Argentina took in Jewish refugees before WWII, supported the Allies with thousands of volunteers during the war, and offered a safe haven for the Nazis, and their gold, after the war.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
Nazis who escaped to Argentina often ended up in San Carlos de Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche - the biggest town in Argentina's Lake District - is a tourist haven. It's also the city to which the Nazis - like Erich Priebke - fled, making it their stronghold after the collapse of the Third Reich. (Note: This article has some errors, for example Martin Bormann did not make it to Argentina).
Josef Mengele's treatise on eugenics and euthanasia, written while in hiding in Argentina auctioned off
Auctioneers Alexander Autographs has discovered Auschwitz death camp Dr. Josef Mengele's treatise on eugenics and euthanasia, written in 1960 while in hiding in Argentina. Mengele, who escaped capture until his death by drowning in 1979, penned on over 180 pages. He moves from describing his rescue of a cow trapped in a mud bog, to demanding the extermination of "inferior morons". -- "We have to make sure that nature's suspended eradication will continue through human arrangements... the real problem is to define when human life is worth living and when it has to be eradicated..."
Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb [book review]
In the chaos following the fall of the Third Reich in 1945, SS Lt.-Col. Adolf Eichmann disappeared. By the time he was id'ed as the architect of "final solution," he was gone, some thought never to be seen again. It wasn't until 1960 that Mossad agents discovered him, living under a false id in a suburb of Buenos Aires. The story, told in "Hunting Eichmann", remains one of the most amazing successes in the history of espionage and contributed to the Mossad's reputation as one of the world's most effective intelligence agencies. The book reveals that the CIA knew Eichmann's whereabouts.
Wreckage of scuttled Nazi ship Ussukuma identified off Argentine coast
Argentina's navy identified a wreck off the coast of Buenos Aires as the Ussukuma, a Nazi supply vessel that sank after a face-off with British warships in the early days of WWII. The Ussukuma, scuttled by its crew in Dec 1939, was carrying explosives for German warships, said historian Carlos De Napoli. "This is the first Nazi wreck to be id'd in Argentine waters in decades. We have at least 6 more Nazi ship and submarine wrecks waiting to be discovered." -- Professor of naval history Eric Grove: "Any German ship at sea after Sept 1939 could only operate as a fugitive. Standard procedure for those ships was to scuttle themselves if detected by enemy forces..."
Argentine pilots break silence over World War 2
In October 1942, Flight Lieutenant Donald McLarty was shot down over Libya on his 199th WW2 mission. Even though he was flying for RAF, his uniform was emblazoned with a word 'Argentina'. Many foreigners fought for the Allied, but historians have mostly focused on pilots from countries occupied by Nazi Germany. Few realize that 800 young men from neutral Argentina hurried to sign up as pilots. When McLarty climbed into his Hurricane fighter-bomber for a low-level attack on a German base, he needed to do just 2 more missions to earn a long break. It was not to be... He was persuaded to speak by historian Claudio Meunier, who spent a decade unearthing hidden stories.
Lawsuit charges that Nazi gold funded Vatican ratlines
"From money stolen from the gold teeth of my relatives, the Vatican enabled Nazis to escape to Argentina," claims William Dorich. Together with other survivors he has launched a suit against the Vatican Bank and the Franciscan order, claiming that they helped members of a pro-Nazi regime in Croatia hide and launder millions of dollars worth of loot. Robert Lee Wolff, professor of History at Harvard calls "a historic fact that certain members of the Croat Catholic hierarchy ... endorsed the butchery, and some members of the Franciscan order took an active part in the forced conversions of the Serbs and also in the massacres."
Nazi plot to get gold to Argentina - Uncovered by MI5 in 1943
MI5 uncovered a plot by Nazi leaders to smuggle plundered jewellery and gold in a submarine to Argentina in 1943, according to secret files. The details emerged from interrogating an "unprincipled ruffian" called Ernesto Hoppe, who was an agent of the German Intelligence service. Hoppe, codenamed Herold, was arrested in Gibraltar in 1943 and taken to MI5`s interrogation centre at Camp 020 in Ham. He had been approached by a German Luftwaffe colonel named Rosentreter, who had outlined his secret mission. The Nazis appeared to be planning for a quick exit to Argentina once Third Reich was defeated and the u-boat cargo was to be their nest egg.
Argentina uncovers Adolf Eichmann passport - aka "Ricardo Klement"
A student has found the passport used by Adolf Eichmann to enter Argentina. The passport, under the name of Ricardo Klement, was issued by the Red Cross in Genoa and stamped by the Argentine consul general in the city. The student found the passport among court documents while searching Eichmann's capture in 1960 by the Israeli secret service. Eichmann was captured a couple of time after WWII but managed to escape allied forces, and in 1950 he arrived in Argentina which provided a safe haven for many Nazis. The passport contains a photograph of a balding man who is dressed in a shirt and jacket, and bears a fingerprint in red ink.
Dutch airline accused of helping Nazis to flee to South America
KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, is facing calls for an inquiry into its role in helping Nazis to flee to South America. KLM has always denied that it had a policy of assisting Nazis to escape. But papers about Herr Frick: trying to help Germans to cross, without the proper papers, into Switzerland then to Buenos Aires conflict that. "The documents give the distinct impression that KLM was intensively involved," said aviation historian Marc Dierikx. After WWII Argentina provided sanctuary for many Germans, like Joseph Mengele and Adolf Eichmann. A network of Nazi sympathisers organising the escape route was depicted in Frederick Forsyth`s novel The Odessa File.
From Berlin to Buenos Aires (Article no longer available from the original source)
At the end of World War II hundreds of wanted war criminals succeeded in fleeing to Latin America to escape justice. This much is well known. Yet how was it done? Peron wanted Adolf Hitler to win the war. When defeat seemed inescapable he sent emissaries to Spain to provide material aid - false papers, immigration certificates, boat tickets - to war criminals who had fled there. In 1946 new escape routes were forged from Denmark and Italy, where many Nazis had fled and where governments wished to get rid of them. Quite the most shocking is the role played by the Catholic hierarchy in offering succour to fascists from Catholic Europe trying to evade the law.
Argentina 'held Nazi gold'
Argentina's central bank stands accused of holding Nazi gold after WWII. Researchers investigating the activities of the Nazis in Argentina say they have obtained a letter signed by the country's former foreign minister, saying he asked for the gold to be deposited in the bank in 1946. Until then, the money was being held for the Germans by the Swiss embassy in Buenos Aires. "For the first time we do have Argentine evidence that Argentina was the recipient of Nazi gold," said research co-ordinator of the commission of inquiry on Nazi activities in Argentina.