Nazi commander Michael Karkoc, who burnt villages filled with women and children, lives in quiet Minnesota town
A top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit who lied to American immigration officials to get into the US more than 60 years ago said that he 'can't explain' his wartime service. Michael Karkoc, 94, made the remarks to a reporter who knocked on the door of his Minnesota home to ask him about accusations that he burned villages filled with women and children. After the war he concealed his work as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division. In a Ukrainian-language memoir published in 1995, Karkoc states that he helped found the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion in 1943 in collaboration with the Nazis' SS intelligence agency, the SD, to fight on the side of Germany - and served as a company commander in the unit, which received orders directly from the SS, through the end of the war.
New book called "Nazi Hunt" exposes world`s indifference to Nazis after World War II
A new book claims that governments around the world were unwilling to track down Nazi criminals in the wake of the Second World War because of vested interests. "Nazi Hunt: South America`s Dictatorships and the Avenging of Nazi Crimes," by German historian Daniel Stahl, calls the half-hearted efforts of postwar governments a "coalition of the unwilling." Rhe French feared prosecutions would expose their collaboration during the war, the South Americans feared a spotlight on their own murderous regimes and the West Germans wanted to help "old comrades" get away.
Secret files reveal 9,000 Nazi war criminals fled to South America after World War II
9,000 Nazi war criminals fled to South America after WWII. After receiving tip-offs, German prosecutors were granted access to secret files in Brazil and Chile that confirmed the true number of Third Reich immigrants. According to the documents, 9,000 Nazi war criminals escaped to South America. Most, perhaps as many as 5,000, went to Argentina; up to 2,000 are thought to have made it to Brazil; up to 1,000 to Chile; and the rest to Paraguay and Uruguay. The files also showed that during the war Argentine President General Juan Peron sold 10,000 blank Argentine passports to ODESSA.
Beloved Criminal recounts how author Gisela Heidenreich mother fell in love with a Nazi criminal
The life of Horst Wagner, a man with the blood of at least 350,000 Jews on his hands, is explored in a personal way in "Beloved Criminal: A Diplomat In The Service Of The Final Solution". Wagner was the link-man between the foreign office and the SS In this role, he aided in the extermination of Jews. This first major work on him by Gisela Heidenreich is also a personal one for the author: her own mother Edith met and fell in love with him during the war. During his years in exile Wagner remained in contact with Edith by post, letters which her daughter uses in her work chronicling the escape routes and mini-Reich that the fugitives built in Argentina.
Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's Henchmen Fled Justice by Gerald Steinacher (book review)
How did so many prominent Nazis manage to escape capture at the end of World War II? Gerald Steinacher is a Harvard Research Fellow as well as being a Lecturer on Contemporary History at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. "Nazis on the Run" traces the complex escape routes of Nazis like Adolf Eichmann through the South Tyrol, into Italy and onward to Argentina and elsewhere. The detailed research poses many awkward questions including the way in which the Vatican and the Red Cross helped the Nazi escapees. And why were so many ex-Nazis recruited by Allied Intelligence services?
Eva Peron allowed Nazis to hide out in Argentina in exchange for treasures looted from Jewish families
The former first lady of Argentina has been accused of accepting Nazi treasures stolen from Jews during the Holocaust in return for using her country as a safe haven. According to a new book, Eva Peron and her husband, president Juan Peron, kept quiet about the number of Nazis who were hiding out in Argentina after the Second World War. In "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Latin America," authors Leandro Narloch and Duda Teixeira wrote: "It is still suspected that among Eva Peron's possessions, there were pieces of Nazi treasure that came from rich Jewish families killed in concentration camps."
ICRC archives reveal that Red Cross and Vatican helped thousands of Nazis escape
The Red Cross and the Vatican helped thousands of Nazis to escape after WWII, according to a new book that researches previously unpublished documents. The Red Cross has previously acknowledged that its efforts to help refugees were used by Nazis to escape, but the new research reveals that the numbers escaping were much higher than believed. Gerald Steinacher, author of "Nazis on the run: How Hilter's henchmen fled justice," was given access to internal ICRC documents. They reveal how and why mass murderers such as Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie were able to evade capture by the allies. Such was the chaos after the war ended, that Britain and Canada alone took in 8,000 Waffen-SS members in 1947.
America's Nazi Secret: An Insider's History by John Loftus (book review)
In "America's Nazi Secret" John Loftus, a former U.S. government prosecutor and a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, reveals how a secret group in the State Department began in 1948 - unbeknownst to Congress and the public - to hire members of the Nazi-created puppet government of Byelorussia. It was all supposed to be for the Cold War cause, but Loftus raises more ominous motives: American industrialists and bankers hiding their business connections with the Third Reich.
Richard Essex arrested high-ranking SS officer Kurt Becher, only to see him escape prosecution
People tend to think the high-ranking Nazis can easily be classified as pure evil based on their actions. However, surprisingly many of them both worked for the Final Solution and, at the same time, saved Jews - at least once they realized the end of the Third Reich was nearing. How do you judge such persons?
In 1945, Richard Essex was a U.S. Army counterintelligence agent controlling the Czech border as surrendering German troops marched west. Then one day SS Colonel Kurt Becher, in a Mercedes-Benz sedan ans wearing SS uniform, arrived, in vain attempting to bribe Essex.
As the Commissar for Nazi Germany's concentration camps, Becher worked with Final Solution architects Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann. However, Becher avoided because he allegedly helped hundreds of Jews get to Switzerland.
Guy Walters provides facts about Odessa: The mythical Nazi escape organization for SS men
After the war, there were several groups that assisted escaping Nazis - they operated like an old-boy network - and some of them had names (such as Konsul, Scharnhorst, Sechsgestirn, Leibwache, Lustige Brüder) and some did not. One of the first recorded mentions of "Odessa" is in a US Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) memo dated 3 July 1946, which reveals that "Odessa" was a codeword for getting better food.
American intelligence created a safe haven in the U.S. for the Nazis, claims 600-page Justice Department report
600-page report - which the Justice Department has kept secret for years - about the US Nazi-hunting operation looks into some of the Nazi cases: Adolf Eichmann's associate Otto von Bolschwing worked for the CIA, Nazi scientist Arthur Rudolph (the father of the Saturn V rocket) actively exploited slave laborers, "only" up to 10,000 Nazis lived in the US.
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).
Spain's Costa Blanca provided a safe haven for many Nazis
Over the last year in Spain, 2 books have been published that deal with the subject of Nazis who found refuge on the Costa Blanca. The first is Clara Sánchez's critically acclaimed bestseller and prize-winning novel, "What Your Name Hides" (Lo que esconde tu nombre). The second book, "The Footprint of the Boot" (La huella de la bota), is the work of journalist Joan Cantarero, who devotes a chapter to the Nazis who found refuge in that part of Spain. His research reveals the close ties between Spain's legally established neo-Nazi organizations and the Nazis who escaped to Spain after the Third Reich collapsed.
Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to Justice by Guy Walters (WW2 book review)
Over 60 years after the end of World War II, there are still Nazi mass murderers and Nazi guards among us who have escaped justice. The book reveals how Hitler's henchman Martin Bormann was thought to be living in South America long after his actual death. Bormann was reported dead by the Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann, who escaped with him from Hitler's fuehrerbunker in 1945 and saw Bormann dead. Yet nobody believed it. The body of the Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller was found with his id papers near the Reich Chancellery and laid to rest in a mass grave - but many still claim his disappearance is a WW2 mystery.
Study: Up to 13.6% of top communist functionaries in East Germany were Nazis
Members of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party climbed top positions in communist East Germany, reveals a research at the University of Jena. The study reviewed 441 top communist functionaries in the current eastern state of Thuringia 1946-1989. 36 of these joined the Nazi party. That rate (13.6%) was a higher proportion than for the overall population of the region. The study shows that the belief that West Germany tolerated former Nazis in leadership posts, while East Germany's "anti-fascist" stance barred them, is a myth. Among the top Nazi members in the East German state was Hans Bentzien: minister for culture (1960s) and the last director of East German state TV.
How Catholic priests helped Nazi war criminals to escape Europe after the end of World War II (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Catholic priests turned more than a blind eye to the pasts of the Nazis they helped, and without the assistance of such priests, the Nazis could never have escaped Europe in such vast numbers - or with such a style: carried around in cars with Vatican diplomatic plates. The two most important priests in the system that enabled the Nazis to escape through Austria and Italy were the Croatian Mgr Krunoslav Draganovic and the Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal. When Franz Stangl, the commandant of Treblinka (who oversaw the murder of 780,000 Jews) arrived in Rome in 1948, his first call was Hudal, who arranged Stangl a safe passage to Syria.
After World War II SS lieutenant Friedrich Buchardt was hired as a spy by British MI6
Friedrich Buchardt led a death squad (Einsatzgruppen) that followed the Nazi military machine to the Soviet Union to wide out tens of thousands of Jews and communists. He should have shared the fate of SS commanders who were hanged after the war. Instead he was hired as a spy by Britain's MI6. In a British PoW camp, he wrote document called "The Handling of the Russian Problem during the Period of the Nazi Regime in Germany" - a rundown of his espionage operations. For MI6, struggling to make the switch from Adolf Hitler's Third Reich to Josef Stalin's communist regimes, this was gold. MI6 made it the blueprint for its spying activities behind the Iron Curtain.
The hunt for the last Nazis - Efforts to capture the Nazis faltered as the Cold War set in
Contrary to popular belief, most former Nazis did not go into hiding after WW2. Most did not even change their name: they simply took off their Nazi/SS uniforms, went home. And for a crucial period in the 1950s, little was done to hunt them down. In 1953 the Nazi trials stopped, because of the Cold War: The West needed a strong West Germany and did not want to hunt for Nazis, many of which were part of the society and the Federal Republic government. But in the 1970s there was a shift: the second generation began to question what their parents did in the war. US files show CIA often hunted Nazi war criminals to use them, not to bring them to justice.
Journalist Gustavo Sanchez tracked Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon in 1983
After World War II many leading Nazis fled to South America. One of them was the head of the Gestapo in Lyon, a man responsible for the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz and the torture of members of the French Resistance. Hiding in Bolivia, Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, changed his name to Klaus Altmann and made himself useful to drug lords and dictators. American intelligence officials helped Barbie, who was a kind of counter-intelligence official, to become established in Bolivia as part of their battle against communism. Bolivian journalist Gustavo Sanchez tells what happened when he tracked Barbie down in 1983.
Nazi Klaus Barbie boasted of hunting down Che Guevara for CIA
Was Che Guevara's capture in Bolivia directed by the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, as the CIA made use of his anti-guerrilla skills? Barbie was the Gestapo chief in Lyon whose crimes included the murder of 44 children and the capture of French Resistance leader Jean Moulin. Documentary My Enemy's Enemy, by Kevin Macdonald, probes how Barbie's record was brushed off when he was enrolled by CIA as a useful tool against communism. He avoided French justice by fleeing to Bolivia where, under the alias Klaus Altmann, he was welcomed by fascist sympathisers. Alvaro de Castro, a confidant of Barbie, told that Barbie had no respect for "pitiful adventurer" Che Guevara.
US derived no clear benefit by recruiting ex-Nazis as Cold War spies
The U.S. government derived no clear benefit by recruiting ex-Nazis as Cold War spies, but huge gaps remain in the public record of U.S. ties to World War II war criminals. The report to Congress, by an interagency group that examined the United States' use of German and Japanese war criminals, also said the CIA had no set policy for hiring former war criminals to spy on postwar foes including the Soviet Union. The group has released more than 8.5 million pages of classified documents dating back to 1933. The list includes the entire 1.2 million-page operational file of the CIA's WWII forerunner OSS, the Office of Strategic Services.
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."
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.
US Recruitment of Nazis and Croatian Ustasha - Klaus Barbie
After World War II, the US helped accused Nazi and Croatian Ustasha war criminals. Albanian fascists and Nazis were helped by the US to escape from Europe. Priest Krunoslav Draganovic had been a part of the NDH Ustasha regime allied to Nazi Germany. After WW2 he travelled back in the Vatican where he established escape routes for Nazis. In 1942 SS Hauptsturmfuerer Klaus Barbie became the Gestapo chief in Lyons. He was accused of killing 4,000 persons and he was responsible for the torture of French Resistance Movement leader Jean Moulin. In 1947, the US Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), hired Klaus Barbie to be an intelligence agent for the US.
Bishop with golden Nazi Party badge helped nazis to flee (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Vatican is to release archives showing if a senior bishop helped Nazis escape justice. Monsignor Alois Hudal gained the nickname Black Bishop for his pro- Hitler views. He even had a golden Nazi Party membership badge. He has long been suspected of providing passports and other help for Nazis trying to flee as the allies tracked down nazi war criminals after the Second World War. They included Adolf Eichmann, who was found in Argentina.
Strange Allies - Bosnian Muslim division of the Waffen-SS
There have been four phases of cooperation between militant Islam and the extreme right, stretching back to Germany's Third Reich and World War II. As WWII progressed, al-Husseini helped organize a Bosnian Muslim division of the Waffen SS. After Hitler's defeat, as Nazi Germany crumbled, Hitler's erstwhile officers had to flee. It was natural that many of Hitler's men travelled to the Middle East. After Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egypt's president, a number of Nazis were given prominent positions. Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny trained thousands of Egyptians in guerilla and desert warfare.
Which Nazis fled to South America - and why?
ODESSA (Organization of Former SS Members) choose South America because many Germans began to immigrate there since the mid-19th century and Germany had long ties with the power structures in these countries - Prussian military officers trained the Chilean army in the early 1900s. During WWII, Argentina declared its neutrality but continued to trade with the fascist regimes. Allegedly, President General Juan Peron sold 10,000 blank passports to ODESSA. Body of Joseph Mengele is said to have been identified on June 6, 1985, but some have doubted this, since posing dead was a ploy often used by fleeing Nazis, as in the case of high ranking SS officer Walter Rauff.
Why capture of Eichmann caused panic at the CIA
When Adolf Eichmann was captured, US and West Germany reacted with alarm. CIA's nazi agents were beginning to panic. One of them, Otto Albrecht von Bolschwing - who had worked with Eichmann and Heinrich Himmler - asked his old CIA case officer for help. After the war he had been recruited by the Gehlen Organisation, the prototype German intelligence agency set up by the US under Reinhard Gehlen, who had run network on the eastern front. US also had set up "stay-behind networks" to get info from behind enemy lines - riddled with ex-Nazis. Network codenamed Kibitz-15 was run by a former German army officer Walter Kopp, described by US as an "unreconstructed Nazi".
CIA knew where Eichmann was: US releases documents
The CIA knew the whereabouts of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina more than two years before his capture by Mossad agents, but kept the fact secret to protect its anti-Communist efforts. The documents, among 27,000 pages of CIA records released, indicate that the agency was told in 1958 by then West German intelligence that Eichmann was living under an alias in the Buenos Aires. But the CIA did nothing. In the case of Eichmann, the documents show the CIA was desperate not to compromise Hans Globke, a former Nazi who stayed on in West Germany and helped organise anti-Communist initiatives.
Ex corporal and medic in Nazi SS jailed in Chilean colony
Paul Schaefer, an unrepentant Nazi who presided over a secretive German enclave behind barbed wire in Chile, has been jailed for 20 years for the abuse of 25 persons. He fled similar charges in Germany in 1961, and with financial support from the underground network of escaped Nazis in South America, he purchased 70 square miles of farmland which reminded him of Bavaria. Schaefer, a former corporal and medic in the Nazi SS and later a Lutheran pastor, faces further charges by using his Colonia Dignidad, or Dignity Colony to help his Nazi-sympathiser friend, General Augusto Pinochet, get rid of opponents.
DNA tests to solve if a man is a descendent of both Hitler and Himmler
A Spanish university is making DNA tests on a man who is trying to prove he is a descendent of both Adolf Hitler and the Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler. The man's claim is based on physical similarities and childhood memories. A photograph shows a resemblance to a image of Himmler, whom he believes is his maternal grandfather. Guillermo also claims his father is the son of Hitler, born in 1931 of a affair between the Führer and Geli Raubal. Should DNA tests validate his claims, he hopes to show that high-ranking Nazis did more than pass through Spain on route to South America. Spain gave more than 100 Nazis asylum and new identities, according to unclassified documents.
Nazi hunter brands Austria a "paradise" for Nazis (Article no longer available from the original source)
Austria's legal system and its insufficient zeal in investigating alleged crimes committed under Hitler's Third Reich make it a "paradise for Nazi war criminals," a top Nazi hunter said. Frustrated at slow progress in finding suspected war criminals in Austria and bringing them to court, Simon Wiesenthal Center director Efraim Zuroff came to Vienna for talks with ministers aimed at accelerating the process. "The law in this country does more to protect Nazis than to bring them to justice," Zuroff told. "There is a system here that makes Austria a paradise for Nazi war criminals, plain and simple."
Lawsuit: The Vatican Bank profited from looting, funded Nazi escape to South America
The US Supreme Court allowed Holocaust survivors to proceed with a lawsuit claiming that the Vatican Bank and a Franciscan religious order profited from property stolen by Croatia's pro-Nazi WWII government. The suit claimed the Order of Friars Minor conspired with the Vatican Bank to facilitate the transfer of gold and other looted valuable assets - property stolen from victims of Croatia's brutal Ustasha regime from 1941 to 1945. The lawsuit claimed that the stolen property was used after the war to help Nazi war criminals escape from Europe to South America.
CIA to Release More Papers About Nazi War Criminals it hired
The CIA has agreed to release more information about Nazi war criminals it hired during the Cold War. The law has led to the release of more than 8 million pages of documents, including 1.25 million from the CIA, which showed that the agency or its predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services, had a relationship with some individuals later found to be war criminals.
East German Stasi offered Nazis a second career
The former East Germany's feared Stasi secret police set Nazi officers to work as spies and shielded them from prosecution for war crimes, according to a book that belies the official anti-fascist stance of the communist regime. Historian Henry Leide drew on Stasi files that have not been opened to the general public since the fall of the communist regime in 1989 to trace the often well-paid careers of 35 of Hitler's men who found a reprieve in the secret police.
Did Hitler's SS General Heinrich Müller chief of Gestapo escape?
Sixty years ago in the burning ruins of Berlin, SS General Heinrich Müller, chief of Hitler`s secret police and one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals, took refuge in his bunker from the advancing tanks of the Red Army. By the time the smoke cleared and peace was declared — on May 8, 1945 — he had vanished. As far as public records are concerned, he was never seen again. Now, six decades on, the truth seems to be coming to light. Two former senior intelligence officers, a Frenchman and an American, have unveiled a secret that they have been keeping to themselves for many years.
Hitler of the Andes - Studying rumors that Hitler survived and escaped
When Russian troops entered Berlin in 1945 confusion surrounded the fate of Adolf Hitler. Witnesses were questioned and 2 charred bodies, said to be those of Hitler and Eva Braun, were discovered. But the Russians kept quiet about their findings, causing rumours that the Fuhrer had escaped. The hunt for Hitler continued after 1945. Reports reached J. Edgar Hoover, who send agents to South America. For 11 years FBI followed up sightings of Hitler in the Andes, where many high-ranking Nazis had found shelter under the Peron regime. Documentary explores the psychological reaction of the public that occurs when a dictator who has obsessed the imagination melts away.
Captain Ernst Koenig reveals Nazi escape plan to fly Nazi leaders to Greenland
A german navigator has described for the first time a daring plan by the Nazis to evacuate their surviving leaders by flying boat to Greenland at the end of the Second World War. The plan, which was scuppered by the German surrender, would have involved Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and other senior figures taking off from north Germany to continue their struggles from abroad. The Greenland operation has been revealed by Captain Ernst Koenig, who had previously been determined to keep the story secret until after his death. He was persuaded to speak by friends in Britain.
Austria's pro-Nazi priests, who helped Hitler's henchmen escape
Stefan Moritz's book about Austria's pro-Nazi priests, who helped thousands of Hitler's henchmen escape, is raising enormous controversy in the 80% catholic Austria. A listing of pro-Hitler Austrian clergy staying in or promoted to leading positions after the war. It included Bishop Alois Hudal, who boasted of helping about 50,000 war crimes suspects to hide or escape. Among them was Franz Stangl, commander of Treblinka concentration camp in Poland where 800,000 Jews were killed. He was arrested in Brazil after two decades on the run with a false passport procured through Bishop Hudal.
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.