish, one Greek. All ten were slain execution-style by the same Ceska Browning pistol. Yet it took more than a decade for police forces across Germany and the country’s domestic intelligence agency, the Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution [BFV], to connect the dots that would link the homicides to Germany’s xenophobic neo-Nazi netherworld.

Troubling Background

But the question is whether the missed connections resulted from incompetence or complicity. Last summer, following reports of the massive shredding of BFV’s files on right-wing extremists, the head of the agency tendered his resignation. Then in November, "Der Spiegel" reported: "Four parliamentary committees [are] dissecting the work of law enforcement units … four department heads have already resigned. The government’s failures in fighting rightwing terrorists have plunged [the BFV] into the worst crisis since it was … set up in postwar Germany to … stop precisely the kind of extremist thinking that allowed the Nazis to rise to power in the 1930s. The discovery of the NSU and its crimes … has shaken the system to its core. …

"The more secrets come to light, the clearer it becomes how extensively intelligence agencies had infiltrated right-wing extremist groups. The trio of neo-Nazis that made up the NSU was surrounded by informants linked with [the BFV].  … One of the big questions … is whether [the BFV] actually strengthened military right-wing groups".

How the BFV worked at cross-purposes – coddling neo-Nazis while supposedly constraining them – is not entirely surprising in light of the circumstances surrounding the BFV’s birth.

West Germany’s first parliamentary elections in 1950 propelled into the chancellorship, Konrad Adenauer – a stalwart of the same party as that of current German chancellor Angela Merkel, the conservative Christian Democratic Union [CDU].

When Adenauer named Dr. Hans Globke as his Secretary of State, the West German chancellor laid his cards on the table. Globke’s checkered past included wartime service at the helm of the Nazi Interior Ministry’s Office for Jewish Affairs. He drafted the infamous Nuremberg Laws for the Protection of German Blood and wrote the "Commentary" that provided the rationale for genocide.

The Interior Minister who signed the Nuremberg Laws, Dr. Wilhelm Frick, was sentenced to death at Nuremberg and hanged in October 1946. Globke would appear to have been culpable, too, having advanced his career during Nazi rule. His immediate supervisor, Interior Ministry Legal Counsel Bernard Lösner, resigned following Hitler’s decision to proceed with the extermination of European Jewry. When Lösner stepped down, Globke stepped up and left his fingerprints on the Final Solution.

But Globke was not only spared the fate of some colleagues tried at Nuremberg but emerged as an important figure in shaping post-war West Germany. In the 1961 book, "The New Germany and the Old Nazis", T.H. Tetens, a German economist who worked for the U.S. War Crimes Commission, noted that Globke controlled every department of West Germany’s government in Bonn and “has done more than anyone else to re-Nazify West Germany".

Ex-Nazis Everywhere

"Der Spiegel" revisited the same subject in a March 2012 article headlined 'The Role Ex-Nazis Played in Early West Germany'. It reported that two dozen cabinet ministers, a president and a chancellor had belonged to Nazi organizations.

The article reported that historians were poring through voluminous BFV files “to determine how many of the Nazi dictatorship’s helpers hid under the coattails of the domestic intelligence service in the earlier years of the Federal Republic” and whether “the protection of the young, optimistic constitution [had been] in the hands of former National Socialists".

Berlin historian Michael Wildt told "Der Spiegel" he was convinced that the postwar police and intelligence services had been riddled with former Nazis. Entire government departments and agencies, he said, “covered up, denied and repressed” their murky history – which evoked the following mea culpa from Der Spiegel’s staff: "It’s a charge that doesn’t just apply to politicians and public servants, at least not in the early years of the republic. Senior members of the media, including at 'Spiegel', proved to be unwilling or incapable of sounding the alarm. This isn’t surprising, given the number of ex-Nazis who had forced their way into editorial offices".

Author T.H. Tetens noted the irony in Dr. Globke, “[the] former key administrator in the Final Solution, [having] full control over the Office for the Protection of the Constitution". Had he lived long enough, Tetens might have suggested that the BFV be renamed the Office for the Protection of Neo-Nazis.

Tetens might also feel vindicated by recently released CIA documents describing another branch of German intelligence that Globke’s controlled, the vast spy network run by Adolf Hitler’s former espionage czar, Lt. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, a.k.a. the "Gehlen Organization," a.k.a. "The Gehlen Org" or, simply, the "Org".

Until 1955, when West Germany became a sovereign state, the Gehlen Org operated nominally under the aegis of James Critchfield of the CIA – which paid for the Org’s intelligence product. In reality, Gehlen ran the Org from its creation in 1946 until his retirement in 1968. In 1956, the Org officially became Germany’s foreign intelligence service and was renamed the Bundesnachrichtendienst [BND].

Recently, the BND has been declassifying its files to come clean about its postwar origins. Documents released to date by both it and the CIA confirm suspicions that, at least in the Gehlen years, the Org/BND was little more than a U.S.-bankrolled "sheep-dipping" operation for fugitive Nazis.

The U.S. Connection

And this troubling history goes back even further to the days of World War II when the American intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services, fell under the control of a group of Wall Street lawyers who saw the world in the moral grays of business deals, measured less by right and wrong than by dollars and cents.

In the introduction to "The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA," author Burton Hersh identifies this common denominator: “In 1941 [the year of America’s entry into the war], an extraordinarily nimble New York antitrust attorney named William ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan inveigled Franklin Roosevelt into underwriting the first encompassing intelligence instrumentality, the Office of the Coordinator of Information [OCI].

"Donovan’s profession was relevant, and it was no accident that all three [of The Old Boys] load-bearing protagonists … Bill Donovan, Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner – achieved status in America by way of important Wall Street law partnerships. …

"The faction-ridden [OCI] gave way in 1942 to the [OSS]. From then on a civilian-directed, operationally oriented spy service would top the wish list of America’s emerging power elite".

These Wall-Street-lawyers-turned-spymasters brought their moral relativism and their ardor for aggressive capitalism to their World War II decision-making. Thus, they created an opening for Nazi war criminals who – after Germany’s crushing defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943 – saw the writing on the wall regarding the future of the Third Reich and started hedging their bets.

As the war ground on for two more years, thousands of them took steps to evade post-war prosecutions, in part, by arranging protection from British and American officials. Most of those American officials served in U.S. intelligence agencies, either Army intelligence or the civilian-run OSS, the CIA’s forerunner.

OSS spymaster Allen Dulles played into this Nazi game in spring 1945, as Soviet, British and American forces were converging on Berlin. Dulles engaged in negotiations for the separate surrender of German forces in Italy with SS General Karl Wolff.

It apparently didn’t bother Dulles that Wolff, like many of his SS brethren, was a major war criminal. After September 1943, when Italy withdrew from the Axis and made peace with the Allies, Wolff’s troops committed an average of 165 war crimes a day executing his orders to liquidate the Italian resistance and terrorize its supporters.

[In 1964, a German judge sentenced Wolff to 15 years in prison for various war crimes, including ordering the deportation of 300,000 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp].

Pushing the Envelope

Initially, Dulles met with Wolff in defiance of orders from the dying President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The contacts also were behind the back of Soviet leader Josef Stalin, whose army had not only turned the tide of the war at Stalingrad but was still doing the bulk of the fighting. As Hitler’s Third Reich neared the end of its days, six out of every seven German divisions were lined up against the Red Army.

Ultimately, Dulles secured authorization for what was code-named "Operation Sunrise", but his determination to consummate a deal with Wolff didn’t stop at negotiations. When the Italian resistance set a trap for Gen. Wolff, Dulles saved him in what his OSS colleague [and future Supreme Court Justice] Arthur Goldberg described as treason.

Moreover, when Soviet spies informed Stalin about the Dulles-Wolff assignations – which continued even as the Red Army suffered 300,000 casualties in a three-week period – the ensuing brouhaha played right into Hitler’s own game plan for survival.

Desperate to bolster the morale of his collapsing army, Der Führer seized on the dissension opening in the ranks of the Allies. He gave his generals the following pep talk [as transcribed in Gabriel Kolko’s "The Politics of War"]:

"
The states which are now our enemies are the greatest opposites which exist on earth: ultra-capitalist states on one side and ultra-Marxist states on the other. … [Their] objectives diverge daily … and anyone … can see how these antitheses are increasing. If we can deal it [the alliance] a couple of heavy blows, this artificially constructed common front may collapse with a mighty thunderclap at any moment'.

Indeed, Wolff’s surrender overtures to Dulles might have been an attempt to both save his own skin and help Hitler drive a wedge into the "artificially constructed common front".

The overall value of Dulles’s negotiations toward ending the war also was dubious. Less than one week before the general armistice ending the War in Europe, Dulles offered Nazi officers an advantageous deal, letting one million German combatants surrender to British and American forces on 2 May 1945, rather than to the Russians.

By surrendering to the British and Americans, most of these Germans not only avoided harsh treatment from the Russians but high-ranking Nazi officers benefited from the Truman administration’s quick pivot from its war-time alliance with Stalin to the Cold War confrontation with Moscow.

President Harry Truman’s staunchly anti-communist advisers, including Secretary of State James Byrnes, persuaded Truman to default on FDR’s commitment to a thorough postwar denazification of Germany, one in a series of decisions which enabled thousands of war criminals to avoid justice and permitted many to assume key positions in the new West German government.

Steering the Cold War

Yet, the use of Nazis by U.S. intelligence agencies had the additional dangerous effect of letting the Nazis influence how the United States perceived its erstwhile allies in Moscow. Washington formulated much of its early Cold War policies based on information about Moscow’s intentions that originated with Gehlen’s blemished agents.

These infamous Final Solution perpetrators included:

– Willie Krichbaum, reportedly the Gehlen Org’s top recruiter. As the senior Gestapo official for southeastern Europe, Krichbaum managed the deportation of 300,000 Hungarian Jews for extermination.

Dr. Franz Six, former Dean of the Faculty of the University of Berlin and Adolf Eichmann’s immediate supervisor in the Ideological Combat branch of the SS security apparatus. In 1941, according to a report he wrote [which Christopher Simpson cites in "Blowback: The First Account of America’s Recruitment of Nazis, and its Disastrous Effect on our Domestic and Foreign Policy"], a Six-led SS commando group murdered 200 people in the Russian city of Smolensk, "among them 38 intellectual Jews".

Wanted for war crimes, Six joined the Gehlen Org in 1946, but later was betrayed by a former SS officer working undercover for a US/UK dragnet for fugitive Nazis. In 1948, a U.S. military tribunal sentenced him to 20 years for war crimes including murder. After serving four, he was granted clemency by John McCloy, another Wall Street lawyer then serving as U.S. High Commissioner for Germany. Six then rejoined the Org.

Six joined the Nazi Party in 1930 and the Sturmabteilung [SA] in 1932, for whom he was a student organizer. Six joined the Sicherheitsdienst [SD] in 1935. Impressed by his academic achievements and outstanding curriculum, Reinhard Heydrich appointed him as head of Amt VII, 'Written Records of the RSHA' which dealt mainly with ideological tasks. These included the creation of anti-semitic, anti-masonic Propaganda, the sounding of public opinion and monitoring of Nazi indoctrination by the public. He held this post until 1943 when he was succeeded by Paul Dittel.

On 17 September 1940, the same day on which Hitler abandoned the idea of an invasion of Great Britain, Heydrich charged him to plan the elimination of anti-Nazi elements in Britain following a successful invasion by the Wehrmacht, since this task would be appointed to the RSHA, which included the SD. Among other things, his responsibilities included the detention of some 2,300 individuals immediately after the conquest of Britain by Germany. Their names came from a list previously compiled by Walter Schellenberg, Chief of Amt VI, Ausland-SD that made up the foreign intelligence branch of the SD. This list included British politicians, namely Winston Churchill and other members of the Cabinet, writers like Sigmund Freud, even though he had died in September 1939, the philosopher Bertrand Russell, members of exiled governments, financiers such as Bernard Baruch and many other anti-Nazi elements. According to William L. Shirer's book "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich", Churchill was to be placed into the hands of RSHA Amt VI Ausland-SD, but most of the rest of the people on the list were to be turned over to RSHA Amt IV [Gestapo]. A separate list also named many organizations which would have to be dismantled as well, namely the Freemasons, the Jehovah's Witnesses and even the Boy Scouts.

Franz Six was also charged with the creation of six Einsatzgruppen to be located in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool and either Edinburgh or Glasgow. These death squads would be charged with the elimination of civilian resistance members and Jews all over Great Britain.

After the Battle of Britain, Hitler gave up on his attempts to invade Great Britain and thus Six' plans came to nothing. On 20 June 1941, Six was assigned as chief of Vorkommando Moscow a unit of Einsatzgruppe B in the Soviet Union. During this command, Six' Kommando reported "liquidating" 144 persons. The report claimed "The Vorkommando Moscow was forced to execute another 46 persons, amongst them 38 intellectual Jews who had tried to create unrest and discontent in the newly established Ghetto of Smolensk". He was promoted by Heinrich Himmler on 9 November 1941 to SS-Oberführer for exceptional service in the Einsatz. On 31 January 1945, he was again promoted to SS-Brigadeführer. Six was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg in the Einsatzgruppen Trial of 1948. Unable to link him directly to any atrocities, the Nuremberg tribunal sentenced him to 20 years' imprisonment. A clemency court commuted this sentence to 10 years, and he was released on 30 September 1952. CIA files suggest Six joined the Gehlen Organization, the forerunner to the Bundesnachrichtendienst, in the 1950s.

Franz Six retired to Friedrichshafen in southern Germany. He worked as a publicity/advertising executive for Porsche. In 1960, he was interviewed by British journalist Comer Clarke for his book "England Under Hitler".

Six was called as one of four witnesses by defense attorney Robert Servatius in the 1961 trial in Israel of Adolf Eichmann, and gave his testimony by deposition in West Germany. Servatius had wanted to have Six appear in person, but Prosecutor Gideon Hausner stated that the former Nazi general would be subject to arrest as a war criminal. Six' testimony was introduced in Eichmann's defense, but proved to be of more help to the prosecution.

– Gestapo captain Klaus Barbie, the infamous “Butcher of Lyon,” who escaped via the so-called “Rat lines” to South America, where he then worked with right-wing intelligence services and organized neo-Nazi support for violent coups against elected and reformist governments, including the 1980 “cocaine coup” in Bolivia. After decades of spreading Nazi techniques across Latin America, Barbie was arrested and returned to France where he was given a life sentence in 1984 for ordering the deportation of 44 Jewish orphans to the death camp at Auschwitz

– SS Colonel Walter Rauff, who dodged postwar prosecution for developing mobile gas vans and administering their deployment to murder some 250,000 Eastern Europeans, mostly Jewish women and children. The appearance of Rauff’s name on the list is interesting because, as the Milan-based SS intelligence chief for northwestern Italy in 1945, he was Gen. Wolff’s liaison with Allen Dulles.

According to a 1984 "Boston Globe" Op-Ed by former U.S. Justice Department lawyer John Loftus, Rauff, after playing his part in Operation Sunrise, calmly turned himself in and told agents of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps [CIC] that he had made surrender "arrangements [with] Mr. Dulles … to avoid further bloodshed in Milan".

In Loftus’s words, Dulles "promised that none of the [surrender] negotiators would ever be prosecuted as war criminals. When Truman and Stalin discovered what Dulles [had been up to], there were outraged orders to call off Sunrise… [But] Dulles went ahead anyway, with Truman’s reluctant concurrence … [Dulles] kept his bargain … Rauff was released".

Christopher Simpson confirms in Blowback that "each of the SS officers involved in Operation Sunrise [escaped] serious punishment … despite the fact that each was a major war criminal". A U.S. military tribunal tried [SS intelligence chief] Walter Schellenberg, who had helped trap and exterminate the Jews of France. He was convicted but freed shortly thereafter under a clemency [order] from the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John McCloy…

“Wolff was sentenced to ‘time served’ in a [British] denazification proceeding in 1949, then released … without … objection from … U.S. … authorities. Fifteen years later a West German court tried Wolff a second time. He was convicted of administering the murder of 300,000 persons, most of them Jews, and of overseeing SS participation in slave labor programs".

Fleeing to Latin America

However, when the war ended, neither the Gehlen Org recruitment program nor Wall Street lawyer McCloy’s clemency rulings had begun, leaving tens of thousands of war criminals desperate to relocate in secure foreign outposts. SS Col. Rauff just happened to have the right connections to make that happen.

In "Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, the Nazis and Soviet Intelligence", Australian investigative reporter, Mark Aarons, and former Justice Department lawyer Loftus reconstruct how Rauff became the mass murderers’ travel agent of choice.

Shortly after the Wolff/Dulles surrender negotiations were successfully completed on 29 April 1945, Rauff was arrested by unidentified Americans and delivered to an OSS unit led by James Angleton, the future CIA counter-intelligence chief.

From its description by Aarons and Loftus, Angleton’s team appears to have been tracking communists in the Italian underground – which would have been consistent with Washington’s postwar policy of backhanding leftwing resistance leaders, from European partisans to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh, irrespective of the magnitude of their contributions to the Allied cause.

Angleton’s team reportedly debriefed Rauff at length, probably about what he had learned when he carried out Wolff’s orders to liquidate the resistance. After Angleton’s team released him, Rauff established contact with his former SS colleague Friederich Schwendt – who was already on the payroll of the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps [CIC] and, like Rauff himself, was wanted for murder.

Schwendt was also a master counterfeiter. He laundered his product through banks, obtaining legitimate Western currency in return – enough, in fact, that over the next three years, Rauff was able to furnish thousands of fellow war criminals false identities and one-way tickets to South America.

Rauff himself wound up in Chile, where he later reportedly advised Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s ruthless secret police.

As for Allen Dulles, he became director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Under his leadership, the CIA overthrew democratically elected governments in Iran [1953] and Guatemala [1954] and replaced them with anti-democratic dictatorships. To this day, neither country has fully regained its democratic footing.

After the CIA’s disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, President John F. Kennedy sacked Dulles, but Dulles did not wander far from the centers of power. After JFK’s assassination two years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked Dulles to serve on the Warren Commission’s investigation of Kennedy’s murder.

Dulles died on 29 January 1969. However, even today, seven decades after Dulles opened the door to U.S. collaboration with Nazi war criminals, his decision continues to infect government actions around the globe.


Jerry Meldon, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, is the English translator of "The Great Heroin Coup", by Danish journalist Henrik Kruger

How South America Became a Nazi Haven
How and why South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile became safe havens for thousands of former Nazi party members and SS officers in the years following the fall of the Third Reich
By Christopher Klein
13 November 2015

Lightning flashed across the Argentine skies as Ricardo Klement stepped off a bus after finishing his shift as an assembly line foreman at a Mercedes-Benz automotive plant. As he walked to his small brick house in a middle-class Buenos Aires suburb on 11 May 1960, he passed by a chauffer and two men working under the open hood of a black Buick limousine. Suddenly, Klement was grabbed by the men and hauled kicking and screaming into the back seat of the vehicle, which sped off into the night.

Everyone involved in the abduction was playing a high-stakes game of deception. Klement was actually Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi SS lieutenant colonel who masterminded the transport of European Jews to concentration camps, and the men with the limousine were Israeli secret service agents.

Eichmann was hardly alone among Nazis in finding refuge in South America after the fall of the Third Reich. According to a 2012 article in the "Daily Mail", German prosecutors who examined secret files from Brazil and Chile discovered that as many as 9,000 Nazi officers and collaborators from other countries escaped from Europe to find sanctuary in South American countries. Brazil took in between 1,500 and 2,000 Nazi war criminals, while between 500 and 1,000 settled in Chile. However, by far the largest number—as many as 5,000—relocated to Argentina.

Due to the hundreds of thousands of German immigrants who lived in the country, Argentina maintained close ties with Germany and remained neutral for much of World War II. In the years after the end of the war, Argentine President Juan Peron secretly ordered diplomats and intelligence officers to establish escape routes, so-called “Ratlines,” through ports in Spain and Italy to smuggle thousands of former SS officers and Nazi party members out of Europe. As with numerous other fascist-leaning South American leaders, Peron had been drawn to the ideologies of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler while serving as a military attaché in Italy during the early years of World War II. The Argentine president also sought to recruit those Nazis with particular military and technical expertise that he believed could help his country, much like the United States and the Soviet Union who both poached scientists from the Third Reich to assist them in the Cold War.

According to Uki Goñi, author of "The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron’s Argentina", the Peron government in 1946 sent word through Argentine Cardinal Antonio Caggiano to a French counterpart that the South American country would be willing to receive Nazi collaborators from France who faced potential war crimes prosecution. That spring, French war criminals carrying passports issued by the International Red Cross stamped with Argentine tourist visas began to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

In their attempts to aid Catholic refugees amid the post-war rise of communist regimes across Europe, numerous Vatican officials unwittingly aided in the escape of Nazi war criminals, but some clerics such as Bishop Alois Hudal did so with full knowledge of their actions. According to Goñi, Hudal, an Austrian-born admirer of Hitler who ministered to prisoners of war in Rome, admitted to abetting Nazi war criminals by providing them with false identity documents issued by the Vatican that were then used to obtain passports from the International Red Cross.

Hudal also aided the Franciscan monk in Genoa, Italy, who supplied Eichmann with an Argentine visa and signed an application for his falsified Red Cross passport, which allowed him to board a steamship to Buenos Aires in 1950 under the assumed identity of Ricardo Klement. The German legal team that examined South American files in 2012 told the "Daily Mail" that most of the Nazis who entered the continent did so using forged Red Cross passports, including 800 SS members to Argentina alone.

Many of the Nazis who escaped to South America were never brought to justice. SS colonel Walter Rauff, who created mobile gas chambers that killed at least 100,000 people, died in Chile in 1984. Eduard Roschmann, the “Butcher of Riga,” died in Paraguay in 1977. Gustav Wagner, an SS officer known as the “Beast,” died in Brazil in 1980 after the country’s supreme federal court refused to extradite him to Germany because of inaccuracies in the paperwork. Perhaps the most notorious of the fugitives was Dr. Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" who conducted macabre experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp. He fled to Argentina in 1949 before moving to Paraguay in 1959 and Brazil a year later. Buried under an assumed name after drowning off the Brazilian coast in 1979, Mengele had his identity confirmed only after forensic testing of his remains in 1985.

In some cases, the United States was complicit in the exodus of Nazi war criminals to South America. Following the war, the U.S. Counter-Intelligence Corps recruited Klaus Barbie—the Gestapo chief in Lyon, France, who played a role in the deaths of thousands of French Jews and members of the French Resistance—as an agent to assist with anti-Communist efforts. He was smuggled to Bolivia, where he continued his spy work and instructed the military regime on how to torture and interrogate political opponents. “The Butcher of Lyon” was finally extradited in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison after his conviction for crimes against humanity. Barbie became one of the few Nazis who fled to South America but ultimately couldn’t escape justice, much like Eichmann who was also convicted of crimes against humanity by an Israeli court and executed in 1962.


 

In the Andean ski resort of Bariloche in Argentina Erich Priebke, an SS captain stationed in Rome during the German occupation, ran the yellow-brick Vienna Delicatessen, where the cold cuts and cheeses were said to be the best in town.

Some customers called it "the Nazi Deli". Very few cared. Mr Priebke was a fine-looking, straight-backed, hard-working man, with the ingrained courtesy of someone who had spent his formative years as a waiter at the Savoy Hotel in London and on the Italian Riviera. Arriving in Argentina without a bean in 1948, he had worked his way up to become a pillar of Bariloche society. He also taught at the German school, and ran the meetings of the German-Argentine Cultural Association. At their dinner-dances he was famous for waltzing and polka-ing the night away.

He did not hide his past; he lived under his own name. But he was not expansive. So he was both polite and surprised when in April 1994, wearing his Bavarian hat, he was stopped on his way to his car by Sam Donaldson of ABC’s "Primetime Live", who charged him, on camera, with killing civilians at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome on 24 March 1944, and with killing children. In all 335 men and boys had been rounded up and shot, by far the worst reprisal of the war in Italy. Each prisoner had had his hands tied behind his back, and had been shot in the back of the head. And Priebke had been there, as a young man, doing it. “No, no,” he answered, laughing, turning his head as if to bat off a troublesome fly. “Not at all.".

He then backtracked a little, struggling with his rusty English. There might have been some civilians killed, but they were “merely terrorists”, communists. They had blown up 33 members of a group of German soldiers in the Via Rasella the day before, and [with a grim little smile] “for every German soldier, ten Italians had to die.” But "I didn’t shoot anybody". Besides, "that was our order". Such things, he told Mr Donaldson, happened in war.

The 11th Company of the German 3rd Battalion of the SS Polizei Regiment "Bozen", consisting of 156 men, were on their regular daily march through the streets of Rome to the Macao Barracks, when they became the target of the Italian underground movement. On 23 March 1944 [the 25th anniversary of the day Mussolini formed his Fascist Party] the police company were climbing the narrow Via Rasella when a bomb, placed in a road sweepers cart, exploded. Twenty six SS policemen were killed instantly and sixty others wounded, two more died later. Some civilians were also killed. The German Commandant of Rome, General Kurt Malzer, ordered the arrest of all who lived on the street. Some 200 civilians were rounded up and turned over temporarily to the Italian authorities.

Hitler, on hearing of the bombing, immediately ordered that 30 Italians were to be shot for every policeman killed. This number was later reduced to 10. Within twenty four hours, 335 people were loaded onto lorries and driven to a network of caves on the Via Ardeatina discovered by the Germans earlier and where the disbanded Italian army had hidden barrels of petrol and some vehicles. At 3.30pm the executions started, each victim ordered to kneel and was then shot in the back of the head. By 8pm it was all over. In 1947, SS Obersturmbannführer Herbert Kappler, who was in charge of the executions, was arrested and faced court in Rome. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1972, Kappler was allowed to marry his German nurse, Anneliese Wenger and in 1976, with her help, he escaped from the prison hospital. Seven months later, at her home in Soltau in northern Germany, Herbert Kappler died of cancer of the stomach. SS General Malzer was sentenced to life, later reduced to 21 years, but died in prison on 24 March 1952.

A British military tribunal in 1946 had acquitted him of the massacre for that reason. The ABC interview now forced his extradition from Argentina to Italy to face murder charges, but in 1996 an Italian court also acquitted him. His defence had not changed. The massacre had been ordered directly by Hitler: impossible to disobey it. His commanding officer had said that if any officer refused to take part in the shooting, he would be shot too. Priebke himself was not really a soldier, but had been recruited into the Gestapo as a translator and liaison with the Italian police. He didn’t want to kill anyone, it was a terrible experience, but he feared what might happen to his wife and his two young sons, George and Ingo, if he disobeyed.

This story had eased his path in the post-war years, when he escaped from a British prisoner-of-war camp, lived under an alias for two years in the Tyrol, and fled to Argentina with forged papers supplied by the Vatican.

Under the direction of the extremist "Wiesenthal Center", he was to be presented to the media as a "German monster",  and in 1998 he was sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes. As he was in his mid-80s, this was commuted to house arrest in Rome.

He was the man crossing off names as the victims were ushered into the caves to meet their doom.

Erich Priebke had been ordered to carry out a retaliatory action legally covered by the law of war after Italian partisans in Rome had murdered 38 young South Tyrolean police officers as well as some Italian civilians, including a child in a booby trap. Priebke was declared a ‘War Criminal’ by the victorious powers, who cited the fact that amongst the terrorist menace which were put down, there were a number of Jews. 

Reprisals for guerrilla-activity in war are hardly unique to Germany, and 10-to-1 (as alleged in Priebke’s case) is not even a high ratio for such reprisals.
[Cf. the 1000-to-1 ratio that the Bolsheviks applied to the Russian 'Bourgeoisie' whenever a Bolshevik was killed]. The US military these days tends to disguise its reprisals against civilians in the form of bombardment, e.g. the bombardment of Fallujah, Iraq in 2004.

In fact the whole US policy of sanctions on Iraq during the 1990s represents reprisal against civilians on a colossal scale, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Sam Donaldson makes much of the allegation that some 14-year-old boys may have been shot in reprisals for guerrilla-activity in 1944, but it was only two years later [1996] that US Secretary of State Madeleine Allbright gave the notorious interview in which she said, "We think the price is worth it" in regard to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children that resulted from economic sanctions intended to force "régime-change" in that country.

The infamous helicopter gun-video leaked by Bradley Manning shows what seems to be more or less random killing of civilians on a street by US forces in Iraq, based on the premise that one or two of those present seemed to have weapons. How does reprisal for killings by guerrillas compare to that?

When the country that suppresses guerrilla-activity through reprisals loses a war, actions of this kind become "massacres" in the parlance of the victors, and since 1945 those who carry out such actions become "war-criminals"' — if their side loses the war.


Q: In your opinion, what brought about the escalation of discrimination against Jews in Germany?

Final Interview With Erich Priebke, July 2013

Thanks to James Damon for the English translation of this outstanding interview given by Erich Priebke to his Italian attorney Dr. Paolo Giachini and translated anonymously into German.

The Interview

Question: Herr Priebke, several years ago you stated that you never deny your past. Now that you are 100 years old, do you still think that?

Answer: Yes.

Q: Would you please elucidate?

A: Long ago I made the decision to remain true to myself.

Q: So, do you still consider yourself a National Socialist?

A: Loyalty to our past determines our convictions and our character.

This is the way I view the world and my ideals. It is what was once our German Weltanschauung, the way we view the world. It is what still determines my sense of honor and my self-respect. Politics is something different. National Socialism perished with the defeat of Germany and today there is no longer any prospect of its continuation.

Q: Does this Weltanschauung that you mention also include anti Semitism?

A: If you want to discover the truth with your questions you must stop using certain clichés and prejudices, because to criticize does not mean to exterminate. Since the early 20th Century the conduct of the Jews has been widely criticized in Germany. The fact that Jews exercised enormous economic and political power, even though they were a very small part of the population, was considered unjust. Today it is still a fact that, if we consider the thousand richest and most powerful men in the world, we must acknowledge that a very large number of them are Jews, Jewish bankers and Jewish owners of multinational corporations. Especially after Germany's defeat in the First World War and under the yoke of the Versailles Diktat, Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe led to a catastrophe in Germany. This was caused by their sudden immense accumulation of capital at a time when the overwhelming majority of Germans were suffering severe poverty under the Weimar Republic. In this climate of desperation the usurers greatly increased their wealth, which caused feelings of frustration and resentment of the Jews.

Q: What is your opinion about the old story that Jews are allowed by their religion to practice usury while this is forbidden for Christians?

A: This is certainly not my idea. You have only to read Shakespeare or Dostoevski to realize that, in the historical perspective, such problems with the Jews have existed from Venice to St. Petersburg. This does not mean that Jews were the only usurers, however. I agree with the poet Ezra Pound, who said "I see no difference between a Jewish usurer and an Arian usurer".
 
Q: Do all these things justify anti Semitism?

A: No, Jewish usury does not mean that there are no upright and honorable Jews. I repeat what I just said: anti- Semitism implies unconditional hatred. Even during the long years of my persecution I, an old man deprived of my freedom, always rejected hatred. I choose not to hate even those who hate me. I insist on nothing but the right to criticize and I always explain the reasons for my criticism. I would also like to point out that, because of their unique religion, many Jews consider themselves superior to other peoples. They identify themselves with "God's chosen people" as mentioned in the Bible.
 
Q: Didn't Hitler also speak of the superiority of the "Aryan" race?

A: Yes, Hitler also succumbed to ideas of racial superiority, and this caused certain errors from which there was no returning. However one has to consider that racism was the norm all over the world. It was not just a popular belief, it was enshrined in law and government. Even after the Americans ceased being slave dealers and importing Africans they continued highly racist and they practiced official discrimination against black people. Hitler's first "racial laws" did not restrict the rights of Jews any more than Americans restricted the rights of Negroes in many states of the USA. The same was true of English discrimination against Asian Indians. The French acted no differently toward their so-called inferiors in their colonies. We won't even mention the treatment of ethnic minorities in the old Soviet Union.

Dorothy Schneider and Carl J. Schneider in "An Eyewitness History of Slavery in America From Colonial Times to the Civil War" [New York: Checkmark Books, 2000, 2001], cite “the total number of slaving trips to the New World between 1527 and 1866 at 27,233. Almost 12 million slaves were embarked from Africa....."

Overcrowding, minimal and monotonous diet [two meals per day and a pint of water], poor hygiene, epidemics, and lack of physical activity decimated, on each and every 1-2 months long trip, a whopping one seventh to one fourth of the "cargo" and one sixth to one half of the crew. Another 10% of the slaves died during the process of "seasoning" - getting used to local conditions in their destinations.

Most abolitionists - as well as President Abraham Lincoln [who was never one] - wanted to repatriate the Blacks [return them to Africa] and, in any case, expel all free Blacks from northern and, later, southern territories. The African nation-state of Liberia was established specifically to accommodate former North American slaves.

It was widely acknowledged that slave-owners should be compensated for the loss of their property. Not a single abolitionist supported or even discussed reparations [compensating the slaves for their free labor, denial of freedom, brutal treatment, and hardships]. It was accepted wisdom that Blacks - both slaves and free - should never be allowed to carry arms.

Slaves in the South [the Confederacy]  were finally emancipated in 1863, during the Civil War. But, even then, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not apply to some states within the Union. These other slaves remained in slavery until December 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted.

The U.S. had used genocide against the Indians in the U.S., under politicians that treated Indians like they had treated Blacks. Remember Dred Scott v Sandford, 60 US 393, 407; 15 L Ed 691, 701 [1857], people with "no rights which [anyone] was bound to respect; and . . . might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit . . . ." Slavery included genocide, killing tens of millions. Killing Indians, expanding slavery, taking others' land and property, both were standard U.S. polices.

Hitler called Germany's "Manifest Destiny" Lebensraum. As a matter of perspective, America's Lebensraum policy, "Manifest Destiny," had violently expanded the US from a sliver of 13 colonies along the Atlantic, to continent-wide over the dead bodies of Indians, Blacks, and Mexicans.

A: The situation became radicalized and ever more intense. It turned into German Jews, Americans, British and then global Jewry on one side and Germany on the other. The situation forced the German Jews into an increasingly difficult position. The decision to impose restrictions on Jews in Germany made life ever more difficult for them. In November 1938 a Jew named Grünspan killed a member of our consulate in France, Ernst von Rath, as a protest against Germany. The result was Reichskristallnacht in which groups of demonstrators throughout the Reich smashed windows of Jewish shops. After that the Jews were treated strictly as enemies. After coming to power, Hitler initially encouraged the Jews to leave Germany. Ultimately, in a climate of great and growing distrust of Jews caused by war, boycotts and open conflict with global Jewish organizations, the Jews in Germany were interned in camps as enemy populations. This was of course a catastrophe for many innocent families.

Q: So, in your opinion, were Jewish sufferings their own fault?

A: Jewish suffering was inextricably connected with the War and there was guilt on both sides. There was guilt on the side of the Allies who unleashed the Second World War against Germany after the partitioning or repartitioning of Poland. This was a region in which the large ethnic German population was exposed to constant depredations, a region that had been placed under control of the newly resurrected Polish state by the Dictate of Versailles. Nobody raised a finger against Stalin's Russia on account of the partitioning. On the contrary: At the end of the conflict, which ostensibly came about to defend Poland against German aggression, Stalin was rewarded with all of Eastern Europe including all of Poland.

Q: Apart from political revisionism, do you sympathize with historical revisionism?

A: I am not sure just what "revisionism" means. If we are talking about the Nuremberg Tribunal I can only say that it was political theatre. It consisted of fantastic show trials staged for the sole purpose of depicting the German nation and its leaders as inhuman monsters. Its aim and purpose was to slander our defeated nation, which was completely unable to defend itself.

Q: What is your basis for this allegation?

A: What can you say about a self-appointed "court" that prosecutes only the crimes of the vanquished while ignoring those of the victors? What can you say about such a "court," in which the victors are simultaneously accusants, prosecutors and judges and impose unique new criminal laws ex post facto merely in order to convict? Even US President Kennedy called the Nuremberg trials "disgusting." In his words, they "violated the American Constitution in order to punish a defeated enemy".
 
Q: Even if, as you allege, the "crimes against humanity" for which German leaders were convicted in Nuremberg had not previously existed as such, but were first so designated by the International Tribunal, must it not be said that the charges were based on horrible crimes?

A: Consider that at Nuremberg the Germans were prosecuted for the Katyn massacre. Then in 1990 Russian President Gorbachev admitted that these same prosecutors had ordered the murders of twenty thousand Polish officers in Katyn Forest. In 1992 President Yeltsin published the original document ordering the executions, which was signed by Stalin. The Germans were even accused of having made soap from Jewish corpses. Bars of "Jew Soap" were exhibited in museums in Israel, the US and other countries. It was not until 1990 that a professor at the University of Jerusalem finally admitted that "Jew Soap" was a hoax.

Shortly after the war the public prosecutor's office of Flensburg, Germany, began legal proceedings against Dr. Rudolf Spanner for his alleged role in producing human soap at the Danzig Institute. But after an investigation the charge was quietly dropped. In a January 1968 letter, the office stated that its inquiry had determined that no soap from human corpses was made at the Danzig Institute during the war.

-- Erich Kern [Kernmayer], "Meineid Gegen Deutschland" [1971]: See also: "
Deutsche Wochen-Zeitung" [Munich], 29 March 1991

More recently, Jewish historian Walter Laqueur "denied established history" by acknowledging in his 1980 book, "The Terrible Secret" [Boston: 1980], that the human soap story has no basis in reality.  Gitta Sereny, another Jewish historian, noted in her book "Into That Darkness"  [London: A. Deutsch, 1974]: "The universally accepted story that the corpses were used to make soap and fertilizer is finally refuted by the generally very reliable Ludwigsburg Central Authority for Investigation into Nazi Crimes".

Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history, similarly "rewrote history" when she confirmed in 1981: "The fact is that the Nazis never used the bodies of Jews, or for that matter anyone else, for the production of soap".

-- 'Nazi Soap Rumor During World War II', "Los Angeles Times", 16 May 1981

In April 1990, professor Yehuda Bauer of Israel's Hebrew University, regarded as a leading Holocaust historian, as well as Shmuel Krakowski, archives director of Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust center, confirmed that the human soap story is not true. Camp inmates "were prepared to believe any horror stories about their persecutors," Bauer said. At the same time, though, he had the chutzpah to blame the legend on "the Nazis."

-- Bill Hutman, 'Nazis never made human-fat soap,' "The Jerusalem Post - International Edition", week ending 5 May 1990; 'Holocaust Expert Rejects Charge That Nazis Made Soap From Jews', "Northern California Jewish Bulletin", 27  April 1990. [JTA dispatch from Tel Aviv]. Facsimile in: "Christian News", 21 May 1990; 'A Holocaust Belief Cleared Up', "Chicago Tribune", 25 April  1990. Facsimile in: "Ganpac Brief", June 1990.

In fact, blame for the soap story lies rather with individuals such as Simon Wiesenthal and Stephen Wise, organizations like the World Jewish Congress, and the victorious Allied powers, none of whom has ever apologized for promoting this vile falsehood.

Why did Bauer and Krakowski decide that this was the appropriate time to officially abandon the soap story? Krakowski himself hints that a large part of the motivation for this "tactical retreat" has been to save what's left of the sinking Holocaust ship by throwing overboard the most obvious falsehoods. In the face of the growing Revisionist challenge, easily demonstrable falsehoods like the soap story have become dangerous embarrassments because they raise doubts about the entire Holocaust legend. As Krakowski put it: "Historians have concluded that soap was not made from human fat. When so many people deny the Holocaust ever happened, why give them something to use against the truth?"

-- 'A Holocaust Belief Cleared Up', "Chicago Tribune", 25 April 1990.

The bad faith of those making this calculated and belated concession to truth is shown by their failure to note that the soap myth was authoritatively "confirmed" at Nuremberg, and by their unwillingness to deal with the implications of that confirmation for the credibility of the Tribunal and other supposedly trustworthy authorities in establishing other, more fundamental aspects of the holocaust story.

Holocaust museum, author at odds
by Russ Num
Associated Press Writer
28 September 2000

ATLANTA (AP) -- A dispute over a new memoir has cast a spotlight on the powerfully enduring belief that the Nazis made soap from the bodies of Jews -- something that Holocaust scholars largely dismiss as myth.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington has refused to allow a book-signing for an Atlanta man whose memoir tells the story of an uncle, Philipp Auerbach, who says the Nazis forced him to make soap from victims at Auschwitz. [In Auschwitz, Auerbach served as the chief chemist preparing medicines and pesticides. -- "Jewish Virtual Library"]

Ben Hirsch said the museum doesn't want to be seen as endorsing the soap-making stories in his book, "Hearing a Different Drummer".

Museum officials did not immediately return calls for comment. But Peter Black, the museum's chief historian, told The "Atlanta Journal-Constitution"  that Hirsch "was advocating that we explore what is essentially a dead end".

Historians have never been able to prove, or disprove, that the Nazis used human fat to make soap. Many say the tales are probably just rumors so gruesome that they are still circulating nearly 60 years later.

But Hirsch, whose parents and two siblings died in concentration camps, said his book offers new evidence -- excerpts from unpublished memoirs that his uncle typed in broken English.

"How dare you say that it didn't happen when you say there's not enough proof," Hirsch, 68, said. "I just can't imagine anybody writing a memoir and saying they made soap if they didn't. It's not something to be proud of".

One Holocaust scholar said the museum has good reason to distance itself from Hirsch's soap story: The tale could give new ammunition to those who insist the Holocaust was a hoax.

"Holocaust deniers have seized upon the soap story as proof of demonstrating the unreliability of Holocaust survivors," said Christopher Browning, a historian at the University of North Carolina. "I don't think they can afford to compromise themselves on this".

Raul Hilberg, considered the dean of Holocaust scholars, said rumors that the Nazis made soap from human fat started circulating in Poland in 1942, the same year they first appeared in American newspapers.

Testimonial accounts of soap-making tend to be secondhand at best. Hilberg said he cannot recall a single account from a survivor who saw human soap being made. He said he doubts the soap stories, in part, because the Germans would have found such a product repulsive.

"The idea of washing oneself with soap made of human fat, aside from the fact they didn't like Jews and didn't want any contact with them, it was considered sick," he said.

Hirsch's memoir, which remains on the shelves at the museum's bookstore, mostly recalls his experience as a U.S. soldier in post-World War II Germany. But he uses one chapter to criticize scholars for rejecting stories of human soap.

For those who ask, the Holocaust museum distributes a fact sheet saying the story that Nazis used corpses for soap is a rumor that has never been substantiated.

"This one soap story keeps rolling around," said Deborah Lipstadt, an Emory University history professor who recently prevailed in a legal dispute against a British scholar, David Irving, whom she accused of denying the Nazis slaughtered millions of Jews. "Soap became sort of a metaphor -- they killed them and made soap out of them -- to show how horrible the Nazis were".

Q: Yes but the concentration camps were not inventions of the Nuremberg Tribunal, were they?

A: In those terrible war years there was natural expediency in interning civilian populations that were considered a threat to national security. Every country did that. In the United States, persons of Asian descent were interned whose ancestors had immigrated generations before. Germany also interned civilian populations that it considered a threat.

In 1941, Jewish emigration was officially prohibited. This prohibition was not, however, consistently implemented in practice. The deportation of Jews to work camps and ghettos began in 1941. This occurred for two reasons in particular: first, the Germans needed their labour, since a majority of German men were at the front. Secondly, the Jews indisputably represented a security risk. The Jew Arno Lustiger, a former resistance fighter and survivor of several camps, has proudly boasted that Jews represented 15% of all active resistance, yet the percentage of Jews in the French population at that time was no more than 1%. The Communist "Red Orchestra" espionage organization, which did cause Germany enormous harm, was made up mostly of Jews [On the "Red Orchestra", see for example, Gerd Sudholt, "Das Geheimnis der Roten Kapelle", Druffel, Leoni, 1979]

Other states have interned suspicious minorities with far less justification: thus, in the USA, all persons of Japanese ancestry, even those with American passports, were interned in camps ["Historische Tatsachen", no. 41]. This was done even though there was never a single case of espionage or subversion by Japanese-Americans, as admitted by Ronald Reagan decades later.

The Jews in individual German-ruled countries suffered from the deportation to a widely varying extent. Disproportionately hard-hit were the Dutch Jews, of whom more than two thirds were deported. On the other hand, according to Serge Klarsfeld, only 75,721 Jews were deported from France. This corresponds to approximately one fifth of the total Jewish population at that time [Serge Klarsfeld, "Le Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France", Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, Brussels/New York, 1982]; of these, a great many were deported, not on the grounds of their religion or race, but for being resistance fighters or criminals. This often led to deportation for non-Jews as well.

Q: But in American concentration camps there were no gas chambers, were there?

A: As I have said, a great many bogus charges were manufactured for Propaganda purposes. As for homicidal gas chambers in German camps, we are still waiting for proof of such allegations. The internees of course had to work. Many of them worked outside the camps during the day and returned in the evening.

Auschwitz was first and foremost a very important complex in Upper Silesia composed of three main camps and 39 sub-camps scattered over the whole of one region. The mining, industrial, agricultural operations, and the researches there, were considerable: coal mines, petro-chemicals, armaments, explosives, synthetics, artificial rubber, cattle-breeding, fish farms, etc. At Auschwitz there were free laborers as well as internees, and prisoners condemned to life imprisonment as well as prisoners interned for a shorter time.

Allied air photos of Auschwitz show that the Polish peasants worked their fields right up to the fences. This means that it would have been impossible to keep secret what went on there. The heavy passenger and freight traffic passing through the busy railroad hub at Auschwitz would likewise have made secrecy difficult or impossible, as would the fact that many of the prisoners were employed as workers in German plants and factories, both civilian and military. These internees had frequent contact with prisoners of war from other nations, as well as German and foreign civilians. In addition, a large number of civilian construction companies with all their employees were involved in erecting many buildings in the concentration and prisoner of war camps. Furthermore there were constant releases and furloughs from the concentration camp.

"Civilian workers and engineers would not have been permitted to mingle with the inmates. Passes would not have been granted to Germans in the camp, and their family members would not have had visiting rights. Above all, the prisoners who had served their sentences would not have been released and permitted to return to their respective countries".

That well guarded secret among historians was revealed several years ago in an article by Louis De Jong Director of the Institute of World War II History of Amsterdam in "Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte", Munich, 1969, Heft 1: 'Die Niederlande und Auschwitz' [The Netherlands & Auschwitz]
.

Sensitive to the delicate nature of these kinds of revelations, the director of the review, H. Rothfels, explains in a foreword the reason why he has consented to publish this study. The reason is that Louis De Jong, not being a German, could not possibly be suspected of being an apologist for National Socialism; on the contrary, as director of an official institute like that in Amsterdam, he had given all desirable pledges of his seriousness. This preface gives some idea of the situation in which German historians find themselves. There are certain truths which they cannot utter without being suspected of being apologists for Nazism. It is also important to note that Mr. Louis De Jong is even less suspect because he is of Jewish origin.

"Auschwitz internees who had served their sentences were released and returned to their home countries. If Auschwitz had actually been a top secret extermination center, the Germans would certainly not have released inmates who 'knew' what was happening in the camp".

-- Walter Laqueur, "The Terrible Secret", Boston: 1981

The severe manpower shortage during the War is incompatible with allegations of internees standing in line to be murdered in gas chambers. The danger of using a gas chamber extends beyond its immediate vicinity and would have been hazardous for everyone in camp, including the guards. It is an absurd idea that millions of people could have been sent to their deaths in this way, at the same place where large numbers were living and working. As a practical matter it is impossible.

Were we to approach a random person on the street who happened not to have any specific knowledge of Holocaust history, and were we to ask that person to define “the Holocaust,” that person might reply, “Hitler gassed six million Jews to death” This is a massive over simplification of the events that encompassed the Holocaust. Furthermore, it is factually incorrect. First, in dealing with the normative history, according to Holocaust historian Raul Hilberg, roughly half of all Jewish deaths in the Holocaust took place entirely outside the concentration camps. Even all of the deaths that did take place in the camps were not the result of the use of poison gas.

Thus the statement that six million Jews were gassed is untrue. More important to the subject at hand, however, the "man-on-the-street" definition is a classic under-definition of the Holocaust because it fails to include various killing techniques used besides poison gas, it fixes the death toll at an exact figure [rather than a range], and it leaves out all of the other participants in the Holocaust and lays blame solely on Hitler.

-- Andrew E. Mathis, "General Semantics and Holocaust Denial"

Q: When did you first hear of a plan to exterminate Jews in gas chambers?

A: I was a prisoner in an English camp along with Walter Rauff when I first heard of such a thing. We were both amazed. We could not believe such a terrible story: homicidal gas chambers to murder men, women and children!

I discussed the matter with Col. Rauff and other prisoners for days on end.

We all belonged to the SS and were all Party members, serving in various capacities but nobody had ever heard of such a thing. Just imagine: Many years later I learned that Rauff, who shared many a hard loaf with me in prison, had been accused of inventing mysterious "mobile gas vans". No one who knew Walter Rauff could have come up with such an idea.

Otto Skorzeny after the war worked for the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, according to an investigation by a CBS reporter, Dan Ravid, and a colleague of the Israeli daily "Haaretz", Yossi Melman. This is not the only case since German general Walter Rauff, known for his anti-Semitism, also collaborated with the Mossad, as evidenced by declassified CIA documentation.

Skorzeny was a lieutenant colonel of the Waffen-SS; he gained fame and was decorated by the Führer forseveral missions that he fulfilled with success, like the rescue of Benito Mussolini in September of 1943, the operation to overthrow the Hungarian dictator Miklos Horthy, when Hungary was about to sign for peace with the Soviet Union In September 1944, or the infiltration behind enemy lines, after landing in Normandy, including the capture of tanks. After the end of the war, he surrendered to the Americans, but after two years of being incarcerated and subjected to process, allied military judges acquitted him in 1947. It was then that he moved to Spain, living in that country and also sporadically in Argentina.

In 1962, Mossad agent Joe Raanan contacted him in Madrid, but not to capture or assassinate him. On the contrary, to add him as a collaborator of the Jewish organization, in order to obtain information on former Nazis and former scientists who worked for Hitler and who, after the war, had been hired by the Egyptian government. Skorzeny accepted the job in exchange for being taken off Israel's list of targets and Wiesenthal's wanted list. Thus he began to collaborate actively with the Mossad in the operations against the scientists who worked for the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser. He was send bomb letters, obtained valuable information and even assassinated the German scientist Heinz Krug, in Munich. The campaign of intimidation was successful, and shortly afterwards most of the German experts had left Egypt, and Skorzeny, removed from the list of the Mossad could live quiet until his death in July 1975 in Madrid.

According to documentation from the CIA, another Nazi, in this case General Walter Rauff - who invented the mobile gas chambers - was also hired by the Mossad, performing tasks similar to those of Skorzeny. Rauff, in the last stage of his life, lived peacefully in Chile and was personal adviser to the dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Q: What about the eyewitnesses to the existence of gas chambers?

A: No homicidal gas chambers were ever found except for one at Dachau, which the Americans built after the War. Judicial or historical evidence simply does not exist.

The alleged gas chamber at Auschwitz 1, shown to tourists, was "reconstructed" by the Russians in 1947 on the site of a crematorium and morgue, later used as an air raid shelter (with gas-tight door). Until the mid-nineties, it was presented to visitors as "original". Even today the public are encouraged to believe it is in its original state and you will only be told it is a "reconstruction" if you actually ask, or go to a very obscure corner of their web site [last paragraph on that page].

At Auschwitz 2 there are only ruins of buildings whose plans and specifications in the Auschwitz Construction Office are for crematoria and morgues, with nothing to identify them as gas chambers; the ovens are crematorium design for individual bodies and their capacity is far too low for the mass murderous use claimed for them.

Between 18 January and 10 March 1972, two architects responsible for the design and construction of the crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Walter Dejaco and Fritz Ertl, were put on trial in Vienna, Austria. During the trial, an expert report on the possible interpretation of the blueprints of the alleged gas chambers of the Auschwitz and Birkenau crematoria was presented to the court. The report concluded that the rooms in question could not have been gas chambers, nor could they have been converted into gas chambers. Thanks to this first methodologically sound expert report on Auschwitz, the defendants were acquitted.

The statements and confessions of camp commandants, the best known of which is Rudolf Höss of Auschwitz, would be unacceptable in any real court of law. His admissions were wildly self-contradictory. He was severely tortured at Nuremberg, then gagged and hanged at the insistence of the Russians. In the absence of evidence, confessions of defendants and statements of witnesses were vitally important for the prosecutors. Reliance on coercion in cases where the defendants or witnesses refused to confess or testify was inevitable, and it included threats against family members. From my own experiences as a prisoner of war, as well as those of friends, I am familiar with the methods used to force confessions from German prisoners, who often did not understand English and could not read what they signed. The treatment of German prisoners in the Russian camps is now widely known: the prisoners were simply forced to sign whatever was placed before them.

In 1960 Martin Broszat, a member of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, wrote:

"Neither in Dachau nor in Bergen-Belsen nor in Buchenwald were Jews or other inmates gassed. The gas chamber at Dachau was never completely finished, nor put 'into service...'

"The mass extermination of Jews through gas began in 1941-42, and took place exclusively in a few places selected and equipped with the help of corresponding technical installations, above all in occupied Polish territory (but nowhere in the Old Reich): in Auschwitz, in Sobibor am Bug, in Treblinka, Chelmno, and Belzec". 

--'Keine Vergasung in Dachau', "Die Zeit", 19 August 1960

Interestingly, Majdanek is missing from Broszat's list of camps equipped with gas chambers; the two words "above all" are presumably intended to evade answering the question of whether or not gas chambers ever existed at Mauthausen [Austria] and Struthof-Natzweiler [Alsace]. With regards to camps in the "Old Reich" [i.e., the German Reich with the 1937 borders], Broszat established: no gassings occurred there. 

The Nuremberg Trial indictment charged the Nazis with killing 1,500,000 people at Majdanek, a camp in Poland. This  figure was conjured by Saul Hayes, a Canadian journalist in the pay of a Canadian Zionist organization, the Canadian Jewish Congress. It is now claimed that only 78,000 people died in this camp, officially.

In 2005, Thomas Kranz, director of the research department of the Majdanek museum, stated that 78,000 prisoners had perished in the camp. approximately 59,000 Jews and 19,000 people of other ethnic backgrounds, mostly Poles and Byelorussians.  Kranz published his estimate in the latest edition of the journal "Zeszyty Majdanka".

An exaggeration of 1,422,000!

Several years after the war, before both British and French tribunals, the camp officials of Ravensbrück [Suhren, Schwarzhuber and Treite] repeatedly confessed to the existence of a "gas chamber" in their camp. They even vaguely described its operation. Eventually, those who did not commit suicide were executed because of this alleged "gas chamber." The same "confessions" were given prior to their deaths by Franz Ziereis for Mauthausen [Austria] and by Josef Kramer for Struthof-Natzweiler [Alsace].

The total number of deaths at Buchenwald is estimated at 56,545 with little mention of Jews. 

At Bergen-Belsen, an estimated 50,000 people died there, up to 35,000 of them dying of typhus in the first few months of 1945. 

Of the roughly 30,000 wartime victims at Sachsenhausen, most were Russian prisoners of war. 

At Maly Trostenets Yad Vashem currently estimates the number killed as 65,000 while German historian Christian Gerlach estimates the number to be in the range of 40,000-60,000, mostly Jews from Minsk. 

At Ravensbrück, about 30,000 to 40,000 women and children perished there, mostly Polish, few Jews. 

The total number of prisoners at  Struthof-Natzweiler reached an estimated 52,000 over the three years. Strenuous work, medical experiments, poor nutrition and mistreatment by the SS guards resulted in a documented 4,431 deaths.

Over 200,000 prisoners were housed in Dachau of which nearly one-third were Jews; 32,099 prisoners are believed to have died in the camp and almost another 10,000 in its sub camps, primarily from disease.

-- Wikipedia

The reservations expressed in this letter were made explicit by Dr. Broszat in the "Preliminary Note" to the article by Ino Arndt and Wolfgang Scheffler in "Organisierter Massenmord an Juden in national-sozialistischen Vernichtungslagern" [Organized Mass Murder of Jews in National Socialist Extermination Camps]:

"As we have pointed out already, the extermination of Jews in the institutional sense [accomplishment of the program of the "final solution"] by means of gassing installations took place exclusively in the aforementioned camps in the occupied Polish territories. In turn, in the concentration camps generally, there were indeed crematories [for the cremation of the detainees who died en masse or were killed during the war]   but no gassing installations. However, where that was the case [the alleged presence of gas chambers in Ravensbrück, Natzweiler, Mauthausen] they did not serve for the extermination of Jews in the sense of the "final solution" program. They served rather to ease the "work" of the execution commandos, which until now consisted in shooting the detainees, killing them by injections of phenol, and by other methods".

This sudden and unexplained concession is significant. At Nuremberg trial the only homicidal gas chamber that the accusation ventured to show in a film had been that of Dachau, and the testimonies telling of alleged homicidal gassings in the 3 above-mentioned camps had been numerous. M. Broszat thus implicitly acknowledged that those testimonies were false. 

In order to support his contention, Dr. Broszat provided not the slightest piece of evidence. Neither he nor any of his colleagues has provided the slightest explanation for this affirmation. It would be highly interesting to learn:

1. How does Dr. Broszat know that "gas chambers" in the Old Reich were frauds?
2. How does he know that the "gas chambers" in Poland are genuine?
3. Why do the "proofs," the "certainties," and the "eyewitness accounts" concerning the concentration camps in the west suddenly have no value, while the "proofs," "certainties," and "eyewitness accounts" concerning the camps in Poland Communist territory still remain true?

As if by some tacit agreement, not a single recognized historian has raised these questions. How often in the "history of history" has one relied upon the claims of a single historian?

The famed Simon Wiesenthal has also admitted that "there were no extermination camps on German soil" in a letter to the editor of "Books and Bookmen", April 1975. Although he later wrote in a letter dated 12 May 1986 to Professor John George of Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma, that he "could never have said such a thing," Wiesenthal reconfirmed his earlier statement in a letter to the editor published in the European edition of "Stars and Stripes" dated 24 January 1993.

Q: Do you consider the millions of deaths in concentration camps nothing but an invention of the victors?

A: I was personally familiar with the German camps. The last time I visited a camp was Mauthausen in May of 1944 in order to interrogate the son of Badoglio. I spent two entire days there and observed the huge kitchens in operation to feed the inmates. Mauthausen even had bordellos - it had everything except gas chambers!

Unfortunately a great many people died in those camps at the end of the War but it was not because they were murdered. Harsh conditions, starvation and lack of care at the end of the War caused their doom. Civilian tragedies were not restricted to concentration camp inmates, however. They were the order of the day throughout Germany primarily because of the Allied carpet bombings of cities.
 
Q: Do you trivialize the tragedy of the Jews during the Holocaust?

A: There is little to trivialize. Tragedy is tragedy. We should be concerned with historical reality rather than "trivialization". It obviously was in the interest of the victorious powers to avoid being held responsible for the atrocities they committed. They totally destroyed entire cities in Germany in which there was not a single German soldier in order to kill as many women, children and elderly as possible. Their intention was to break our will to fight. This was the fate of Dresden, Hamburg, Lübeck, Berlin and many other cities. Our enemies exploited the advantage of their heavy bombers to target civilians in their homicidal frenzy. The same fate befell the population of Tokyo and then, with the atomic bomb, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Because of these unsurpassed atrocities against civilian populations, it was necessary for the victors to invent bizarre stories of atrocities that they alleged were committed by Germany. They depicted Germans as satanic creatures in horror stories that Hollywood made into horror movies. Little has changed in the propaganda of the global power elite since World War II: they still see themselves as "exporting democracy" with "peace missions" against "scum". In the process they manufacture images of their targets as "terrorists" bent on committing ever more monstrous atrocities. In actuality they attack everyone who does not submit to their wishes, primarily with their air forces. They delight in mowing down masses of civilians and soldiers who lack the means to defend themselves. In the course of "exporting democracy" to one country after another it happens that their "humanitarian interventions" result in the establishment of puppet governments that serve their economic and political interests.

Q: How do you explain unambiguous evidence of atrocities such as photographs and films of concentration camps?

A: These films are in fact more evidence of falsification. Almost all of the pictures of "German death camps" are of Bergen Belsen. That was a camp that various agencies created by bringing inmates who were unable to work from all the other camps. There was a huge convalescent facility there, which tells us a great deal about the intentions of the Germans. It would be very odd to construct such facilities for prisoners who were going to be gassed. By 1945 the Allied bombing raids had left the camp without food, water, medicines and other supplies to combat raging epidemics of typhus and dysentery, which killed many thousands of inmates. The horrific movie of the camp was made in April 1945 after Bergen-Belsen had been devastated by the epidemics. The movie was made specifically for propaganda purposes by Alfred Hitchcock, the masterful English producer of horror films. The cynicism and total absence of human feeling in the movie are indeed horrifying. For many years Hitchcock's movie has been broadcast on TV accompanied by somber background music. It unscrupulously deceives the public by linking terrible scenes with gas chambers that did not exist. Pure falsification!
 
Q: So, in your opinion, the reason for this deception was to cover or trivialize the atrocities of the victors?

A: Yes, this was true even at the beginning. General MacArthur followed the Nuremberg scenario with the Tokyo Trials in Japan. In that case the victors again thought up novel crimes and atrocities that ended with the death of the accused by hanging in order to criminalize the Japanese, who had already suffered atomic weapons of mass destruction. The Allies even accused the Japanese of cannibalism!
 
Q: Why do you say it was "at the beginning" that the victorious powers used deceptions to cover their own atrocities?

A: Because after that, the Zionist state of Israel began using the "Holocaust" story for its own benefit. It profited in two ways. The first way is explained very well by Prof. Norman Finkelstein, the son of Jews who were interned at Auschwitz. In his book "The Holocaust Industry" he explains how "Shoa Business" brought many billions of dollars in damages and reparations to Israel and Zionist organizations. He refers to this as "regular organized extortion." The second way Israel benefits from "Holocaust" is explained by Sergio Romano, who no one considers a revisionist. Following the war in Lebanon, Israel realized that exaggerating and accentuating the dramatic elements in "Holocaust" literature gives it advantages in its territorial disputes with Arab countries. This gives Israel a kind of diplomatic immunity.
 
 Q: All over the world people refer to the Holocaust as "extermination". Do you deny or have doubts about that?

A: The propaganda of the global power elite is indeed overwhelming. A historical subculture is manipulating the world's conscience by playing on our human emotions. The younger generations in particular are being brainwashed in school, besieged with gruesome stories that suppress their ability to think critically or form individual opinions. As I stated earlier, the world has been waiting for 70 years for evidence of the atrocities for which we Germans are blamed. The historians have not found a single document supporting the existence of homicidal gas chambers. Not a single written order, instruction, report by a government agency or communication by personnel. There is absolutely nothing. In the total absence of documentation the judges at Nuremberg pointedly assumed that the German program for a "permanent solution to the Jewish problem," which provided for the deportation of to Madagascar or other locations in the East, was a secret code word for "extermination." How absurd! In 1941, while the War was fully under way and we were still winning in Africa as well as Russia, the Jews were encouraged to leave Germany voluntarily and then they were more strongly encouraged to leave. Only after the War had been underway for more than two years did Germany introduce measures to limit their freedom.

"Himmler, who was responsible for the new racial order in Hitler’s conquered territories, showed signs of uncertainty about the development of events. In a report to Hitler of May 1940 he totally ruled out the 'Bolshevistic method of physical annihilation of a people and that such a policy could not even be imagined, because it is completely 'un-Germanic'. Hitler noted on the document’s border: 'Absolutely right', and told Himmler he could show it to the other Nazi leaders as being congruent with his 'line of thinking'

-- Yehuda Bauer, Professor of Holocaust Studies and Director of the Holocaust Museum of Yad Vashem [Jerusalem] in his book "Buying Jews Freedom?" Jewish Publishing House, Frankfurt 1996

"However cruel and tragic each individual case may be, this method is still the mildest and best, if one rejects the Bolshevik method of physical extermination of a people out of inner conviction as un-German and impossible".

-- Heinrich Himmler as quoted in Christopher Browning, 'Madagascar Plan' "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust" Ed. Israel Gutman [New York: Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1990]

"The Wannsee Conference of 20 January  1942, where, it was claimed for over a third of a century, the decision to "exterminate" European Jews, disappeared from 1984 on from the writings of even the most ferocious enemies of the "revisionists". On this point, they too had to "revise" their history : it was at the Stuttgart Congress of May 1984, where that "interpretation" was dropped".

--Gerhard Jäckel and Jürgen Rohwer."Der Mord an der Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg" [The murder of Jews during the Second World War] Source : DVA. 1985

"In thousands of newspaper articles, books, textbooks, radio broadcasts, memorial speeches and television shows, the claim has been advanced that the mass murder of the Jews was decided on at the Wannsee Conference, or at the least, that the plan to carry out Adolf Hitler's order in this respect had been worked out there. As well, it is claimed, the means of killing had been discussed and the establishment of extermination camps was decided on. This is not in the Protocol, and leading Holocaust historians are now repudiating it".

--Eberhard Jäckel, "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", 22 June 1992 

The most recent spokesman for the orthodox antirevisionist historians, the chemist Claude Pressac, confirmed this new revision of orthodoxy. He wrote on page 35 of his book :"Les crematoires d'Auschwitz" [CNRS editions, 1993]:

"The Wannsee conference was held in Berlin on 20 January 1942. If an action of "driving back" the Jews towards the East was planned, with the evocation of a "natural" elimination through work, nobody then spoke of liquidation on an industrial scale. During the days and the weeks that followed, the Auschwitz Bauleitung received neither a call, a telegram or a letter demanding the study of an installation adapted to that end".

And even, in his "recapitulative chronology", he indicates on 20 January 1942 : "Wannsee Conference on the driving back of the Jews towards the East".

It is equally remarkable that, in all this book setting itself the goal of "proving" the thesis of extermination, there was no question either of the document which, after that of Wannsee, was supposedly the most decisive: Göring's letter to Heydrich of 31 July 1941, in which it was asserted that the "final solution" meant "extermination", and not the transfer out of Europe.

On 31 July 1941 SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, Chief of the Reichssichterheitshauptamt [RSHA], the main police authority in Hitler's Reich, secured a ten-minute interview with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, who was head of the Four Year Plan, and obtained his signature on a Vollmacht [authority] empowering Heydrich to draw up arrangements for an overall solution or settlement [Gesamtlösung] to the Jewish Problem. Göring directed Heydrich to report back to him. Heydrich had drafted the letter himself, down to even typing its letterhead.

The full text of the letter, from Göring to Heydrich, ordering the 'Final Solution' [Nuremberg Document PS-710] is quoted below:

To the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS Gruppenführer Heydrich

Berlin

In completion of the task which was entrusted to you in the Edict dated 24 January 1939, of solving the Jewish question by means of emigration or evacuation in the most convenient way possible, given the present conditions, I herewith charge you with making all necessary preparations with regard to organizational, practical and financial aspects for a total solution [Gesamtlösung] of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.

Insofar as the competencies of other central organizations are affected, these are to be involved.

I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan of the preliminary organizational, practical and financial measures for the execution of the intended final solution [Endlösung] of the Jewish question.

Göring

Göring signs the letter without even reading it.

In 1961, after more than a dozen years’ labour, Raul Hilberg published "The Destruction of the European Jews". In this work, he presents "the destruction of the European Jews" as a vast undertaking ordered by Hitler in person who, he says, gave two orders to that effect; then various German administrative, police and military bodies, in abidance with those orders, coordinated their efforts duly to prepare, organise, monitor and carry out that vast criminal undertaking. He professed to explain in detail the political, administrative and bureaucratic process of that destruction; for example he went so far as to write that at Auschwitz the extermination of the Jews was organised by an office that was in charge of both the disinfection of clothing and the extermination of human beings.

Guy Sitbon, permanent US correspondent for the weekly "Le Nouvel Observateur", had a lengthy interview with Hilberg ['Les Archives de l’horreur', "Le Nouvel Observateur", July 3-9, 1982]. The latter said some astonishing things, basically amounting to an admission that, with regard to the destruction of the European Jews and the Nazi gas chambers, there were not really any documents but only testimonies that “concur, just about”. Although Hilberg, of course, maintained his general argument, his explanations were radically different from those that he had given till then.

Later, in New York, before an audience of nearly 2,700 at Avery Fischer Hall, Hilberg summed up his new argument: the entire German policy of physical destruction of the Jews was to be explained by… thought transmission. If no document attesting to that criminal policy was to be found, this was because no such document existed.  He put it in these words:

"But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They [these measures] were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy". [Quoted in George De Wan, 'The Holocaust in Perspective', "Newsday" [Long Island, New York, 23 February 1983]

On 16 January 1985 Hilberg confirmed those words and that explanation at Ernst Zündel’s trial in Toronto. He did so under oath during his cross-examination by Zündel’s barrister, Douglas Christie.

On the stand he was forced to admit that there had never been a plan, a central organization, a budget or supervision for what he called the policy of the extermination of the Jews.

He also had to admit that since 1945 the Allies have never carried out an expert study of "the weapon of the crime," that is to say of a homicidal gas chamber. No autopsy report has established that even one inmate was ever killed by poison gas.

Hilberg said that Hitler gave orders for the extermination of the Jews, and that Himmler gave an order to halt the extermination on 25 November  1944. But Hilberg could not produce these orders. The defense asked him if he still maintained the existence of the Hitler orders in the new edition of his book. He dared to answer yes. He thereby lied and even committed perjury. In the new edition of his work [with a preface dated September 1984], Hilberg systematically deleted any mention of an order by Hitler. [see the review by Christopher Browning, 'The Revised Hilberg',  "Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual", 1986].

"Just as there exists no clear order of extermination by gas at Auschwitz, there exists no order to stop in November 1944....neither at the Nuremberg trial, nor during the course of marginal trials, nor at the Höss trial in Cracow, or of Eichmann in Israel, nor at the trial of the camp commanders, nor at the Frankfurt November 45-August 46 trial of secondary Auschwitz figures, was the famous order signed by Himmler on 22 November  1944 on the end of the extermination of Jews by gas ever found, the order putting an end to the Final solution".

-- Olga Wurmser-Migot, "Le systeme concentrationnaire Nazi". P.U.F 1968

When he was asked by the defense to explain how the Germans had been able to carry out an undertaking as enormous as the extermination of millions of Jews without any kind of plan, without any central agency, without any blueprint or budget, Hilberg replied that in the various Nazi agencies there had been "an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus mind-reading by a far-flung bureaucracy." [Hilberg’s testimony on 16 January 1985 {Toronto: trial transcript]

If the "meeting of minds" within the bureaucracy, is "incredible" or unbelievable, why then should it be believed? Must one believe the unbelievable? Hilberg also brings up "mind reading" and states it was performed by "consensus",  but this is a matter of pure intellectual speculation grounded in a belief in the supernatural. How can one believe in such a phenomenon, particularly within a vast bureaucratic structure and, still more particularly, within the bureaucracy of the Third Reich?

That same year the “revised and definitive” edition of his book appeared. In it, he did not use the expression “consensus-mind reading” but wrote:

"In the final analysis, the destruction of the Jews was not so much a product of laws and commands as it was a matter of spirit, of shared comprehension, of consonance and synchronization".

He spoke of “countless decision makers in a far-flung bureaucratic machine” without “a basic plan”. He evoked “written directives not published”, “oral directives and authorisations”, and “basic understandings of officials resulting in decisions not requiring orders or explanations”. There had been “no one agency”, and “no single organisation directed or coordinated the entire process”. He concluded that the destruction of the Jews was “the work of a far-flung administrative machine” and that “no special agency was created and no special budget was devised to destroy the Jews of Europe. Each organisation was to play a specific role in the process, and each was to find the means to carry out its task”. he concluded. [Raul Hilberg, "The Destruction of the European Jews", New York, Holmes and Meier, 1985, 3 vols]

There are many curious aspects to this memo. It suggests that Hitler verbally gave the order to Göring. This seems strange because Himmler as commander of the SS was more in a position to implement such an order. Many historians believe that it was Heydrich that wrote the memo and convinced Göring to sign the memo. The memo itself is curious. Heydrich was not in Göring's chain of command. Why did the order not come from Himmler to Heydrich? And why did Göring transfer the assignment to Heydrich. What appears clear is that Heydrich wanted the assignment. No one knows for sure why this was, but it was presumably because it would increase his esteem in Hitler's eyes.

Heinrich Himmler told his doctor, Felix Kersten, that Heydrich was part-Jewish and that Hitler knew this. Hitler said his "non-Aryan origins were extremely useful; for he would be eternally grateful to us that we had kept him and not expelled him and would obey blindly". This was in fact the case.  ["The Kersten Memoirs", 1957]

In other words, Heydrich was doubly ruthless against Jews to prove his loyalty. Heydrich accepted tasks "which no one else would care to do".

"The most remarkable thing about the meeting at Wannsee [which was not called the ‘Wannsee Conference’ until after the war] is that we do not know why it took place. So wrote the celebrated German historian Eberhard Jäckel".

-- 'Die Konferenz am Wannsee', "Die Zeit" [17 January 1992]

The protocol of the Wannsee conference does not support the exterminationist thesis in any way. It simply states that the Jews would be evacuated to the East, which is in accordance with other German documents describing precisely the same policy.

Q: If evidence such as you mention - that is, a document signed by Hitler or someone else in the hierarchy - were found, what would be your reaction?

A: In that case I would propose a rigorous investigation of the crimes indicated. Any use of force against groups that does not take individual responsibility into consideration is unacceptable and should be condemned, absolutely and without exception. Extermination is what happened to the Indians in America, the Kulaks in Russia, the Italian Foibe victims in Istria and the Armenians in Turkey. It is what happened to German prisoners in the American death camps in Germany and France as well as in the Russian camps. Some died on orders of General Eisenhower, others on orders of Stalin. Both Eisenhower and Stalin deliberately ignored the Geneva Convention in ordering those atrocities. All crimes against humanity must be unambiguously condemned, and this includes persecutions of the Jews. I mean real persecutions, not false and hate-filled allegations invented for propaganda purposes.

The late German WWII veteran and revisionist scholar Hans Schmidt asserted that one reason Pope Pius XII did not believe in execution gas chambers in Auschwitz was due to intelligence he received from Catholic priests who had heard the sacramental confessions of German-Catholic Auschwitz personnel -- they had not confessed having participated in homicidal "gassings".

Dr. Robert Faurisson has written a booklet ["Pius XII's Revisionism"] pointing out how, even after the war, this Pope never once alluded in public to Auschwitz gas chamber extermination. 

Three of the best known works on the Second World War are General Eisenhower's "Crusade in Europe" [New York: Doubleday - Country Life Press], 1948), a book of 559 pages; Winston Churchill's "The Second World War"  [London: Cassell, 6 vols., 1948-1954], total 4,448 pages; and the "Mémoires de guerre of General de Gaulle" [Paris: Plon, 3 vols., 1954-1959] total 2,054 pages.

In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages [not including the introductory parts],  one will find no mention either of Nazi "gas chambers", "a genocide" of the Jews, or of "six million" Jewish victims of the war.

Churchill goes into great detail about virtually every facet of World War Two including many atrocities committed by the Nazis. and a
fter the Second World War, with the Cold War starting, he stated "I think we slaughtered the wrong pig here" a clear reference to the fact Britain would have been better helping Germany defeat Soviet Russia, or at least staying out completely.  

In the third volume of his "Introduction à l'histoire de notre temps" [Introduction to the History of Our Times], René Rémond, who was then president of the commission on the history of the deportation within the 'Comité d'histoire de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale' [Committee on the History of the Second World War] made no mention whatsoever of gas chambers in "Le XXe siècle de 1914 à nos jours" [The 20th Century from 1914 to the Present", [Le Seuil, 1974). Fourteen years later, when he had become president of the 'Institut d'histoire du temps présent' [Institute of Contemporary History], once again he made no mention of them in a 1,013-page work entitled "Notre Siècle de 1918 à 1988" [Our Century from 1916 to 1988 Paris: Fayard, 1988].

Q: Do you admit the possibility that evidence of exterminations by Germans at the end of the War might have eluded historians and could some day come to light?

A: I just stated that certain crimes must be condemned unconditionally. In the extremely unlikely event that we should one day find real evidence of the use of homicidal gas chambers in German concentration camps, then the imperative for prosecution of whoever planned and carried out such crimes would be unequivocal. In my long life I have learned that surprises never end but in the case of homicidal gas chambers I feel absolutely safe in my conclusion. For almost seventy years the German documents confiscated by the victorious powers have been minutely examined by hundreds of professional historians, thus it is extremely unlikely that they will find any such evidence in future. It is unlikely for another reason as well: even while the War was still under way, Germany's enemies had begun spreading rumors about mass murders in our concentration camps. I am referring to the Allied declaration of December 1942 in which they speak of "barbarous atrocities" against Jews in Germany and demand punishment of those responsible. By the end of 1943 they were not only continuing their usual propaganda, they were manufacturing falsified evidence of atrocities. The first news I had of this came from my comrade Major Paul Reinicke, who served as chief of the escort of Reichsmarschall Göring, the number two man in our government. When I last saw him he informed me of Allied plans for systematic falsifications. Göring was furious because he considered the falsifications scurrilous and outrageous. Before he committed suicide he denounced the falsifications in the strongest terms before the Nuremberg Tribunal. I later received additional information about Allied falsifications of evidence from Chief of Police Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who succeeded Heydrich after his death. Kaltenbrunner too was sent to the gallows following the show trials. I visited him shortly before the end of the War in order to report on the evidence pertaining to the treachery of King Vittorio Emanuel. Kaltenbrunner informed me that the enemy propaganda agencies were busily manufacturing falsified evidence of atrocities and gruesome concentration camp stories about German brutality. He said the enemy propaganda ministries had reached agreement on details of a unique procedure for dealing with the losing side. Most significant of all I met General Kaltenbrunner's close colleague, Gestapo Chief Heinrich Müller, in August 1944. I was admitted to officer school on his recommendation, so I was greatly indebted to him, and he liked me as well. He was sent to Rome in order to assist in a personal problem of my commander, Colonel Herbert Kappler. At that time the American Fifth Army succeeded in breaking through at Cassino while the Russians were entering Germany. The War had already been lost.

Müller invited me to his hotel where, on the basis of mutual confidence, I ventured to question him on further details of the Allied plans for postwar Moscow type show trials. Müller informed me that through our espionage we had received explicit indications that, in expectation of victory, the enemy was manufacturing evidence of German atrocities in order to stage spectacular trials. The purpose of these trials would be to criminalize Germany. He knew many exact details and was seriously concerned. He said our enemies could not be trusted to conform to international norms because they were completely unscrupulous and had no concept of honor whatsoever. I was still rather young and did not give his words the credence they deserved, but everything turned out exactly as Gen. Müller had said. He knew the names of the enemy propagandists who, as we know today, concocted the stories about exterminating Jews in gas chambers. I would consider all this to be ridiculous and laugh at it if the results had not been so tragic. When the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext that Sadam Hussein possessed "weapons of mass destruction" and Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered his brazenly false oath to the U.N. Security Council, I said to myself, "There is nothing new under the sun!" The imperialists, the only ones who have used such weapons in war, are accusing small countries of having them.
 
Q: Are you aware that several laws in Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland impose prison sentences on those who deny the Holocaust?

A: Yes. The global power elite has demanded such laws and soon Italy will pass them as well. The object of such laws is to make people believe that those who oppose Zionism and Israeli colonialism in Palestine are anti Semitic. Anyone who dares to criticize Zionism is called an anti Semite. Anyone who dares to ask for evidence of the existence of gas chambers is automatically persecuted as an advocate of exterminating Jews. It is devilish manipulation, but these laws expose the global elite's fears that the truth is coming to the surface. The elite is terrified that despite its vast propaganda campaigns, historians will demand evidence and scientists will expose falsifications. The very existence of these draconian laws opens the eyes of those who still believe in freedom of speech and the indispensability of independent research. Of course I am aware that I can be prosecuted for what I have just said. My situation would become even more difficult, but I must say these things because they are true. For me, courage to be truthful is duty to my Volk. It is an expression of gratitude for the hundred years of life that was granted me. It is my contribution to the dignity of my Volk.

-- Signed: E. Priebke
"From the vantage of my hundred years of life!"


Axis Ties with Argentina
By O. K. D. Ringwood and Olive Holmes
1 February 1946 

Although the war ended with Argentina nominally an Allied power, [Argentina declared war on Japan and on Germany, "in view of the character of the latter as an ally of Japan," on 27 March 1945] there is abundant evidence that Axis interests in that country are not only relatively unmolested but are closely leagued with Colonel Juan Domingo Perón and members of the military government in the rearmament drive and in a program to extend Argentine hegemony over the River Plate basin. Until Buenos Aires terminated diplomatic relations with Germany and Japan, on 26 January 1944, Axis penetration into South America had been channeled through the German Embassy in that capital.

Its activities, according to a report issued in 1943 by the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense of the Continent, located in Montevideo, were responsible for the loss of millions of dollars' worth of United States ships and supplies, as well as of the lives of hundreds of passengers when their ships were torpedoed.

After the break, however, the great German enterprises in Argentina took over the organization of financing of the Nazi movement. The amount of German investments in Argentina is large, its character is extremely diversified and has not apparently been appreciably altered as a result of World War II. German investments are located in the electric, metallurgical, steel and chemical industries, in the construction industry—both civilian and military—and in sugar, cattle and other rural enterprises, and have been estimated to total 2,500 million pesos [about $600 million]. This figure does not include, however, recent clandestine accumulations of Nazi fugitive capital.

When it became clear that Germany would lose the war, a "safe haven" program was devised for the secretion of German economic assets in neutral countries where control could be retained through various "dummy" arrangements. In this fashion, it is believed that German capital and loot from occupied countries, and even experts and technicians, under assumed Spanish or Argentine identity, have been transferred to Argentina.

The Argentine government on 3 April 1945 announced that 150 German subsidiaries, with an aggregate value of $40 million, had been confiscated and that government inspectors had been placed in control of these firms pending transfer to Argentine hands. Assistant Secretary of State Clayton stated before a subcommittee of the Senate Military Affairs Committee on 25 June 1945, however, that not one of 108 major Axis enterprises suspected by the Allies of being the spearheads of German economic penetration and espionage had been eliminated.

It is the contention of the United States that nothing less then complete liquidation of those Axis interests which figure on the United States and British "black lists" is adequate, and that at the time of the Clayton testimony—three months after Argentina had entered the war—only four of these "spearheads" were in the process of being eliminated. On 30 November 1945 of the directorate of the Enemy Properties Board, whose secretary charged Foreign Minister Juan Cooke with unwarranted interference with the committee's work, resigned in mass.

In addition, charges of complicity with Nazi espionage in Argentina have been brought against the police, the Ministry of War and the Foreign Ministry by Argentines as private citizens and in the press. In an article entitled "Nazi Germans are Well Protected," the Socialist Weekly "La Vanguardia" linked the names of Ludwig Freude, owner of the General Construction Company, Fritz Mandl, who possesses an interest in the IMPA arms corporation, and Ricardo Staudt, with the Foreign Minister. These individuals have not only been given protection from deportation in a variety of ways but have also been the recipients of government contracts. In turn, they are alleged to have contributed large sums to Perón's Presidential campaign.

The United States has taken cognizance of the military government's diversion of critical materials to the Axis firms which received its contracts. It has also called pointed attention to the fashion in which certain Argentine newspapers, formerly subsidized by the German Embassy and now publishing freely under new identities, are supporting the Perón candidacy.

On 17 January 1946 the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires released some of the documents uncovered in Berlin proving Nazi connections with Argentine government officials and Nazi control over a part of the press.

The Farrell government has not convincingly refuted these charges by either word or deed.

Germany is perhaps the only great nation, which has never had a colony either in North or South America, or otherwise displayed there any political activity, unless mention is made of the emigration of many millions of Germans and of their work, which, however, has only been to the benefit of the American Continent and of the U.S.A.

--
from 'Declaration of War on the US' by Adolf Hitler, 11 December 1941

Their Men in Brazil
Hitler's Secret War in South America German Military Espionage and Allied Counterespionage in Brazil
By Stanley E. Hilton

The fascination with espionage, counterespionage and secret intelligence operations of every kind during the Second World War is endless. Year after year, we learn something new about the triumphs and defeats, the imagination, sophistication, dedication and courage - as well as the stupidity, greed and sloth - of the rival intelligence services who were then engaged in lethal combat around the globe. Since wartime intelligence literature keeps growing, we are now familiar with most of the activities of Britain's super secret Security Coordination apparatus and Special Operations Executive and of the United States' Office of Strategic Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Naval Intelligence. We know how the theft of the German ''Enigma'' enciphering machine and sheer mathematical genius enabled the British to penetrate Nazi military communications, and how the United States Navy broke the Japanese codes. Captured Axis documents tell us the Nazi, Italian and Japanese sides of the story. We can now make a powerful case for the notion that superior intelligence operations were at the root of the ultimate Allied victory.  

Fresh material continues to turn up, throwing light on often important intelligence operations that have been generally ignored or overlooked. The latest case in point is Stanley E. Hilton's superbly researched and extremely readable "Hitler's Secret War in South America 1939-1945", which for the first time outlines the German effort to establish espionage networks in Brazil to monitor Allied shipping in the South Atlantic and beyond. The Germans wanted to track movements both of troopships destined for the Middle East and the Pacific and of merchantmen convoys bearing vital foodstuffs and strategic materials for Britain so that they could better direct their U-Boats for the kill. A parallel mission was to spy on the American military build-up in strategic north-eastern Brazil and to transmit to Germany reports from Nazi agents in the United States.  

In the public mind, as is true even today, Brazil was at best a secondary security concern for the Allies. In reality, it was so important that both Washington and London went to extraordinary lengths to eradicate the German espionage networks there - not a simple proposition given the fact that for a long time key Brazilian officials [including the Federal police chief] were frankly pro-Axis. In March 1942, German agents in Rio de Janeiro and in the north-eastern city of Recife informed their headquarters through clandestine radio transmissions that the British liner Queen Mary, carrying 9,000 American troops, was sailing along the Brazilian coast. As it happened, United States Signal Intelligence Service radio monitors intercepted the messages and provided the British with a timely warning; otherwise, Nazi submarine packs prowling the South Atlantic might well have sunk the ship.

In 1940, after the German conquest of Western Europe, reports reached the White House that Hitler planned to dispatch military forces to Brazil to support local German communities in setting up a Nazi regime; President Roosevelt became so worried that he ordered preparations to airlift 10,000 troops there and to ship another 100,000 troops by sea if the rumors proved true. [Actually, Hitler had never contemplated such an action]. And throughout the war, the State Department and the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro were under unrelenting pressure from the United States military to destroy Nazi intelligence operations in Brazil.

 

This whole story is now told, in immense detail, by Mr. Hilton, a professor of history at Louisiana State University. He first published his findings in Brazil in his 1977 book "Suastica sobre o Brasil" [Swastika over Brazil]. Because Mr. Hilton named a number of members of the pro-Nazi Integralista Party, dissolved in 1938 after an abortive coup d'etat, as active German espionage agents, his book triggered something of a storm in Brazil. Former Integralistas accused him of being a Central Intelligence Agency operative, and attempts were made to close Brazilian archives to American researchers. The American edition, Mr. Hilton writes, differs from the original Portuguese version because it incorporates new material from declassified O.S.S., F.B.I. and Federal Communications Commission files, as well as confidential reports from the Brazilian police detective who played a key role in smashing the Nazi networks.

 

Perhaps the most interesting portion of Mr. Hilton's narrative is the story of the incredible amateurishness of the Abwehr [the Foreign Department of Germany's Armed Forces High Command], run by the legendary Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, in setting up and operating its espionage networks in Brazil, and of the admirable effectiveness of British and American intelligence in destroying them through patient and sophisticated counterespionage. Most of the Abwehr agents were German businessmen, though some were Brazilian-born, sent from Germany or recruited locally; only a few were intelligence professionals or military attaches. The amateurs, usually short on money, tended to be careless. Organized in two independent main networks and eight cells and sub cells [there was even a Hungarian cell], the Abwehr agents fought among themselves over funds and the use of clandestine radio transmitters. Some of the key operatives were ardent womanizers, who violated elementary intelligence work rules by keeping mistresses.

 

It took the Allies - and those Brazilian police officials who were willing to help them - about two years to finish off the Abwehr in Brazil. [Among other things, Mr. Hilton demolishes the long-held belief that Argentina, not Brazil, served as the principal center of wartime Nazi activities in South America. ''Following the collapse of the Abwehr apparatus in Brazil,'' he writes, ''neighboring Argentina became the center of German espionage in Latin America.'' But this was in 1943, when it no longer really mattered]. The F.B.I. organized radio monitoring services both in Brazil and the United States to intercept the messages of the agents in Brazil. The British turned at least one of the important Abwehr agents into a double agent. They recruited mail-openers [much of the Nazi reporting was done through the mail, using invisible inks and microdots], and made the bizarre discovery that the most dexterous ones were women with ''slender, attractive legs".' British intelligence also circulated anonymous pamphlets which alleged that a senior German diplomat in Rio was sexually impotent - enough to ruin a man's reputation among Brazilians.

 

In perspective, much of the Allied counterespionage effort may sound like intelligence fun and games. But as Mr. Hilton points out, the operations were in dead earnest. He writes, in explaining why the Abwehr became so engaged in Brazil, that the German Admiral Karl Dönitz ''resisted pressure from his advisers to dispatch units to the South Atlantic in 1940 largely because tracking the [British] convoys there was so difficult'' and that ''the ultimate success or failure in the sea contest, therefore, might depend on the quality and quantity of information that could be obtained about ships servicing the enemy.'' By describing the Abwehr's attempt and eventual failure to set up an effective intelligence network, Mr. Hilton has made a highly valuable contribution to our understanding of the intelligence battles of World War II.

Trial of Accused Nazi War Criminals
Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
12 March to 22 March 1946
Eighty-Fourth Day: Monday, 18 March 1946

HERMANN WILHELM GÖRING: DIRECT EXAMINATION
DR. HORN [counsel for the defendant von Ribbentrop]:

Q. American war propaganda consistently spoke of Germany's aggressive intentions toward the Western Hemisphere. What do you know about this?
A. The Western Hemisphere? Do you mean America?
Q. Yes
A. Even if Germany had completely dominated the nations of Europe, between Germany and the American continent there are, as far as I still recall from my geographic knowledge, about 6,000 kilometres of water, I believe. In view of the smallness of the German fleet and the regrettable lack of bombers to cover this distance, which I already mentioned, there was never any question of a threat against the American continent; on the contrary, we were always afraid of that danger in reverse, and we would have been very glad if it had not been necessary to consider this at all. As far as South America is concerned, I know that we were always accused, by propaganda at least, of economic penetration and attempted domination there. If one considers the financial and commercial possibilities which Germany had before and during the war, and if one compares them with those of Great Britain or America, one can see the untenability of such a statement. With the very little foreign exchange and the tremendous export difficulties which we had, we could never constitute a real danger or be in competition. If that had been the case, the attitude of the South American countries would presumably have been a different one. Not the Mark, but only the Dollar ruled there.
DR. HORN: Thank you.



Secret files reveal 9,000 Nazi war criminals fled to South America after WWII

 As many as 5,000 Nazis went to Argentina
 Between 1,500 and 2,000 ended up in Brazil
 Around 500 to 1,000 settled in Chile
 The rest started new lives in Paraguay and Uruguay

By Allan Hall
Daily Mail
19 March 2012

After receiving tip-offs, German prosecutors were recently granted access to secret files in Brazil and Chile that confirmed the true number of Third Reich immigrants.

According to the documents, an estimated 9,000 war criminals escaped to South America, including Croatians, Ukrainians, Russians and other western Europeans who aided the Nazi murder machine.

Most, perhaps as many as 5,000, went to Argentina; between 1,500 and 2,000 are thought to have made it to Brazil; around 500 to 1,000 to Chile; and the rest to Paraguay and Uruguay. These numbers do not include several hundred more who fled to the safety of right-wing regimes in the Middle East.

Previous estimates as to how many Nazis fled to South America have varied wildly from 5,000 to 300,000.
 
The files also showed that during the war Argentine President General Juan Peron sold 10,000 blank Argentine passports to ODESSA – the organisation set up to protect former SS men in the event of defeat.

Kurt Schrimm, 62, head of the central war criminal authority in Germany, is among the legal team sifting through archives, said a female historian provided the clues about the Nazis who got away.

Mr Schrimm and his colleague Uwe Steintz, 52, believe the archives may also provide clues to Nazis who sneaked back to the Fatherland to live out their days undetected.

Of particular interest to the hunters are details of the so-called 'Rat Lines' - the escape routes out of a shattered Europe after WW2 that allowed an estimated 800 murderers to escape on passports provided by the Vatican.

Since arriving in South America three weeks ago, Mr Schrimm and Mr Steintz have pored over the Arquivo Historico, the repository for all immigration records, in Rio de Janiero.

They show that 20,000 Germans settled in Brazil alone between 1945 and 1959.

Many South American countries postwar were ruled by fascist-style military dictatorships that welcomed the brutal servants of Nazism with few questions asked.
 
Mr Steintz said:

"Already we see something of a pattern in the way these criminals operated. They almost always entered the country alone and sent for their families afterwards. And most entered on a passport of the International Red Cross. Eight hundred higher functionaries of the SS and Nazi state entered Argentina alone on such passports".

The files show that the contact point for many was German Bishop Alois Hudal, priest-confessor to the German Catholic community in Rome.
 
Investigators hope that the files will yield up cross references to the secret services of Chile and Brazil detailing names of intelligence agents who helped the Nazi war criminals. 

The Peróns:  Argentina’s Populist Power Couple
Juan Perón and his wife Evita have been lionized by some, while they have been accused of many evil things by others. Were the Peróns really so bad? Or have they merely been smeared because the populist Perón was not unfriendly to the Third Reich.


Understandably, the mainstream media have chosen to ignore the first results of the much-ballyhooed “CEANA” investigations into Argentina’s alleged Nazi past. CEANA is the Argentine “Commission of Inquiry into the Activities of Nazism in Argentina” [Comisión Para el Esclarecimiento de las Actividades del Nazismo en la Argentina].

After more than three years of investigations, CEANA effectively exonerates the Argentine government of incessant malicious charges, accusations and insinuations—generated by the media—of having deliberately harbored countless Nazi war criminals, and ill-gotten art treasures and gold, confiscated from Jewish victims of World War II. Aside from the unfounded media reports, sensational books of fiction like Frederick Forsyth’s "The Odessa File" and Jorge Camarasa’s "Odessa al Sur" suggested that a vast network had been established, with the complicity of the Vatican and Juan Perón’s administration, to funnel former SS men and Nazi gold into Argentina. A veritable hysteria, fed by the media, over the alleged presence of Nazis in Argentina has prevailed since World War II. These falsehoods are now being exposed.

On 11 November 1999, CEANA, an official board of inquiry, issued preliminary findings after a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation. Established by Argentine Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella in 1997 to determine the truth about the extent of Nazi infiltration and stolen gold hoards allegedly brought to Argentina by German submarines during the closing days of the war, CEANA was staffed by a team of international scholars, chosen for a belief in their integrity, who, to further ensure their findings would be accepted by the world, were monitored by Jewish academic and media shepherds. The CEANA commission was granted full access to the state archives of the nations of Argentina, the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and Portugal.

The researchers, with the concurrence of the Jewish members, found that in fact very few Nazis and Nazi collaborators had entered Argentina. For example, respected historian Carlota Jakisch estimated that some 65 alleged war criminals, including the much-publicized Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele, had succeeded in entering Argentina and thereby escaping Allied "justice," i.e., the hangman. German historian Holger Meding was able to find that only 45 Nazi war criminals had escaped the victors’ justice by slipping into Argentina. The researchers also verified that 36 French and Belgian and 52 Croatian collaborators had also managed to escape justice in Argentina. Thus, a grand total of fewer than 200 Nazis and Nazi collaborators, of whom only a few could be considered dangerous war criminals, was determined to have entered Argentina.

Investigators believe that following the war, a cabal of ex-Nazis and Nazi collaborators formed in Argentina and worked with the Perón government [he became president in 1946] to organize the emigration of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of their kind to Argentina. Members of the group frequently travelled to Europe to look for and bring back more of the fugitives.

It is not known exactly how many ex-Nazis were brought to Argentina during the late 1940s and early 1950s. One researcher identified 300, but there easily could have been more. What is known is that they included Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichmann and his adjutant Franz Stangl, Erich Priebke [a former Captain in the Waffen SS], Klaus Barbie – also known as "the Butcher of Lyon" [a former Captain in the SS and a member of the Gestapo], Ustasha Dinko Šakić [former commandant of the concentration camp that was nicknamed "the Auschwitz of the Balkans"] and many, many others. The ex-Nazis were given landing permits and Visas and it has also been claimed that many of them were even given jobs in Perón’s government.

Admittedly, Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal and other priests were found to have aided several wanted individuals in their time of need, just as they helped Jews earlier, when they were threatened. Some gold and valuables belonging to dubious individuals may have been transferred from Europe to Argentina, the land of silver, but certainly not large quantities. Concerning gold transfers, CEANA reports unequivocally that "Nazi gold never entered the country physically . . . and that any complicity of Argentina Central Bank in transactions related to Nazi gold was, in any case, very marginal". Further, no official records involving the Perón administration on the matter of gold transfers or looted art have been revealed.

Quite naturally, many Germans, who saw no future in Germany in 1945, chose to emigrate to Argentina. Moreover, Argentina, as a Catholic country, has a long tradition, shared with other Latin countries, of permitting its churches to grant sanctuary to individuals in need and of granting defeated military personnel the privilege of seeking safety in exile.

The continued animosity of the Anglo-American Establishment directed against the persons of Juan Domingo Perón and his wife, Eva Duarte de Perón [known as "Evita"], which borders on the pathological, deserves special attention. This enduring animus would be incomprehensible without understanding the history of British imperialism in Argentina and the sociopolitical revolutions of the first half of the 20th century.

The underlying cause of the continuing UK/U.S. hostility toward Argentina stems from the Peróns’ success in freeing the country, albeit temporarily, from its traditional economic dependence on foreign markets and capital, initially British but later American. British and U.S. companies eventually held a virtual monopoly over the Argentine meat-packing, railroad, electric power, pharmaceutical and other industries. In 1933, the controversial Roca-Runciman Treaty seemed to seal the special Argentine-British relationship. It would also have kept Argentina in a quasi-colonial status as agricultural supplier to Britain.

Several unforeseen events upset this special relationship. First, the onset of World War II cut Argentina off from its traditional markets and investment sources and forced the country to become more self-sufficient by developing its own industrial and financial base. With modernization and industrialization, the labor unions grew ever more powerful. The long-reigning Argentine oligarchy, with which the British had always dealt, began to lose its privileged position. The very word "autarky" [i.e., national self-sufficiency] is, of course, anathema to international moneylenders.

In 1943 a military coup overthrew the corrupt Castillo government. A young, charismatic colonel, Juan Perón, assumed control of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare of the economically foundering nation. With the indispensable assistance of a fellow colonel, Domingo Alfredo Mercante, who assumed control of the vital Buenos Aires province, Perón’s organizational and leadership qualities won him the support of the working class that be came his main political base.

The bulk of the population in Argentina is of Italian and Spanish extraction. It was quite natural in the Great Depression of the 1930s, when American and British capitalism was on the rocks, which the military and the common people in Argentina turned to Mussolini’s Fascist Italy and National Socialist Germany as models. Moreover, like Italy, Argentina was a Catholic country with mores and a spirit quite different from those of "Perfidious Albion".

As Perón’s power increased [he became vice president and minister of war in 1940], the oligarchs and others whose status was now being threatened staged a coup in early October 1945 that ousted Perón from the government. However, the insurgents miscalculated badly, and within a few days Perón’s followers were able to regroup and fight back. Under the leadership of the labor leaders in Buenos Aires and Perón’s loyal friend, Col. Mercante, whom Evita was later to call "the heart of Perón," massive street demonstrations were staged.

With World War II concluded and Britain an economic basket case, Perón pushed ahead with his domestic industrialization program, including nationalizing foreign-owned businesses. Joining and reinforcing Perón in this major restructuring of the Argentine economy was Evita, whom he married. A woman fiercely dedicated to her husband and his program, Evita proved a tremendous asset to Perón, who, by 1946, had become president of Argentina. Contrary to American public opinion, Juan Perón’s power did not derive from Evita, but Evita’s from Juan’s.

Perón himself was referred to as the leader and standard bearer of the descamisados [“the shirtless ones,” i.e., the workers]. Perón’s political doctrine was justicialismo ["social justice"] and "the Third Position," which was opposed to the oligarchs, the communists and the imperialists. Evita Perón, who had a successful career in radio, movies and theater before her marriage to Perón, soon won the affection of the Argentine people. Evita was an extremely effective public speaker, arguing emotionally and dramatically on behalf of Perón’s policies.

Evita almost single-handedly took over all welfare in Argentina, opening hospitals, schools, housing projects, orphanages, libraries, homes for the elderly, shelters for the indigent and social security programs—all under the auspices of her Social Aid Foundation. In doing so, she in effect re placed charity with a government aid program. Equally important and long lasting were her support of women’s rights and her championship of the law that gave Argentine women the right to vote.

To have accomplished so much in Argentinian society at tests to Evita’s unusual appeal and tact. In her speeches she al ways presented herself modestly as Perón’s “bridge to the people,” never ceasing to defer to and praise her husband, El Presidente. For his part Perón could only be most thankful for his wife’s loyalty and support. Evita’s activities further incurred the wrath of the oligarchs, especially the wealthy Ladies of Beneficence, who had traditionally managed charitable operations in Argentina.

Juan and Evita were a perfect team: he, the strong, macho military leader fighting against communism and imperialism for an independent Argentina; she, childless, frail in appearance, in failing health, the wife and main supporter of her revered husband.

Upon her death on 26 July 1952, the government announced:

"It is our sad duty to inform the people of the republic that Eva, the spiritual leader of the nation, died at 8:25 p.m."

Perón’s fortunes began to decline following his wife’s death. Europe recovered from World War II, and its industries were again working overtime—supplying South American countries. The United States was now not only helping the British reestablish their pre-Perón privileges but also intervening in Argentine affairs. [The total diplomatic and logistical support the U.S. government gave Britain during the Falkland Islands War in 1982 demonstrated clearly the commonality of U.S-UK policy vis-a-vis Argentina, whose claims to the islands are at least as valid as Britain’s].

Perón’s hopes to establish home industries eventually foundered. Economic distress was soon followed by political action against Perónism.

In 1955 Perón was ousted in a military coup. The new regime, backed by the oligarchy and other enemies of the Peróns, undertook to dismantle as many of Evita’s innovations and institutions [shelters, schools, hospitals] as it could, especially those bearing her name. Even her body was disinterred and transported out of the country. Perón himself went into exile in Spain.

To discredit Perónism, a campaign of calumny and slander concerning the private lives and character of both Juan and Evita was started, and it continues to this day. He was accused of living with teenage girls and of being a Nazi sympathizer. Evita was maliciously denounced as a common prostitute who stole money from the Eva Duarte Foundation. But the campaign of hate and vilification against the Peróns failed completely in Argentina and most of the Latin world, though the allegations continue to titillate British and American scandalmongers.

Juan Perón was returned to power in 1974, and Evita’s body was finally laid to rest in her native land. The Perónist Party continues to exist, but, without an effective leader, it has become very fragmented. While Evita never quite became "Santa Evita," she is nonetheless fondly remembered by many in present-day Argentina.

After the war many immigrants from Europe arrived in Argentina seeking to start new lives, as they did in the United States. For historical, ethnic and religious reasons the Argentine government chose not to seek out, pursue, arrest or indict "suspect" Germans who arrived as immigrants after World War II. Was this so terrible? For their own reasons, the United States, Britain and France have themselves elected not to seek out, pursue, arrest, indict or deport Russians, Ukrainians or Jews who were involved in communist crimes, not even those associated with the infamous Gulag system, even though communist crimes lasted over a much longer period, involved millions more victims and were of much more recent origin.

During the war the United States was an active belligerent, allied with the Soviet Union, while Argentina, remained neutral as long as possible with obvious sympathies for the Italian and German people. Not until 27 March 1945, under great pressure from the United States, did Argentina finally declare war against Germany. None other than Juan Domingo Perón, then minister of war, signed the declaration of war. Moreover, most Argentine exports of raw materials during World War II went to the United States and Britain, not to Germany and Italy.

The international CEANA commission has proved extremely useful in demystifying and dispelling many misconceptions about the extent of Nazi influence in Argentina. The selection of honest, independent and unbiased researchers, with the participation of open-minded Jews, combined with the cooperation of involved states, seems the perfect vehicle for resolving lingering doubts about other controversial events of World War II. It is to be hoped that a similar international commission is established to define—once and for all—the exact parameters of Jewish losses in the holocaust.

-- By Robert K. Logan

The Real ODESSA: Smuggling the Nazis to Argentina
Uki Goñi

"In those days Argentina was a kind of paradise to us," reminisced Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke in 1991, thinking back to the warm welcome he and some of his comrades found when they fled postwar Europe for the country ruled by Juan Domingo Perón.

Priebke, Adolf Eichmann, and Josef Mengele were only the most notorious of a rogue’s gallery of several hundred European fascists who made their way to Buenos Aires in the late 1940s and 1950s. The story was immortalized in the best-selling novel "The Odessa File", Frederick Forsyth’s dark fantasy of a conspiratorial order seeking to launch a Fourth Reich through the mythical ODESSA [Organization der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen or Organization of former SS members].

This image of Argentina as a sanctuary for villains escaping justice became so widely understood in popular culture, even the Blue Meanies thought of going there after their downfall in the Beatles’ cult cartoon "Yellow Submarine." If the flight of Nazi fugitives down the Ratlines to Argentina is well known and has already been the subject of a number of investigations, never before have the mechanisms of the escape routes been laid out in such detail as in this painstaking study by Argentine journalist Uki Goñi.

Goñi conducted some two hundred interviews and undertook six years of relentless digging in archives in the United States, Europe, and frequently uncooperative ministries in Argentina. His findings are a catalog of cynical malfeasance and cover-up by highly-placed officials in the Argentine government and the Catholic Church, as well as actors from other countries. Goñi’s principal contribution is his in-depth look at the Argentine side of an organized smuggling operation that had its genesis in German-Argentine cooperation during the war and eventually involved Allied intelligence services, the Vatican, and top Argentine officials in network stretching from Sweden to Italy.

Among the key players in Goñi’s account are two Argentines of German descent: former SS Captain Carlos Fuldner, who ran "rescue" efforts from bases in Madrid, Genoa, and Berne; and Rodolfo Freude, head of Perón’s Information Bureau, who coordinated the work of intelligence and immigration officials from his office in the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s White House. Many of the Argentines involved, as well as a multinational cast of Vichy French, Belgian Rexists, Croatian Ustashi, and cardinals from several countries, seem to have been motivated by the vision of an international brotherhood of Catholic anti-Communists.

Goñi has gone to great lengths to document information about individual members of the operation and those it abetted. We learn, for instance, about SS Captain Walter Kutschmann, frequent wartime travel companion of fashion designer Coco Chanel and himself responsible for thousands of killings in Poland, who escaped to Argentina in the plain robes of a Carmelite monk. Goñi found documentary evidence of Kutschmann’s support from the Casa Rosada in a place few people would have thought to look: Kutschmann’s early application for a taxi license, Goñi discovered, was backed by Fernando Imperatrice, a member of Perón’s presidential staff. Kutschmann retained friends in high places almost until the end of his life. During a trial held by the Argentine military regime in the early 1980s, the former SS man went free "when the court lost the case dossier. It was found five years later ... in the judge’s safe".

In an extraordinary tale from the archives, Goñi describes spending five months posing as a genealogist to look unobtrusively for crucial evidence in the records of the Argentine Immigration Office. From 1920 to 1970, the government routinely opened immigration files for every applicant for a landing permit, whether job seeker, refugee, or war criminal. Goñi eventually worked through "a couple of city blocks of shelves stacked with tightly packed cards," indexing the files to find ones he wished to order. He discovered entries corresponding to files for Eichmann, Priebke, Mengele, and other lesser-known fascists. But when he broke his cover and tried to order the relevant files, the archivists turned nasty and sullen, and terminated their co-operation. One of them then met him furtively in a park across the street to confess that in 1996,  Perónists, fearing exposure, had carted most of the key documents down to the riverbank and burned them.  But not all of them were burned.


By entering the data from the index cards alone into a computer spreadsheet, Goñi found that the files for Erich Priebke and Josef Mengele were numbered consecutively, even though they arrived in Argentina seven months apart. At the time of their applications, the Immigration Office was opening new files at a rate of over five hundred per day. Thus a single person must have applied on behalf of both war criminals at once or processed them together, prima facie evidence of an organized effort on behalf of Nazi fugitives.
Goñi made other important finds. He draws effectively on the revealing unpublished diary of a Belgian fascist involved in the smuggling network in Buenos Aires, Pierre Daye, whose papers were repatriated after his death and thus escaped the Argentine bonfires.

Historian Beatriz Gurevich, a member of CEANA [Comisión de Esclarecimientode Actividades Nazis en la Argentina], the Argentine government commission investigating Nazi links, who resigned in the late 1990s because the commission did not dig deep enough, shared her files with Goñi. He also worked in Chile, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the United States. In the end he was able to identify nearly three hundred war criminals who entered Argentina beginning in August 1946. [The entire staff of CEANA came up with only 180].This research, presented in such detail that at times the narrative of events gears down into a register of names and places, is itself a great achievement. Goñi’s interpretations of causality, however, are more porous.

 

At the center of the image of Argentina as a fascist paradise, and looming in the background throughout the story told here, is the highly disputed figure of Perón himself. Did he, as Goñi argues, turn his country into an asylum for the blood-spattered losers of the Second World War out of ideological sympathy for European fascism? Or were other motives more important? Goñi takes a clear stand: if Perón was not himself a Nazi, he liked Nazis, co-operated with them before, during, and after the war, and sought to save them from the "victor’s justice" he saw at work at the Nuremberg tribunal because it offended his soldier’s sense of honor.

"It was Peron’s intention to rescue as many Nazis as possible from the war crimes trials in Europe," Goñi writes. To show the antecedents for the program, he spends several chapters outlining how Argentina steadily made it more difficult for Jewish refugees to enter the country in the late 1930s and 1940s,especially when the Immigration Office was headed by Santiago Peralta, a virulent and prolific writer of anti-Semitic tracts appointed by the military government in 1943 and kept on by Peron until June 1947.

Historians will no doubt contest whether anti-Semitism and pro-Nazi sentiment among Argentine officials, including Perón himself, can bear the explanatory weight Goñi assigns them in accounting for the causes of this sordid episode. A comparative frame of reference would also be useful. Countries all over the world were closing their doors to Jewish refugees in the Nazi era, an appalling practice that did not in itself automatically indicate a preference for fascist immigration. Despite the many obstacles created, in percentage terms, Argentina actually admitted more Jews [between 30,000 and 50,000 during Hitler’s rule] than did any country in the Western Hemisphere except Bolivia. [The United States ranked first in total numbers but third relative to population].

Perón’s hostility to the Nuremberg trials should be placed in an Argentine context, where protestors sometimes chanted "Nuremberg! Nuremberg!" to call for the prosecution of the military officers (including him) who ran the country during the war, giving him a self-interested motive for opposing the trials. Perón cannot simply be labeled a Nazi since he readily made alliances with Communists and Jews, maintaining an ideologically flexible, populist approach as he tried to co-opt workers’ movements by meeting many of their demands. Indeed, within the Argentine military and the right wing in general there was far more admiration for Italian and Spanish fascism than for the German variety, which was considered too anti-Catholic.

 

After the war, Perón did not just go looking for war criminals in Europe; he especially sought skilled labor and advanced technology for his crash industrialization program. As Goñi notes, an Argentine agency based in Rome and implicated in smuggling fascists actually "had orders to organize the immigration of 4 million Europeans, at the rate of 30,000 a month, to boost the economic and social revolution Perón envisaged for his country". It was an ambitious plan, partly realized in at least one respect: Argentina produced its own jet fighter in 1947 with the help of imported Nazi engineers. This aspect seems worthy of more careful analysis. Argentina was hardly the only country to take advantage of the decommissioned human resources of the Third Reich. The United States is famously indebted to rocketry expert Wernher von Braun, who literally got NASA off the ground thanks to his experience building Hitler’s V-2 rockets using slave labor in the underground factories at Peenemünde. Von Braun arrived via Operation Paperclip, a once-secret program that eventually brought 765 German scientists, engineers, and technicians into the United States; between half and three-quarters were former Nazi Party members or SS men, and more than a few of them were guilty of war crimes.

 

The Soviet Union carried off German technicians and laborers in large numbers after the war, and the intelligence agencies of both superpowers recruited well-informed Nazis into their ranks. Perhaps the most notorious was Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon," who worked for and was sheltered by the U.S. Army’s Counterintelligence Corps after the war. The CIC also protected Otto von Bolschwing, a senior aide to Adolf Eichmann. France likewise enlisted ex-Waffen SS in the Foreign Legion to fight against national liberation movements in its colonies. Few historians would assert that the United States, the Soviet Union, and France welcomed Nazis out of ideological affinity with the Third Reich; moral blindness, perhaps, or cynical realism may have been at work, but there is no mistaking the instrumentalist thinking behind a salvage operation intended to locate Nazis with unusual skills for national programs in intelligence, advanced technology and counterinsurgency. Was what was good for the goose also good for the gander? Even if his sympathies lay more openly with European fascists, could Perón have been motivated in part by some of the same cold-blooded calculations going through the minds of Truman, Stalin and De Gaulle?

 

Goñi would answer with a resounding "no". Although he acknowledges the utility of some of the newcomers to Perón’s modernization effort, we also read of a number of arrivals who may have been good at mass murder, but had so few useful skills it was hard for their Argentine sponsors to find them employment. [Mass murder itself was in any case not yet in demand. Perón’s defenders like to point out that, whatever the Nazi influence in his government, Argentina’s concentration camps were created not under his rule, but by the generals who overthrew his second government in 1976 and killed some thirty thousand people]. Ultimately Goñi understands the whole episode as part of a tragic continuity not only in Peronism’s sins of the past and present, but in an unbroken chain of Argentine history from collaboration with the Third Reich to the disappearances carried out by the military junta of the 1970s, the corruption of the civilian governments that followed, and the bloody bombings of the Israeli Embassy and Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. All of this went for the most part unquestioned, Goñi writes with sadness; Argentina’s chief crimes remain unsolved and draped in the silence of a society grown too accustomed to looking away.

 

Historians will continue to differ over how to explain the Perón era and Argentina’s Nazi connections, and this study leaves unresolved key questions of interpretation, especially about how to classify the cipher at the head of the Argentine government from 1946 to 1955. But the debate over these issues, and our knowledge of the inside of the Argentine Odessa network, has been greatly enriched by Goñi’s findings.

Notes


Frederick Forsyth, "The Odessa File" [New York: Viking, 1972];

Carlota Jackisch, "Elnazismo y los refugiados alemanes en la Argentina" [Buenos Aires: Editorial de Belgrano, 1989];
Holger Meding, "Flucht vor Nürnberg?" [Köln:Böhlau, 1992];
Beatriz Gurevich and PaulWarzawski, "Proyecto testimonio" [Buenos Aires:Planeta, 1998];

John Loftus and Mark Aarons, "Unholy Trinity" [New York: St. Martin’s, 1998];

Jackisch, "El nazismo y los refugiadosalemanes";

Haim Avni, 'Peru y Bolivia--dosnaciones andinas--y los refugiados judios durantela era nazi,' in "El Genocidio ante la Historia y laNaturaleza Humana", ed. Beatriz Gurevich and Carlos Escudé [Buenos Aires: Grupo Editor Latinoamericano, 1994];
Christopher Simpson, "Blowback:The First Full Account of America’s Recruitment of Nazis, and Its Disastrous Effect on Our Domestic and Foreign Policy" [New York: Weidenfeld &Nicholson, 1988];
Linda Hunt, "Secret Agenda: the United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip", 1945-1990 [New York: St.Martin’s Press, 1991].
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Max Paul Friedman. "Review of Uki Goñi, The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Perón’s Argentina", H-German, H-Net Reviews, April, 2004.URL: http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/showrev.cgi?path=160051084077522.
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