Hitler's Escape to South America

Übersee Süd:
The Ultimate Truth about Nazis Fled to South America

After WW II, at least five German U-Boats reached Argentina with no less than 50 high ranking Third Reich officials on board. During the trip they sunk a US Battleship and the Brazilian cruiser 'Bahia' with a death toll of more than 400, including US citizens. Both the US and the British Government have systematically covered up the operation. Why? Did they take Hitler to Patagonia?

Supporting their research with irrefutable first hand documentation, two Argentine investigators, Carlos De Napoli and Juan Salinas, made an extraordinary contribution to unveil what has been called the last secret of World War II. Übersee Süd, "Overseas South" in English, is the name of the operation that, according to this investigation, helped high Nazi officials to escape from the Soviet fist under the umbrella of the British and US Governments.

"WWII finished on 7 May 1945 and the first submarine arrived in Argentina on 10 July. The second one, on 17 August", says De Napoli. The Argentine investigator makes reference to the well-known landing of the German U-Boats U-530 and U-977 that surrendered to the Argentine Navy in those days.

"WWII finished on 7 May 1945 and the first submarine arrived in Argentina on 10 July. The second one, on 17 August", says De Napoli. The Argentine investigator makes reference to the well-known landing of the German U-boats U-530 and U-977 that surrendered to the Argentine Navy in those days.

Their commanders Otto Wermuth and Heinz Schäffer, respectively, were arrested and interrogated several times in Buenos Aires, Washington and London. However, what has been systematically covered up by US and British authorities is the fact that they sunk the 'USS Eagle 56' Battleship in front of the US coasts and the Brazilian Cruiser 'Bahia', amid three other vessels. So, the immediate question is why the British and the Americans [from the North and the South] harbored the assassination of more than 400 people when the war had finished two months ago?

"There was a conspiracy against the USSR. It was the Operation Sunrise [Crossword for the British] designed to stop the advance of Stalin troops over Europe. Therefore, the English needed to count on German officers and soldiers to continue the war against Russia and destroy communism. Übersee Süd is part of this large operation", explains Juan Salinas, former investigator of the bomb attack to a Jewish club in Buenos Aires in 1995.

Unfortunately is impossible to check this information with official sources as documents related to Operation Sunrise have been classified by both the US and British authorities: 'Top Secret". It means that they are kept out from the insidious sight of investigators for 75 years. Another detail: they are the only ones that remain classified about World War II.

"Churchill was the mastermind of the escape. The Argentine Navy established a free zone to let Germans to disembark without disturbs, following British instructions", told Salinas to PRAVDA.Ru. In fact, there exists an order issued by Argentine authorities to stop attacks to German submarines operating close to the Argentine beaches.

The cautious reader may point out why other forces attacked the German U-Boats if the British Government was behind the operation.

De Napoli answers:

"Churchill successors [Tories lost the elections immediately after the war and the Labor Party came into power], did not want the operation to go on".

However, as facts show, the operation went ahead and no less than 50 Third Reich high officials found cover in the desolated lands of Southern regions of Argentina and Chile. It is important to notice that the Patagonia holds the largest German community of Latin America and many Nazi and Ustasha's criminals lived there after the war: Mengele, Eichmann, Martin Bormann, Ante Pavelic and Erich Priebke among others. According with documentation supplied by the Argentine, Brazilian and US navies, the Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Buenos Aires and the United States National Archives and Record Administration -NARA- Salinas and De Napoli could recreate the trip of the U-Boats. Juicy data has been also provided by the memories of Heinz Schäffer, Commander of the U-977.

A fleet of almost 20 submarines sailed out from the Norwegian port of Bergen, between 1 May and the capitulation of the Third Reich, six days later. They joined another group of U-Boats coming from the US coasts [the U-530 and others] in Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago close to Africa. There, they got notified that the Flensburg Government, headed by Great Admiral Dõnitz after Hitler's death, and kept alive by the Western Allies until 23 May 1945, had fallen.

Consequently, German commanders, who expected a new turn on international politics based on the outbreak of a conflict between the Soviet Union and the Anglo-Saxons, became aware that they would have to go on by their own. Some Kriegmarine Officers decided to sink their U-Boats, surrender to the enemy or come back to Europe. However, at least six U-Boats, including the U-530 and the U-977, headed South to Argentina carrying "heavy" passengers and gold.

"Then, the tragedy came", points out Salinas. "Disguised as fishing vessels, the German submarines sailed on the sea. Shortly after crossing the Equator Line, they came across the operation to guide US planes to Japan. The route Natal - Dakar". The Brazilian cruiser 'Bahia', was taking part in the operation when, according to the results of the investigations, it was shot by two acoustic torpedoes fired by the U-977. The toll: 336 crewmembers died in what is, by far, the largest-ever catastrophe of the Brazilian Navy.

William Joseph Eustace, Andrew Jackson Pendleton, Emmet Peper Salles and Frank Benjamin Sparks, were the four US radio operators of the 'Bahia'. They died after the shooting, but the US Government reported them as "disappeared". Obviously, this is the main reason why the German Government did not co-operate on Salinas and De Napoli's investigation. The Brazilians said that the sinking of the 'Bahia' was a fatal accident; exactly the same speech as did the US Navy on the shooting of the 'USS Eagle 56'... until last year. Then, the U-977, the U-530 and others went down to Argentina and the first two surrendered to the local authorities.

Was Adolf Hitler a passenger on one of these U-Boats? De Napoli answers:

"We think that Hitler, Eva Braun, Gretl Braun and Martin Bormann escaped thanks to this operation. However, we cannot assure whether Hitler landed in Argentina or not".

Martin Bormann died in Paraguay. Perhaps, Stalin's suspects became true:

"Hitler fled either to Spain or to Argentina", he told to the at that time US Secretary of State, James Byrne.

But this is subject to further investigations.

-- Hernan Etchaleco
PRAVDA.Ru Argentina
27 February 2003

This article is based on the book "Ultramar Sur. La Ultima operacion secreta del Tercer Reich", published by Grupo Editorial Norma, and conversations with Juan Salinas and Carlos De Napoli co-writers of the book.

"Pravda" claims the US ship was the 'USS Eagle 56'. No US Battleship was sunk at sea in WWII. 'USS Eagle 56' [PE-56] was a United States Navy World War I era patrol boat that remained in service until World War II. It was sunk on 23 April 1945, off the Maine coast towing targets for dive bombing practice. Only thirteen of the 67 crew members survived. The navy maintained the ship was sunk by a boiler room explosion until recently, finally acknowledging that the 'USS Eagle 56' had in fact been sunk by U-Boat U-853. U-853 was sunk on 6 May 1945, in the North Sea southeast of New London.

On 23 February 1945 Germany sent U-853 on her third war patrol to harass US coastal shipping. Under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Frömsdorf, U-853 did not sink any targets during the first weeks of her patrol. Her crossing of the Atlantic was slow because she used her Schnorchel to remain submerged to avoid being spotted by Allied aircraft. On 1 April 1945 U-853 was ordered to the Gulf of Maine. On 23 April she fatally torpedoed 'USS Eagle Boat 56' near Portland, Maine. The next day 'USS Muskegon' made sonar contact and attacked U-853, but failed to destroy her.

'Eagle Boat 56', a World War I-era patrol boat, was towing targets for a United States Navy dive-bomber training exercise 3 nautical miles (5.6 km; 3.5 mi) off Cape Elizabeth when she exploded amidships and sank. Only 13 of the 67 crew survived. Although several survivors claimed to have seen a submarine sail with yellow and red insignia, a Navy inquiry attributed the sinking to a boiler explosion.

The Navy reversed its findings in 2001 to acknowledge that the sinking was due to hostile fire and awarded Purple Hearts to the survivors and next-of-kin of the deceased.

On 5 May 1945, President (Reichspräsident) of Nazi Germany Karl Dönitz ordered all U-Boats to cease offensive operations and return to their bases. U-853 was lying in wait off Point Judith, Rhode Island at the time.

According to the US Coast Guard, U-853 did not receive that order, or less likely, ignored it. Soon after, her torpedo blew off the stern of 'SS Black Point', a 368-foot [112 m] collier underway from New York to Boston. Within 15 minutes 'Black Point' had sunk in 100 feet [30 m] of water less than 4 nautical miles [7.4 km; 4.6 mi] south of Point Judith. She was the last US-flagged merchant ship lost in World War II. Twelve men died, while 34 crew members were rescued. One of the rescuing ships, Yugoslav freighter 'SS Kamen', sent a report of the torpedoing to authorities. The US Navy organized a "hunter-killer" group that included four American warships: 'Ericsson', 'Amick, 'Atherton', and 'Moberly'.

The group discovered U-853 bottomed in 18 fathoms [108 ft; 33 m], and dropped depth charges and hedgehogs during a 16-hour attack. At first the U-Boat attempted to flee, and then tried to hide by lying still. Both times it was found by Sonar. The morning of 6 May 1945 two K-Class blimps from Lakehurst, New Jersey, K-16 and K-58, joined the attack, locating oil slicks and marking suspected locations with smoke and dye markers. K-16 also attacked with 7.2-inch rocket bombs. Numerous depth charge and hedgehog attacks from 'Atherton' and 'Moberly' resulted in planking, life rafts, a chart tabletop, clothing, and an officer's cap floating to the surface.

U.S. authorities wondered why veteran Captain Helmut Fromsdorf risked an attack in shallow water, close to shore, and why he remained in the area for 90 minutes before arrival of the search boats. At no time did the German sub attempt to surface, abandon ship, or try to torpedo her attackers.

It is not known whether Captain Fromsdorf received the message to cease fire.

With the loss of all 55 officers and men, U-853 was one of the last U-Boats sunk during World War II. and, with U-881, the last to be sunk in US waters. 'Atherton' and 'Moberly' received credit for the kill.

For her first patrol, U-881 was assigned to operate in  US Easter Coastal waters with wolf pack 'Seewolf'. During this operation U-881 was depth charged and sunk by the American destroyer escort 'Farquhar' on 6 May 1945.

On the morning of 7 May 1945, U-320 — a modified Type VIIC/41 boat under Oberleutnant zur See Siegfried Breinlinger was two days into her first operational patrol and running submerged, when she was she was badly damaged by depth charges dropped from a British Catalina of No. 210 Squadron RAF. The battered submarine managed to surface off the Norwegian coast the following day, where she was scuttled. Emmerich and all his crew survived. U-320 was the last U-Boat to be sunk in action during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Also on 7 May, U-1023, a modified Type VIIC/41 under Oberleutnant Wolfgang Strenger, sighted a group of Norwegian minesweepers off Portland Bill. In his first successful attack since the patrol started, in March, he struck. His torpedoes hit NYMS 382, which sank with the loss of 22 men. Three days later, the ship surrendered at Weymouth, England

At around the same time, U-2336, a Type XXIII under Oberleutnant zur See Jürgen Vockel seven days into her first operational patrol, sighted a British convoy off the Isle of May inside the Firth of Forth, sank the last Allied merchant ships to be lost to a German submarine in the war, when she torpedoed and sank the freighters 'Sneland' and 'Avondale Park'.

These actions took place just hours before the German surrender.

These were the last ships to be sunk by enemy action in the Battle of the Atlantic, nearly five and a half years after the first shot was fired.

The 'Bahia' was sunk by U-977, which surrendered at Mar del Plata, Argentina on 17 August 1945, and was turned over to the US for testing. Four US radiomen: William Joseph Eustace, Andrew Jackson Pendleton, Emmet Peper Salles, and Frank Benjamin Sparksere were aboard the Bahia' and were killed. The US Navy still lists the men as missing in action. Brazil ascribes the sinking of the 'Bahia' to an onboard explosion.

Though several extreme websites claim that the Brazilian light cruiser 'Bahia' was sunk by U-977 around 4 July 1945, while it was on route to Argentina, nothing of the kind was further from the truth. It was discovered that the 'Bahia' was sunk by an accidental explosion triggered by an anti-aircraft gun hitting racked depth charges during gunnery practice.

The article in "Pravda" was based on information from Argentina researchers Carlos De Napoli and Juan Salinas. They claim that a fleet of almost 20 U-Boats sailed from the Norwegian port of Bergen, between 1 May and 6 May. They joined another group of U-Boats coming from the US coasts around Cape Verde. There they learned of the surrender. Some scuttled their boats, others surrendered, and still others set course for Germany. However, at least six of the U-Boats proceeded for Argentina. Further, the article claimed that the Argentina Navy was ordered to stop attacks on German U-Boats operating close to Argentina beaches, on orders from Churchill. Ladislas Farago for one has confirmed that the Argentina Navy was issued such an order by Perón. He does not however, mention that the order came from Britain.

Heinz Schäffer claimed in his Argentine interrogations that U-977 and U-530 had delivered valuables to Antarctic shores. Otto Wermuth told ArgNavy that U-530 had been engaged on secret operations and was not attached to any particular Flotilla.  U-530 was also missing 7 torpedoes it had on leaving Europe. Allies intercepted references to a so called Black Fleet mainly composed of U-Boats lost and stricken off in Baltic training which were then raised and refurbished for SS crews to smuggle blockaded items from Argentina. This was known as operation Fireland.

The "Pravda" article contains a serious error in the name of the US ship sunk. Due to the controversy of the sinking being listed as a boiler explosion when the survivors reported seeing a trotting horse on a red shield on the conning tower, the sinking of the 'USS Eagle 56' has been thoroughly investigated. However, the article contains much information known to be true, including the listing of two of the U-Boats: U-530 and U-977. U-530 surrendered in the Mar del Plata, Argentina on 10 July 1945. It was turned over to the US for testing. Other information has been partially confirmed by other investigators. It is also known initially, the US didn't believe the report of Hitler's suicide at first and launched a search in South America for him and other missing top Nazis. After surrendering, the commander of U-977 Heinz Schäffer was arrested and charged with smuggling war criminals to South America.

Interestingly, U-530 appeared to have been stationed around Cape Verde in 1944. On 23 June 1944, U-530 rendezvoused with the Japanese sub I-52 to transfer a radar detector about 850 miles west of the islands. The Allies were aware of the transfer and Allied planes managed to sink the Japanese submarine. The I-52 was located in 1955 and still contains 2 tons of gold.

I-52, code-named 'Momi', Japanese for Evergreen, was a Type C3 cargo submarine, or Type C Modified submarine [Junsen Hei-gata-kai], of the Imperial Japanese Navy,  used during World War II for a secret mission to Lorient, France, then occupied by Germany, during which she was sunk.

This class of submarines was designed and built by Mitsubishi Corporation, between 1943 and 1944, as cargo carriers. They were quite long and carried a crew of up to 94. They also had a long cruising range at a speed of 12 knots [22 km/h]. The Japanese constructed only three of these submarines during World War II [I-52, I-53 and I-55] although twenty were planned. They were the largest submarines ever built at that time, and were known as the most advanced Japanese submarines of their time.

The keel of I-52 was laid on 18 March 1942, and she was commissioned on 28 December 1943 into the 11th submarine squadron. After training in Japan she was selected for a Yanagi [exchange] mission to Germany.

These were missions enabled under the Axis Powers' Tripartite Pact to provide for an exchange of strategic materials and manufactured goods between Germany, Italy and Japan. Initially, cargo ships made the exchanges, but when that was no longer possible submarines were used.

Only five other submarines had attempted this intercontinental voyage during World War II: I-30 [April 1942], I-8 [June 1943], I-34 [October 1943], I-29 [November 1943], and German submarine U-511 [August 1943]. Of these, I-30 was sunk by a mine, I-34 by the British submarine HMS Taurus, and I-29 by the United States submarine Sawfish [assisted by Ultra intelligence].

I-52 was  also known as Japan's "Golden Submarine", because she was carrying a cargo of gold to Germany as payment for matériel and technology. There has been speculation that a peace proposal to the Allies was contained on board the I-52 as well, but this is unlikely on two counts: there is no evidence that the Japanese government was interested in peace proposals or negotiated settlements at that stage in the war; and the Japanese kept an open dialogue with their diplomatic attachés via radio and diplomatic voucher through Russia, and had no need for long and uncertain transfer via a submarine bound for a Nazi-controlled area of western Europe.

Was there a peace proposal from Tokyo that never made it into the hands of its intended recipient, Yoshikazu Fujimura? Yoshikazu Fujimura, the assistant naval attaché in Switzerland, had been in secret peace negotiations with US representative, Allen Dulles.

It is believed that 800 kg [1,000-lbs] of Uranium oxide awaited I-52 for her return voyage at Lorient according to Ultra decrypts. It has been speculated that this was for the Japanese to develop a radiological weapon [a so-called "dirty bomb"] for use against the United States. [The amount of unenriched Uranium oxide would not have been enough to create an atomic bomb, though if used in a nuclear reactor it could have created poisonous fission products].

On 10 March 1944, on her maiden voyage, I-52 [Commander Uno Kameo] departed Kure via Sasebo for Singapore. Her cargo from Japan included 9.8 tons of molybdenum, 11 tons of tungsten, 2.2 tons of gold in 146 bars packed in 49 metal boxes, 3 tons of opium and 54 kg of caffeine. The gold was payment for German optical technology. She also carried 14 passengers, primarily Japanese technicians, who were to study German technology in anti-aircraft guns, and engines for torpedo boats.

In Singapore she picked up a further 120 tons of tin in ingots, 59.8 tons of caoutchouc [raw rubber] in bales and 3.3 tons of quinine, and headed through the Indian Ocean, to the Atlantic Ocean.

On 6 June 1944, the Japanese naval attaché in Berlin, Rear Admiral Kojima Hideo, signaled the submarine that the Allies had landed in Normandy, thus threatening her eventual destination of Lorient on the coast of France. She was advised to prepare for Norway instead. She was also instructed to rendezvous with a German submarine.  I-52 responded with her position, and the message was intercepted and decoded by US Intelligence; I-52 had been closely watched all the way from Singapore. Guided by the F-21 Submarine Tracking Room and F-211 'Secret Room' of the Tenth Fleet which was in charge of the Atlantic section, a hunter-killer task force was targeted towards her.

The escort carrier 'USS Bogue'  [CVE-9] and five destroyer escorts, en route to the United States from Europe, having departed from Casablanca on 15 June 1944, were ordered to find and destroy the Japanese submarine. This task force, on its way from Hampton Roads to Casablanca, had sunk another Japanese submarine, the Type IX RO-501 [formerly U-1224] on 13 May 1944, was a very effective force, sinking 13 German and Japanese submarines between February 1943 and July 1945.

On the night of 22 June 1944,  in mid-Atlantic, about 850 nautical miles [1,574 km] west of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, I-52 rendezvoused with U-530, a Type IXC/40 U-Boat commanded by Kapitänleutnant Kurt Lange, who was replaced in January 1945 by Oberleutnant zur See Otto Wermuth, which had departed Lorient on 22 May 1944 ultimately for operations in the Trinidad area. 

U-530 provided I-52 with fuel, and also transferred a Naxos FuMB 7 radar detector, and an Enigma coding machine, along with two radar operators, Petty Officers Schulze and Behrendt, and a German liaison officer, as a navigator to help the submarine survive the final leg of the journey into Lorient through the Bay of Biscay.  I-52 was also to be fitted with a Schnorchel device at Lorient, and in addition, 35 to 40 tons of secret documents, drawings, and strategic cargo awaited her return trip to Japan: T-5 acoustic torpedoes, a Jumo 213-A motor used on the long-nosed Focke-Wulf Fw-190D fighter, radar equipment, vacuum tubes, ball bearings, bombsights, chemicals, alloy steel, and optical glass.

With a belch of exhaust from her Diesels, Type IXC-40 U-Boat U-530 edges away from Japanese C3 Class submarine I-52,
as two Japanese sailors in a rubber dinghy make their way back to their boat.


Arriving in the area of the meeting, the  'USS Bogue' began launching flights of Grumman TBF-1C Avenger torpedo bombers to search for the submarines. U-530 escaped undetected. I-52 did not.

At approximately 2340 on 23 June, Chief Ed Whitlock, the radar operator in Lieutenant Commander Jesse Taylor's TBF Avenger, detected a surface contact. Taylor immediately dropped flares, illuminating the area, and attacked. After his first pass, he saw the depth bomb explosions just to starboard of the submarine, a near miss, and the boat diving. Taylor dropped a sonobouy, a newly-developed device that picked up underwater noise and transmitted it back to the aircraft carrier. Directed from the carrier according to the sonobouy`s signal, Taylor began a torpedo attack, dropping a Mark 24 "mine." That term was used for what was code-named "Fido": the first Allied acoustic torpedo, developed by the Harvard Underwater Sound Lab, which homed in on the sounds of the submarine. Fido was designed to be a "mission kill" weapon, it would damage the submarine so badly it would have to surface, rather than destroying it completely. Within minutes, the sonobouys transmitted the sounds of an explosion and mechanical break-up noises.

As Taylor's patrol ended, he was relieved by Lieutenant [junior grade] William "Flash" Gordon, accompanied by civilian underwater sound expert Price Fish. They arrived on the scene just after midnight, and circled with Taylor for some time. At about 0100, Fish reported hearing some faint propeller noise in the area.

Captain Aurelius Vosseller, commanding officer of 'Bogue', ordered a second attack and another "Fido" was dropped.  Taylor departed from the area at 0115, but Gordon stayed to circle the area and listen for any sign of activity but no further activity was reported.

U-530 returned to base, this time Flensburg, after 133 days at sea.

Additional information surfaced in 1997 in Argentina. The national newspaper, "Ambito Financiero", was contacted by a man giving his full German name and his commander's identity number. He claimed he arrived in Argentina after scuttling his U-Boat. In 1970s, a different person making the same claim contacted the same paper. This U-Boat commander wrote that, on Hitler's specific orders, ten submarines, each with fifty officers and crew, were to sail to Argentina to help found the Fourth Reich. Recently, more information on this fleet of U-boats came from Norway. There, a person claiming to have allegedly worked in an archive department of the Nazi Navy, a large part of which was stationed in southern Norway during the War, discovered additional documents that collaborate the Argentina information. Other researchers have long claimed two U-Boats were scuttled after unloading their cargo of documents and gold in shallow water, which would confirm the two contacts with the paper. 

The "Pravda" article was obviously inflated largely along the lines of the Soviet suspicions of the time. However, setting aside its faults, it sheds additional light on information that the Untied States and England would like to see buried. Additional searches for German U-Boats along the Argentina coast are already being planned. Any discoveries would only serve to confirm more of the "Pravda" article as well as the contacts made with the Argentina paper.

Franklin Roosevelt often lied to further his goals. In a radio address broadcast to the nation on 23 October 1940, for example, he gave "this most solemn assurance" that he had not given any "secret understanding in any shape or form, direct or indirect, with any government or any other nation in any part of the world, to involve this nation in any war or for any other purpose". But American, British and Polish documents [mostly released many years later] proved that this "most solemn assurance" was a bald-faced lie. Roosevelt had, in fact, made numerous secret arrangements to involve the U.S. in war.

On 11 March 1941 Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease bill into law, permitting increased deliveries of military aid to Britain in violation of U.S. neutrality and international law.

In April Roosevelt illegally sent U.S. troops to occupy Greenland.

On 27 May he proclaimed a state of "unlimited national emergency," a kind of presidential declaration of war that circumvented a power constitutionally reserved to Congress.

Following the Axis attack against the USSR in June, the Roosevelt administration began delivering enormous quantities of military aid to the beleagured Soviets. These shipments also blatantly violated international law.

In July Roosevelt illegally sent American troops to occupy Iceland.

Some U.S. officials were concerned about British wartime efforts to deceive the American government and people. In a  5 September 1941 memorandum forwarded to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Assistant Secretary of State Adolf Berle warned that British Intelligence agents were manufacturing phony documents detailing supposed German conspiracies. Americans should be "on our guard" against these British-invented "false scares," Berle concluded.

The President began his 1941 Navy Day address broadcast over nationwide radio on 27 October by recalling that German submarines had torpedoed the U.S. destroyer 'Greer' on 4 September 1941 and the U.S. destroyer 'Kearny' on 17 October.

In highly emotional language, he characterized these incidents as unprovoked acts of aggression directed against all Americans. He declared that although he had wanted to avoid conflict, shooting had begun and "history has recorded who fired the first shot". 

What Roosevelt deliberately failed to mention was the fact that in each case the U.S. destroyers had been engaged in attack operations against the submarines, which fired in self-defense only as a last resort. Hitler wanted to avoid war with the United States, and had expressly ordered German submarines to avoid conflicts with U.S warships at all costs, except to avoid imminent destruction. Roosevelt's standing "shoot on sight" orders to the U.S Navy were specifically designed to make incidents like the ones he so piously condemned inevitable.

While the president repeated he did not want war and had no intent to send an expeditionary force to Europe, the militant secretaries of the Navy and of the War Department, Knox and Stimson, denounced the neutrality legislation in speeches and public declarations and advocated an American intervention in the Atlantic Battle. As members of the cabinet they could not do it without the president’s consent.

-- Fehrenbach, T.F.: "F.D.R.’s Undeclared War 1939 to 1941"

Later in his address, President Franklin Roosevelt made an astonishing claim:

"I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler's government, by planners of the new world order. It is a map of South America and part of Central America, as Hitler proposes to organize it".

The map, the President explained, showed South America, as well as "our great life line, the Panama Canal," divided into five vassal states under German domination.

"That map, my friends, makes clear the Nazi design not only against South America but against the United States as well".

Roosevelt went on to reveal that he also had in his possession "another document made in Germany by Hitler's government. "It is a detailed plan to abolish all existing religions -- Catholic, Protestant, Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish alike" which Germany will impose "on a dominated world, if Hitler wins".

"The property of all churches will be seized by the Reich and its puppets. The cross and all other symbols of religion are to be forbidden. The clergy are to be liquidated. In the place of the churches of our civilization there is to be set up an international Nazi church, a church which will be served by orators sent out by the Nazi government. And in the place of the Bible, the words of 'Mein Kampf' will be imposed and enforced as Holy Writ. And in the place of the cross of Christ will be put two symbols: the Swastika and the naked sword".

The German government immediately responded to Roosevelt's speech by denouncing his "documents" as preposterous frauds. At a press conference the next day, a reporter rather naturally asked the President for a copy of the "secret map". But Roosevelt refused, insisting only that it came from "a source which is undoubtedly reliable".

In a memoir published in late 1984, war-time British agent Ivar Bryce, who worked under Churchill's man William Stephenson, who had been given his mission: "Provoke America to go to war with Germany." claimed credit for thinking up the "secret map" scheme. Of course, the other "document" cited by Roosevelt, purporting to outline German plans to abolish the world's religions, was never found; it was just as fraudulent as the "secret map".

Nicholas John Cull, in his book, "Selling War: The British Propaganda Campaign Against American 'Neutrality' in World War II", based on extensive archival research and personal interviews, relates: 

"Whatever the exact origin of the map, the most striking feature of the episode was the complicity of the President of the United States in perpetrating the fraud".

While FDR indeed was a steadfast advocate for a more active US role in the unfolding conflict, he was up against formidable internal resistance to entry into war. It was the British who had more to gain from American involvement, because they had everything to lose. In this phase of the conflict, Britain stood virtually alone, Nazi Germany controlling most of the European continent and kicking Soviet butt in the early months of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The US would only be dragged into the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, later that same year, on 7 December.

In his address to Congress calling for war, after Pearl Harbor, FDR did not even mention Germany. Yet Hitler stunned the world by declaring war on America. Why? Among the reasons cited by Germany was the provocation of FDR's Navy Day speech and fake map'

"Germany is perhaps the only great nation, which has never had a colony either in North or South America, or otherwise displayed there was 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

Congresswoman Clare Booth-Luce, shocked many people by saying at the Republican Party Convention in 1944 that Roosevelt “has lied us into the war because he did not have the political courage to lead us into it". However, after this statement proved to be correct, the Roosevelt followers ceased to deny it, but praised it by claiming he was "forced to lie" to save his country and then England and "the world".

Stephenson's forgery was a triumph, and although he used fraud and blackmail to goad the U.S. into a war that killed and wounded a million Americans, he is the hero of the best-seller "A Man Called Intrepid". And not only has FDR been forgiven, he has been celebrated. His lies, it is said, were noble lies, to rouse an isolationist America into doing its duty and ridding the world of Adolf Hitler.

For Britain, desperate times called for desperate measures, one of which would have been the forgery of this map, the point of which was to instill in the Americans the notion that the Nazis, if victorious in Europe, would not leave the American continent alone, thus challenging the Monroe Doctrine. The story behind the map, as produced by the British Intelligence services, went like this:

In October 1941, a British agent managed to snatch this map from the bag of a German courier straight after the latter’s involvement in a car crash in Buenos Aires. The map showed how the Nazis intended to reorganise South America into five satellite states, each one a Gau with a German Gauleiter:

• Guyana [encompassing British, Dutch and French Guyana, but wholly under the tutelage of the – collaborating – French government headquartered in Vichy];
• Neuspanien [New Spain, an agglomeration of Venezuela, Colombia, Equador and Panama – meaning the Panama Canal, at that time under US sovereignty, would at least indirectly come under Nazi control];
• Chile [being a fusion of Peru, part of Bolivia and Chile itself, dissected halfway by an Argentinian corridor to the Pacific port of Antofagasta];
• Argentina [Argentina itself, Uruguay and Paraguay, and the aforementioned Antofagasta corridor];
• Brazil [being Brazil, plus part of Bolivia].

Interestingly, the map's legend stresses:

"Luftverkehrsnetz der Vereinigten Staaten Süd-Amerikas Hauptlinien". [Air Routes in the United States of South America – Main Lines], indicating that these states would be joined in a well-connected subcontinent-wide political union [most likely a Nazi-induced shotgun wedding]. Such a unified behemoth under German control would inevitably pose a threat to the US.


As it turned out, World War II hardly touched South America. Only after the war did it gain some notoriety as the hideout of many top-level Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann, who was caught by the Israelis in Argentina, and Josef Mengele, who died peacefully in Brazil.

Cull's study, though written from what D.C. Watt has called a "triumphalist" perspective on British Propaganda, provides a great deal of information to those who seek to avoid future foreign entanglements.

"Selling War" gives ample, if unintended support for the judgment of the great diplomatic historian Charles Callan Tansill in "Back Door to War":

"The main objective of American foreign policy since 1900 has been the preservation of the British Empire".

And that was also the problem for President Bush. In the 2003 State of the Union, he declared:

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of Uranium from Africa. Our Intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production".

For those who opposed war with Iraq as necessary, this was riveting. If Saddam was building nuclear weapons, the case for war was far more compelling than if all he had were Scuds, mustard gas and anthrax he could not deliver. Days after the president spoke, Dick Cheney raised anew the awful specter: "We believe he has ... reconstituted nuclear weapons".

Much later it was learned that the critical document on which the president relied was also a naked forgery. Someone fabricated the document that supposedly proved Iraq was secretly trying to buy Uranium from Niger.

Moreover, the CIA knew the truth, as ex-ambassador Joe Wilson had been sent to Niger to ferret it out. And Wilson had returned to report that the nuclear link to Iraq did not exist.

So, two questions remain. Who forged the Niger document? Who put the lie in the president's State of the Union address?

Fingers are being pointed in all directions. President Bush gave the British government as his source, leading one to suspect the heirs of Bryce and Stephenson. The Brits point to the CIA. The "Washington Post" said that a foreign Intelligence agency was the source. CNN cited officials who said it was not the Brits or Mossad. Lately, Italy has popped up as a possible source – and the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmed Chalabi.

Whoever did it, the forgery – so crude it suggests the author knew his recipient wanted it so badly he would not bother to verify it – was a war crime, a deliberate provocation of the United States to instigate a war on a country that did not threaten America.


Bratzel, John F., and Leslie B. Rout, Jr., 'FDR and The 'Secret Map', "The Wilson Quarterly" [Washington, DC], New Year's 1985

'Ex-British Agent Says FDR's Nazi Map Faked,' "Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene" [Frederick, MD: University Publications of America], December 1984

'President Roosevelt's Navy Day Address on World Affairs,' "The New York Times", 28 October 1941

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

- Hermann Wilhelm Göring at the Nuremberg trials  1946 -


All the Leaders of the Third Reich Fled to Latin America...
Nil Nikandrov
2 April 2009

In May, 1945 officers of the SMERSH, the counter-Intelligence department of the Red Army, found the burned bodies of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in a garden just outside the Reich Chancellery.

An identification procedure was carried out to exclude any doubts whether the corpses were those of the Nazi leader and his wife, but for a long time its results remained classified.

The secrecy bred various alternative versions. Former Chief of US Intelligence in Berlin Col. W.J. Heimlich stated that according to his own report "there was no evidence beyond that of HEARSAY to support the THEORY of Hitler's suicide".

Later former CIA Director Bedell Smith expressed an opinion coinciding with that of his colleague by saying that nobody was able to prove Hitler's death in Berlin.

The claims awakened the fantasy of numerous individuals whose interests revolved around the history of Nazi Germany. Hundreds of books and dozens of movies about Operation ODESSA, the transfer of Nazi leaders to hideouts in various remote parts of the world, have seen the light of day as a result.

Like many aspects of the short existence of the Third Reich the theme is indeed captivating. Currently there seems to be a Nazi history boom in Russia. Bookstores are loaded with literature on the subject. Biographies of Nazi leaders, memoirs written by Wehrmacht generals and Luftwaffe pilots, treatises on the Abwehr and the Gestapo may be a specific sort of pabulum, but in Russia they clearly have a permanent readership.

The Swastika can be seen on most of the book covers. Once I inadvertently heard a piece of a conversation among people I did not know in a bookstore - someone said: "All the leaders of the Third Reich fled to Latin America". I was not too surprised. You can run across much stronger statements on the Internet like "Hitler remained alive for a whole decade after Stalin's death and the truth finally became impossible to conceal".

The attempts made by writers, journalists, and cohorts of sensation-seekers to float more positive and optimistic versions of what happened to Nazi leaders should not come as a surprise in the context of the current Western campaign aimed at radically reassessing the results of World War II and understating, if not altogether denying, the role played by the Soviet Union in routing Nazi Germany and its allies. Oftentimes Nazi leaders are portrayed as fearless warriors who rose against the expansion of "the Russian Bolshevism" but were swept away by "the Eastern Hordes".

The final point in the biographies of many of the Nazi leaders was put by the Nuremberg Trials, but masters of falsifications either pretend not to notice the episodes or distort them in the style of the now-popular fantasy genre which ideologists of the dominant neo-liberal doctrine brought to the forefront of the modern art. The reality which does not correspond to ideology can be cosmetically processed. A whole generation grew up on various fantasies like "The Lord of the Rings", "Harry Potter", and likewise global projects, and quite a few people are prepared to believe in incredible transformations of reality, miraculous transfigurations, magic illusions, and mystical triumphs of the elevated virtual reality over the boring ordinary life.

The popularization of the hypothesis that Hitler survived in an underground "New Berlin" in Antarctica was one of the first attempts to plant the fantasy genre into historical literature. Allegedly engineers and construction workers delivered to the continent by 35 [!] submarines of Führer's Convoy had been building the installation in enormous underground oases in 1939-1943.

Even wider circulation was enjoyed by the version according to which Nazi leaders had fled in numbers to Latin America and established a secret "Fourth Reich". It was put forward by Ladislas Farago, an ethnic Hungarian who worked for the U.S. Naval Intelligence during World War II and cleverly utilized his unique knowledge and experience after it. He wrote books about the struggle between Intelligence services and Nazi criminals that managed to avoid punishment by fleeing across the ocean. Farago's "Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich" became a bestseller in 1970s.

By professionally arranging the materials at his disposal the author attempted to prove that Adolf Hitler's personal secretary, chief of the Parteikanzlei, and "Gray Cardinal" Bormann escaped from the Intelligence services of the anti-fascist coalition countries and made it to Latin America, where he lived without serious problems and died at a senior age. Farago presented in a lively fashion the history of searches for Bormann, cited a whole bulk of documents, and supplied details of conversations with eyewitnesses of Bormann's secret life and even with Bormann himself.

The books left many readers convinced that the Third Reich's number two official had miraculously survived and discredited the report that Bormann's skeleton had been found at a construction site in Berlin a few years after the end of the war and identified.

In Farago's interpretation, Bormann created in Latin America a secret network of his aides and native sympathizers which replicated the "authority vertical", the administrative system, and the security machine of the Third Reich. Bormann's empire allegedly spread over Argentine, Paraguay, Chile, and Bolivia, and also had bases in other Latin American countries.

Indirectly Farago's version was confirmed by the accomplishments of the so-called Nazi hunters, of whom Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp, was the best-known. Flows of information -at times quite unreliable- concerning Nazi criminals at large converged in Wiesenthal's headquarters. Thus Wiesenthal floated numerous legends about the powerful Nazi underground in Latin America.
Nevertheless he must be credited with having done a lot to make Nazi criminals face justice. The information supplied by Wiesenthal led to the seizure of Adolf Eichmann in Argentine and helped to establish the whereabouts of Butcher of Lyon Klaus Barbie who -after protracted strife- was eventually deported to France. At one time there was hope that the notorious Nazi sadist -physician Josef Mengele- would also be caught in no time in Brazil or Paraguay.

A lot has been written about Wiesenthal's efforts to put on trial Walter Rauff, the SS officer who designed gas vans, the mobile gas chambers used by the SS to exterminate prisoners. After trying to land in various countries he finally settled down in Chile where he got the job of an "adviser" with Pinochet's secret police DINA. Rauff patronized Colonia Dignidad regarded as a Nazi enclave in Chile. The colony was founded by former Nazi corporal and a fanatical follower of Hitler, Paul Schäfer. If the Fourth Reich ever existed, Colonia Dignidad would have been its only part to become known.

Interest in the Fourth Reich myth began to evaporate in the 1980s -1990s as at that time the Nazi criminals who found shelter in Latin America had to reach their seventies or even eighties. The page of history was about to be turned, but in 2000 the theme of the Nazi underground was revitalized by Argentinian journalist Abel Basti with his sensational books "Hitler En Argentina" and "Bariloche Nazi: Sitios Historicos Relacionados Al Nacionalsocialismo". They were carefully documented and included photographs like post-war pictures of Hitler and his wife Eva Braun whom he married in his Bunker while the fighting of Berlin was raging. Basti's imagination and ability to invent and combine evidence were superior even to those of late Farago. The latter at least never claimed that Hitler personally headed the Fourth Reich in the name of the struggle against plutocracy, communism, Jewry, and Free Masonry.

Basti wrote that Hitler, Eva Braun, and the Führer's closest aides flew from the burning Berlin to Spain [or, alternatively, to Norway], and then crossed the Atlantic Ocean by three submarines and reached Argentina. In July-August, 1945 Hitler and his clique landed in the Rio Negro province near the Caleta de los Loros village and moved on further into Argentine. Allegedly, the same secret route prepared by SS chief Heinrich Himmler's people was later passed by Bormann, Mengele, and Eichmann... Basti detailed the journey of Hitler and Braun across Argentina assisted by local Nazi sympathizers, and described the couple's family life during which, despite the hardships of hiding, they even had children.

"Bariloche Nazi: Sitios Historicos Relacionados Al Nacionalsocialismo" became the favorite reading of Hitler's admirers. The two-storied mansion in Bariloche which, according to Basti, had served as Hitler's residence in 1945-1950 permanently attracts tourists. Other routes allegedly leading to the hideouts of Bormann, Mengele, and Eichmann had also become fairly popular. Paraguayan historian Mariano Llano expressed support for Basti's view as he also published a book on the rewarding theme entitled "Hitler, Nazi in Paraguay".

The flow of literature spreading the myth about Hitler's life in Latin America is unlikely to dwindle upon the publication of Basti's books. I am not trying to say that the fantasy genre has no right to exist. Demand for this sort of writings surges in crisis epochs when readers are hungry for whatever helps them to escape from reality.

Basti's books were promoted globally, and among other countries the waves of the campaign reached Russia. Companies are trying to obtain a license to make a movie based on the material. We should expect that in the future new authors will create sensations by broadening the list of survivors to eventually include all of Hitler's associates. To eliminate discrepancies, those who were executed following the Nuremberg Trials could be look-alikes of the actual Nazi leaders and fanatics eager to sacrifice their lives.....

Imagine the picture: a lovely estate in Argentina, a bunch of friends -Hitler, Bormann, Himmler, Göbbels, Ribbentrop, Keitel, Müller- at the dining table. Eva Braun wearing an apron is pouring coffee with cream and serving an apple pie. What an idyll.....


The Argentine Axis

The story of the Nazi underground in South America goes back to the days when Hitler first began eyeing the sparsely-settled grasslands of Patagonia as an ideal spot for his Lebensraum project. He envisioned a Pampas empire of German towns, German farms, German ranches. He dreamed of a great agricultural-industrial colony on the other side of the Atlantic and vowed to make it the richest of all Germany's territorial possessions.

Argentina already had a large German minority, sympathetic to the ambitious goals of the Third Reich. German industries controlled much of the country's economy. German officers held high posts in the Argentine military forces. Almost every city and town had its German-Argentine "friendships societies" in imitation of Hitler's Stormtroops and youth groups. Furthermore, many officials in the Argentine federal government were outspoken Nazi sympathizers.

Not the least of these was a blustering, rabble-rousing Army colonel named Juan Domingo Perón. Perón paid a personal visit to Hitler in the spring of 1940 and was invited to accompany the Führer on his triumphal march into Paris. Vastly impressed by the mighty Nazi war machine, Perón promised to set up a Nazi-style state in Argentina if Hitler would help him undermine the democratic government. Hitler promplty agreed. In the next four years, the Reich poured nearly $1 Billion Dollars into Argentina. Some of if was to finance Peron's power play. Some went to purchase thousands of square miles of fertile grasslands in Patagonia. And some was set aside for Nazi leaders, in case they should have to leave Germany in a hurry.

In 1943, S.S. Gen. Wilhelm von Faupel and Willi Köhn, chief of the Latin American section of the German Foreign Office, arrived in Argentina to assist Peron and his "colonels' group" in overthrowing the government of Ramon Castillo. Hitler's envoys traveled by U-Boat from Cadiz, Spain. Slipping through the Atlantic blockade, the submarine surfaced off the Argentine coast near Mar del Plata. A tugboat owned by a German-controlled shipping line picked up the two passengers and some forty large wooden crates from the sub. The boxes contained millions of dollars in gold, jewelry and art treasures stolen from occupied countries. The loot was to provide a war chest for Peron and a nest egg for Hitler's henchmen. General von Faupel also brought a trinket for Perón's beautiful blonde wife, Evita. When they met in Buenos Aires, he fastened a diamond necklace around her throat as "a little token of the Führer's esteem".

Masterminded and financed by the Germans, the Argentine Putsch succeeded. Perón became vice president and turned Argentina into the most active Nazi center outside Germany. Soon U-Boats were making reguler runs between Spain and Argentina, transporting hundreds of Nazis to their new base of operations. General Arturo Rawson, nominal leader of the army coup that toppled the civilian government, admitted to a U.S. Embassy official in 1944 that Nazi technicians and party brass were setting up shop in his country. On 22 January 1945, Reichsführer S.S. Heinrich Himmler notified his police, Waffen S.S. and Intelligence commanders that "certain party leaders" soon would be sent abroad on a secret mission. The following month, 340 high-ranking Nazis were ordered to Argentina to pave the way for the thousands who would soon follow.

Hitler still hoped for some miracle to stem, the advancing Allied tides, but his top aides were more realistic. Deputy Führer Bormann, Propaganda Minister Göbbels and Labor Minister Robert Ley met in the Berlin Bunker on 12 April  1945, and drew up secret plans for a post-war Nazi underground, with headquarters in Argentina. Ludwig Freude, Argentina's No. 1 Nazi, was placed in charge of the initial phase of this project. After the war, while Bormann was leading a guerrilla army in the Bavarian Alps, Freude found Argentine homes and jobs for hundreds of important Nazis, many of them wanted war criminals. The Allies demanded Freude's repatriation to Germany, but Peron's answer was a flat "no". Argentine authorities claimed Freude had been a citizen of their country since 1935. Actually, his request for Argentine citizenship was granted on 8 May 1935, but he did not take the required oath of citizenship until ten years later. His citizenship card was not issued until 18 December 1945, months after the Allies requested his deportation. A wealthy contractor, Freude built troop barracks for Perón and Nazi cells for Hitler. He  took a trip to Germany in 1940 and was decorated by Hitler for his services to the Third Reich. Freude's son, Rudolf, also an active Nazi, became Perón's confidential secretary after the military Junta took over. During Peron's 1946 campaign for President, Rudolf handled the campaign funds, including fat contributions from the Nazi underground.

Twelve days before the Presidential elections, the U.S. State Department issued a 32,000-word Blue Book that accused the Argentine regime of collaborating with the Axis enemy, espionage, intrigue, deceit, harboring Nazi war criminals and making a mockery of its pledge to the United Nations to "reaffirm faith in human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person".

"In Argentina," the Blue Book said, "the Germans have constructed a complete duplicate of the economic structure for war which they had in Germany". An unprecedented attack on an American nation, the Blue Book created a furor in the U.S. Congress and all Latin American governments. Its pro-Nazi charges almost severed diplomatic relations between Argentina and the United States. Specifically, it accused the Freudes of managing Nazi-Argentine affairs and Perón of giving the Nazis a western hemisphere base for building a new war machine. Perón ignored the State Department blast. Elected president, he set up a Hitler-style dictatorship with the help of his Nazi pals. An impressive array of German talent gathered around the Argentine Adolf. Perón first ignored, then denied the State Department charges. All he wanted, he insisted, was to head a free and democratic government "for the good of the common man". Elected President, he promplty set up a Hitler-style dictatorship, abolished civil liberties and surrounded himself with an impressive array of Nazi talent. A list of his top appointments read like a Who's Who of the Third Reich. Former Nazis bossed the police, military, economic, diplomatic and propaganda branches of the Peron regime and virtually all other major departments. Some of his chief advisers were wanted war criminals. Some of the Nazis had entered Argentina illegally, but most came from neutral countries with forged identity papers and Red Cross passports.

For fear of international reaction, Perón tried to keep his Swastika Cabinet secret. The Nazis received no official titles. They were merely "technical advisers"—with complete authority over the government agencies to which, they were attached. Here are some of those who made the easy transition from Hitler's court to Casa Rosada, Perón's presidential palace: Ante Pavelic, Nazi puppet ruler of Croatia, became boss of the Perónista secret police. On his staff at Buenos Aires Police Headquarters were Dido Kvaternik, his own former secret police chief, and several Gestapo graduates including S.S. Colonel Eugene Dollman, one-time Gestapo commander in Rome; Dr. Hans Koch and Dr. Hans Richner. A former Nazi Intelligence officer, who boasts of escaping from the U.S. Counter-Intelligence Corps in Germany by paying a lieutenant a $300 bribe, said: "There are so many former Gestapo men in the Argentine Intelligence service that it is riskier to tell a joke about Perón in German than in Spanish". Professor Willy Tank, "Hitler's favorite aircraft designer," was in charge of some 350 German technicians at the Cordoba research station where jet fighters for the Argentine Air Force were born. Tank designed and built the Pulqui I and Pulqui II, Latin America's first jet fighters. German air aces like General Adolf Galland, Luftwaffe commander in the Battle of Britain; Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel and General Werner Baumbach served as Cordoba test pilots and Air Force advisers. Admiral Joachim Litzmann, former commander of German naval forces in the Black Sea, was adviser to the Argentine Navy. Under his unofficial command, it became the most powerful fleet south of the U.S. border. German generals whipped the Argentine Army into a goose-stepping replica of Hitler's Wehrmacht, complete with jack-boots and Nazi uniforms.

German scientists worked on atomic research projects, trying unsuccessfully to build an Argentine A-bomb. Heinrich Dörge, former president of Hitler's Reichsbank of industry, was technical adviser to Perón's mighty Central Bank. Empowered to seize every bank deposit in the nation and approve every loan, the Central Bank held an economic axe over the head of every individual and business in Argentina. The Perónist diplomatic corps had such expert advisers as Dr. Karl Klingenfuss, Dr. Hans Theiss, Dr. Bruno Leist and Dr. Alfred Ragalsky, all former officials of the Nazi Foreign Office. Klingenfuss had been deputy director of Department Deutschland, which handled "Jewish affairs". Johannes von Leers, one of the most fanatic anti-Semites in the Göbbels Propaganda Ministry, was Perón's adviser on propaganda and "public relations." Another Göbbels' lackey, Wilfred von Oven, was editor of "Deutsche La Plata Zeitung", one of several German dailies that carried on the old party line in the new homeland. German firms such as Siemens, Bau-Union, Gründ and Bilfiner, supposedly "confiscated" by Argentine authorities during the war, received fat public works contracts. New high-ways, schools, airports, bridges, public buildings, housing projects and military installations helped put German industry back on its feet. These firms supplied postwar jobs for thousands of Germans who were channeled to Argentina by the Nazi underground.

At first, the war criminals remained in the background. Then, as Perón's iron grip tightened and crushed all democratic opposition, the mass murderers came out of hiding. Dr. Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz extermination expert, opened a chemical laboratory in Buenos Aires without even bothering to affect an alias. Martin Bormann, slightly more discreet, left his Patagonian hideaway and moved to the capital with his pistol-packing entourage. He rented an office at 868 Avenido Martin Haedo, in downtown Buenos Aires. This inconspicuous suite, with the name of a German-Argentine export-import firm on the door, was the nest from which "Die Spinne" wove its worldwide web. By 1949, Die Spinne's global activities had attracted the attention of Intelligence services and newspapers in several nations. In Germany, the "Kölnische Rundschau" disclosed that many convicted Norwegian Quislings and their counterparts in other European lands had joined German war criminals in the Argentine. The "Jewish Chronicle" said the mass migration was "directed by a powerful underground organization" with headquarters in Buenos Aires. "Reynolds News" sent an investigator to Rome late in 1950 to check on Nazi activities there. He uncovered a branch office of Die Spinne. Camouflaged as an Argentine import-export agency, it was run by the famous Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's commando chief. Skorzeny reportedly arranged the escapes of many Nazi criminals who took off for Argentina from Rome and Madrid. A fugitive from justice himself, Skorzeny apparently was the chief European dispatcher for the underground railway.

Die Spinne [German for "The Spider"] was a post-WWII organisation credited with helping certain Nazi war criminals escape justice. Its existence is still debated today. It is believed by some historians to be a different name [or a branch] of the Nazi German ODESSA organization established during the collapse of the Third Reich, similar to "Kameradenwerk", and "Brüderschaft", devoted to helping German war criminals flee Europe. It was led in part by Otto Skorzeny, Hitler's commando chief, as well as Nazi Intelligence officer Reinhard Gehlen. Die Spinne helped as many as 600 former SS men escape from Germany to Spain, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, the Middle East, and other countries.

Die Spinne was established by Skorzeny using the aliases Robert Steinbacher and Otto Steinbauer, and supported by either Nazi funds or, according to some sources, Austrian Intelligence. Later, Skorzeny, Gehlen, and their network of collaborators had gained significant influence in parts of Europe and Latin America. Skorzeny travelled between Francoist Spain and Argentina, where he acted as an adviser to President Juan Perón and bodyguard of Eva Perón, while fostering an ambition for the "Fourth Reich" centred in Latin America.

According to Glenn Infield,  in "The Secrets of the SS," the idea for the Spinne network began in 1944 as Hitler's chief Intelligence officer Reinhard Gehlen foresaw a possible downfall of the Third Reich due to Nazi military failures in Russia. T.H. Tetens, expert on German geopolitics and member of the US War Crimes Commission in 1946-47, referred to a group overlapping with die Spinne as the Führungsring, "a kind of political Mafia, with headquarters in Madrid... serving various purposes". The Madrid office built up what was referred to as a sort of Fascist International, per Tetens. According to Tetens the German leadership also included Dr Hans Globke, who had written the official commentary on the Nuremberg Laws. Globke held the important position of Director of the German Chancellery from 1953-63, serving as adviser to Konrad Adenauer.

From 1945-50, Die Spinne's leader Skorzeny facilitated the escape of Nazi war criminals from war-criminal prisons to Memmingen, Bavaria, through Austria and Switzerland into Italy. Certain US military authorities allegedly knew of the escape, but took no action. The Central European headquarters of Die Spinne as of 1948 was in Gmunden, Austria.

A co-ordinating office for international Die Spinne operations was established in Madrid by Skorzeny under the control of Francisco Franco, whose victory in the Spanish Civil War had been aided by economic and military support from Hitler and Mussolini. When a Die Spinne Nazi delegation visited Madrid in 1959, Franco stated, "Please regard Spain as your second Fatherland". Skorzeny used Die Spinne's resources to allow notorious Nazi concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele to escape to Argentina in 1949.

Skorzeny requested assistance from German industrialist tycoon Alfried Krupp, whose company had controlled 138 private concentration camps under the Third Reich; the assistance was granted in 1951. Skorzeny became Krupp's representative in industrial business ventures in Argentina, a country which harboured a strong pro-Nazi political element throughout World War II and afterwards, regardless of a nominal declaration of loyalty to the Allies as World War II ended. With the help of Die Spinne leaders in Spain, by the early 1980s Die Spinne had become influential in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, including ties involving Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner.

War Crimes investigator Simon Wiesenthal claimed Josef Mengele had stayed at the notorious Colonia Dignidad Nazi colony in Chile in 1979, and ultimately found harbour in Paraguay until his death. As of the early 1980s, Die Spinne's Mengele was reported by Infield to have been advising Stroessner's ethnic German Paraguayan police on how to reduce native Paraguayan Indians in the Chaco Region to slave labour. A wealthy, powerful post-World-War-II underground Nazi political contingent held sway in Argentina as of the late 1960s, which included many ethnic German Nazi immigrants and their descendants.

The year 1950 was the target date for an international revival of Nazism. From their Argentine sanctuary, the spidery Bormann and his lieutenants sent out orders for a test of strength. The call to arms was sounded in "Der Weg", Die Spinne's official mouthpiece, edited by von Leers and published by Dürer Verlag, a Buenos Aires printing firm headed by Eberhard Fritsch, former leader of the Argentine Hitler Youth. To help rekindle the Nazi bonfires, Fritsch also published new editions of "Mein Kampf" in German and Spanish, memoirs of high-placed Nazi officials and a steady stream of poison pen propaganda. Sir Oswald Mosley, Hitler's British disciple, flew to Buenos Aires early in the year for a top-level conference at Die Spinne headquarters. Then he hurried to Italy with a crackpot proposal for former Italian Fascists climb on the retooled Nazi bandwagon. Mussolini's old cronies wanted no part of another Nazi alliance. But Die Spinne wasn't prepared to take "no" for an answer. In April, rightwing Argentine journalists Tullio Abelli and Francesco di Giglio arrived in Rome with a "manifesto"  urging all neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups to unite. Six months later, youth groups from nine countries, including Argentina and Spain, held a neo-Nazi congress in Rome. Delegates greeted Anna Maria Mussolini, Il Duce's oldest daughter, with wild cheers and a fascist salute. But police booted her out of Italy and she went to visit her brother, Vittorio, in Argentina. At about the same time, a branch of the Nazi underground called the International Confederation of Non-Marxist Socialists held a conference in Madrid. Among those present was the busy Colonel Skorzeny. Conventioneering Nazis then held a fourteen nation parley at Malmoe, Sweden, another European terminal for the underground railway. The vast intrigue of 1950 even extended to Africa, both North and South, and Asia. India's Intelligence service turned up evidence linking the Hindu Mahasabha, rightwing extremist party involved in Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, to Die Spinne. Underground couriers had transported Nazi funds from Argentina to Tangier, where the money was given to Mahasabha agents. The exact purpose of this mysterious transaction was never discovered. Apparently it was part of the overall Nazi plan to win as many friends and influence as many people as possible. Despite all the activity, the 1950 effort to form a Nazi International never quite got off the ground. Police, counter-Intelligence agents, newspapers and anti-Nazi public officials showed Die Spinne that the world outside Argentina hadn't forgotten or forgiven the horrors of World War II.

No major move of the Nazi underground went undetected that fateful year - except the steady movement of the underground railway. Skorzeny kept the Escape Express rolling and arranged reservations for four special passengers who no longer used their family name, Eichmann. Adolf Eichmann, his wife and sons were greeted at the Buenos Aires airport by one of his old partners in Mass Murder Inc., Ante Pavelic. As a secret police official, Pavelic had no trouble whisking the new arrivals through Customs and Immigration. Then he drove them to a downtown hotel in his official limousine. Eichmann's first Argentine papers, in the name of Ricardo Klement, were issued by Pavelic on 2 October 1950. Next, Die Spinne got him a job with Capri engineering firm, a German-Argentine enterprise that employed many S.S. veterans and fugitive war criminals. To avoid attracting attention in the Argentine capital, Eichmann was sent to a remote hydro-electric project at Salta, then to Tucuman, a city of about 200,000 in northwest Argentina not far from the borders of Chile, Bolivia and Paraguay. Eichmann checked in at Tucuman district police head-quarters, where he was registered as Ricardo Klement. He also was fingerprinted, but his prints later disappeared from police files at both Tucuman and Buenos Aires.

Eichmann wasn't lonely in his new hideout. His family joined him and he found many old Nazi pals, including former members of his own Gestapo staff, among the city's large German population. In 1954, rumors of a pending revolt against Perón caused Eichmann to move again. He made two quick trips to Paraguay to survey possible escape routes. Apparently, he decided Paraguay was not the ideal place for a Nazi killer. When the Argentine revolt finally came in 1955, the Eichmanns fled north to Bolivia, where there were several Nazi strongholds.

With the passing of time, Nazi-hunting  faded in Paraguay.

What may be a final flurry was provoked by the discovery in 1993 of the archives of the Alfredo Stroessner-era secret police. After the dictator was deposed in a 1989 coup, Paraguayan police officials steadfastly maintained that all the files had been destroyed.

But two tons of archives were discovered last December at a police station outside of Asuncion. In February, a researcher found a 1961 report signed by the former head of the Interior Ministry's foreign affairs department.

According to the report, Martin Bormann, entered Paraguay in 1956 and died in Asuncion in 1959. In Paraguay, the official wrote, he lived in Hohenau. 

A newspaper in Paraguay reported in 1993 that Bormann had lived in that country for three years, and had died in Asuncion on 15 February 1959, and was buried in a nearby town.

Other wanted Nazis headed for the mountains and jungles of Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay. Most of them returned to Buenos Aires a year later and remained there, conducting business as usual, until Eichmann's capture in 1960 caused another mass vanishing act. A few left the Argentine for good after Perón's downfall.

--  Paul Meskil, "Hitler's Heirs: Where are They Now?"

Nazi War Criminals Find it Easy to Hide
The Newcastle Sun [NSW] 
28 May 1953

FRANKFURT - Hunted war criminals, neo-Nazis and ex-Wehrmacht generals are finding it a simple business to hide in West Germany or to escape from the country, according to evidence.

The combined resources of the British, French and United States Security and Intelligence forces and West German police seem to be unable to make an early arrest of an escaped war criminal or a prominent ex-general wanted by the Allied or West German authorities.

There is close collaboration between Allied and West German authorities in a few cases, but in the main they go their separate ways. This is because each side operates on a different legal basis, the Allies still as the occupying Powers and the Germans still as the occupied.

The most prominent Germans for whom various authorities have recently been hunting are Nazi SS General Heinz Bernhard Lammerding, Major General Otto Ernst Remer, and Franz Rademacher. The last two are reported to have fled abroad. Lammerding vanished earlier this year from his Düsseldorf home in the British Zone shortly before the French asked the British for his extradition. Lammerding is wanted by the French in connection with the execution of 99 people at Tulle, France, in 1944. He was sentenced to death in his absence by a military tribunal at Bordeaux, but fled abroad early last month. The French also asked the American authorities in Germany to look for Lammerding in their zone. He has been reported at various places since his disappearance, but all efforts to trace him have so far failed.

Heinz Lammerding was a commander of the SS Division Das Reich and, in 1953, was tried in France for war crimes, for ordering two massacres in 1944; at Tulle and at Oradour-sur-Glane. He was sentenced to death in absentia by the court of Bordeaux, but he was never extradited by West Germany nor was he ever sentenced by a German court.

According to Danny S. Parker, in "Hitler's Warrior: The Life and Wars of SS Colonel Jochen Peiper," Lammerding had already been tried in West Germany, convicted of war crimes and had served a prison sentence. He therefore was not subject to extradition under the Bonn constitution, much to the consternation of the French. They threatened to send in a commando unit to seize him as the Israelis did in the case of Adolf Eichmann. Before this could occur, Lammerding died, in 1971.

Late in March the Prosecutor-General of Brunswick, Lower Saxony, issued a warrant for the arrest of Otto Remer, the "star attraction" of the now banned neo-Nazi Socialist Reich Party. Remer, who was promoted by Hitler from major to Major-general for his part in putting down the German officers' bomb plot against Hitler's life in July, 1944, had disappeared. This month Herr Franz Blücher, the West German Vice-Chancellor, announced Remer had fled to Egypt, but he did not know how he got away. Remer was last seen on 2 February at the railway station of his home-town of Varel, in Lower Saxony. His wife, who had accompanied him to the station, told reporters on 11 March at her home that her husband had gone to a place, which she refused to name, to undergo a cure for tuberculosis. Remer was to have reported to Oldenburg prison, Lower Saxony, on 27 February to serve a three month prison term. It was imposed by a German court last year for slandering people who took part in the July plot. He was given a month's extension because of ill health. It was during this period that he apparently fled overseas.

In Egypt, Otto Remer served as an advisor to Gamal Abdel Nasser and worked with other expatriate Germans assisting Arab states with weapons development.

Remer returned to Germany in the 1980s, creating the German Freedom Movement which advocated a reunified country and the expulsion of NATO. It was an umbrella organization for 23 underground Nazi organisations and allowed Remer the opportunity to create a new generation of followers.

From 1991 to 1994, Remer put out his own publication, the "Remer-Depesche". Remer was sentenced to 22 months of imprisonment in October 1992, for writing and publishing a number of articles that were said to incite "racial hatred", through their questioning of the Holocaust. His complaint over alleged violations of fairness of trial and freedom of speech was unanimously rejected by the European Commission on Human Rights. He filed numerous appeals, and eventually went into exile in Spain, prior to his actually being incarcerated, in February 1994.

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 the Spanish law. He remained a wanted man in Germany until his 1997 death in Spain aged 85.

Franz Rademacher was sentenced to three years gaol by a German court in Nuremberg in March, 1952, for aiding and abetting the killing of 1300 Serbian Jews in Yugoslavia during the war. Rademacher has disappeared and German police have since found no clues as to his whereabouts but there have been persistent reports that he is now in the Argentine.

Franz Rademacher was a diplomat with the German Foreign Office, serving at the German embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay until May 1940. In 1940, he was selected to lead Referat D III, or Judenreferat, of Ribbentrop's Foreign Affairs Ministry. His direct superior was Nazi diplomat Martin Luther. It was during his tenure in this office, throughout the spring and summer of 1940, that Rademacher kick-started the Madagascar Plan, which sought to forcibly deport all of Europe's Jews to the island of Madagascar. He jousted briefly with Adolf Eichmann over organizational control of the plan, which would shortly be abandoned amidst Germany's changing fortunes in World War II.

In October 1941, he was responsible for mass deportations and executions of Serbian Jews. He also had a hand in the deportation of Jews from France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. After his visit to Belgrade, Rademacher filed an expense claim stating that the official purpose of the trip was to "liquidate the Jews". In 2010, the German Foreign Ministry released an 880-page report on the diplomats of the Third Reich entitled "Das Amt und die Vergangenheit" [The Ministry and the Past], which mentioned that particular expense claim, bringing Rademacher a degree of latter-day notoriety.

In 1943, Rademacher became embroiled in Luther's attempted coup to oust Ribbentrop. He was dismissed from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and sent to fight in the navy as an officer for the remainder of the war ending up with Admiral Dönitz' cypher-breaking unit at Flensburg-Mürwik under the command of Captain Kupfer.

Immediately following the war this unit was put at the disposal of Sefton Delmer's news agency in Hamburg. Rademacher was arrested by British military police in November 1945, who ultimately released him. He was eventually brought to trial in Germany in February 1952 for the murders he supervised in Serbia. However, with the aid of Nazi sympathizers, he fled to Syria in September of that year while released on bail. A German court convicted him in absentia for the murder of Serbian Jews, and sentenced him to 3 years and 5 months imprisonment.

In 1963, he was arrested in Syria on charges of spying, but was released in 1965 due to ill health. He returned voluntarily to Germany on 30 November 1966, where he was arrested at the Nuremberg airport. Reportedly ill at the time, he was taken to a prison hospital in Bayreuth, while awaiting prosecution in Bamberg. He was again convicted of war crimes and sentenced to five and half years' imprisonment. However, his sentence was never carried out, the court having considered it already served.

In 1971, a German high court in Karlsruhe overruled this judgment against Rademacher, and ordered a new trial for his crimes during World War II. He died on 17 March 1973, before proceedings began.

The last patrol of the U-977 started on 2 May 1945 when she was ordered to sail from Kristiansand, Norway for Portsmouth, England. This was a near suicide mission: Portsmouth was heavily defended and U-Boats were suffering catastrophic casualties. On May 5 all U-Boats were ordered to stand down from offensive operations and surrender to the Allies. The U-977's commander, Heinz Schäffer, did not relish surrendering to the Allies directly. Schäffer decided Argentina would be more amenable, landed 16 sailors wanting to stay in Europe on Holsenoy Island and set course for Argentina.

"Regenbogen" [Rainbow] was the code name for the planned mass scuttling of the German U-Boat fleet, to avoid surrender, at the end of World War II.

At the beginning of May 1945 Nazi Germany was collapsing under the Allied onslaught.

The Soviets had captured Berlin, and on 30 April Hitler had committed suicide. He had appointed Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz as Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. US Forces from the west and Soviet forces from the east had already met at Torgau, cutting the Reich in two, while in the north 21st Army Group was poised to capture Hamburg and the other German ports.

The state of the German navy, the Kriegsmarine, was no better. Of its capital ships only 'Prinz Eugen' survived, sheltering at Copenhagen, and only the U-Boat Arm was capable of continuing the fight.

'Prinz Eugen' named after Prince Eugene of Savoy, an 18th-century Austrian general, was an Admiral Hipper-class heavy cruiser, the third member of the class of five vessels. 
The ship was laid down in April 1936, launched inAugust 1938, and entered service after the outbreak of war, in August 1940.

'Prinz Eugen' saw action during Operation Rheinübung, an attempted breakout into the Atlantic Ocean with thebattleship 'Bismarck in May 1941.
The two ships destroyed the British battlecruiser 'Hood' and moderately damagedthe battleship 'Prince of Wales' in the Battle of the Denmark Strait.
'Prinz Eugen' was detached from 'Bismarck' duringthe operation to raid Allied merchant shipping, but this was cut short due to engine troubles.
After putting into occupied France and undergoing repairs, the ship participated in Operation Cerberus, a daring daylight dash through the English Channel back to Germany.
In February 1942, 'Prinz Eugen' was deployed to Norway, where she was torpedoed by the British submarine 'Trident' days after arriving in Norwegian waters.
The torpedo severely damaged the ship's stern, which necessitated repairs in Germany, the ship then spending several months training officer cadets in the Baltic.

As the Soviet Army pushed the Wehrmacht back on the Eastern Front, however, it became necessary to reactivate'Prinz' Eugen as a gunnery support vessel.
On 1 October 1943, the ship was reassigned to combat duty.

In June 1944, 'Prinz Eugen', the heavy cruiser 'Lützow', and the 6th Destroyer Flotilla formed the Second Task Force,
later renamed Task Force Thiele after its commander, Vizeadmiral August Thiele. 'Prinz Eugen' was at this time under the command of KzS Hans-Jürgen Reinicke.
Throughout June she steamed in the eastern Baltic, northwest of the island of Utö as a show of force during the German withdrawal from Finland.
On 19–20 August, the ship steamed into the Gulf of Riga and bombarded Tukums.
Four destroyers and two torpedo boats supported the action, along with Prinz Eugen's Ar 196 floatplanes
The cruiser fired a total of 265 shells from her main battery,and its bombardment was instrumental in the successful repulse of the Soviet attack.

In early September, 'Prinz Eugen' supported a failed attempt to seize the fortress island of Hogland.
The ship then returned to Gotenhafen, before escorting a convoy of ships evacuating German soldiers from Finland.
The convoy, consisting of six freighters, sailed on 15 September from the Gulf of Bothnia, with the entire Second Task Force escorting it.
Swedish aircraft and destroyers shadowed the convoy, but did not intervene. The following month, 'Prinz Eugen' returned to gunfire support duties.
On 11 and 12 October, she fired in support of German troops in Memel.Over the first two days, the ship fired some 700 rounds of ammunition from her main battery.
She returned on the 14th and 15th, after having restocked her main battery ammunition, to fire another 370 rounds.

While on the return voyage to Gotenhafen on 15 October, Prinz Eugen inadvertently rammed the light cruiser 'Leipzig' amidships north of Hela, in heavy fog.
The light cruiser was nearly cut in half, and the two ships remained wedged together for fourteen hours.
'Prinz Eugen' was taken to Gotenhafen, where repairs were effected with a month. Sea trials commenced on 14 November.
On 20–21 November, the ship supported German troops on the Sworbe Peninsula by firing around 500 rounds of main battery ammunition.
Four torpedo boats—T13, T16, T19, and T21—joined the operation. 'Prinz Eugen' then returned to Gotenhafen to resupply and have her worn-out gun barrels re-bored.

The cruiser was again ready for action by mid-January 1945, when she was sent to bombard Soviet forces in Samland.
The ship fired 871 rounds of ammunition at the Soviets advancing on the German bridgehead at Cranz held by the XXVIII Corps, which was protecting Königsberg.
She was supported in this operation by the destroyer Z25 and torpedo boat T33. At that point, 'Prinz Eugen' had expended her main battery ammunition,
and critical munition shortages forced the ship to remain in port until 10 March, when she bombarded Soviet forces around Gotenhafen, Danzig, and Hela.
During these operations, she fired a total of 2,025 shells from her 20.3 cm guns and another 2,446 rounds from her 10.5 cm guns.
The old battleship 'Schlesien' also provided gunfire support, as did 'Lützow' after 25 March.
The ships were commanded by Vizeadmiral Bernhard Rogge.

The following month, on 8 April, 'Prinz Eugen' and 'Lützow' steamed to Swinemünde. On 13 April, 34 Lancaster bombers attacked the two ships while in port.
Thick cloud cover forced the British to abort the mission and return two days later. On the second attack, they succeeded in sinking 'Lützow' with a single Tallboy bomb hit. 'Prinz Eugen' then departed Swinemünde for Copenhagen, arriving on 20 April.
Once there, she was decommissioned on 7 May and turned over to Royal Navy control the following day.
For his leadership of 'Prinz Eugen' in the final year of the war, Reinicke was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 21 April 1945.


The Kriegsmarine had approximately 470 U-Boats remaining. Some 170 of these were operational U-Boats [Front boats] based mainly in occupied Norway, and another 200 home-based boats in various stages of building, commissioning and working up; these were mainly in the north German ports and on the Baltic.

As head of the Kriegsmarine, and as commander of the U-Boat arm, Dönitz was keen that his U-Boat force should not be surrendered. However, as the new German leader, he was keen to extricate Germany from the war and, if possible, avoid Allied, particularly Soviet, retribution. To that end he had opened negotiations with the western Allies, through Field Marshal Montgomery, commander of Allied 21 Army Group, in North Germany.

As the Allies closed in on the North German ports the Kriegsmarine started to destroy what was left to prevent its capture, while all serviceable boats were ordered to bases in Norway. During May a final massacre of U-Boats fleeing to Norway took place; 23 U-Boats were destroyed or damaged beyond repair in transit in the first week of May.

Against this backdrop, Dönitz and the U-Boat arm made plans for a mass scuttle of his U-Boats, to be carried out on receiving the code-word "Regenbogen".

In the early hours of 5 May, the Regenbogen order was given, only to be countermanded 8 minutes later, to avoid jeopardizing the surrender negotiations, and later that day all operational U-Boats were ordered to cease hostilities.

On 8 May, Germany surrendered unconditionally; the remaining naval units, including the surviving U-Boats, surrendered to Allied forces. At least 150 U-Boats were surrendered to the Allied navies, either at sea or at their operational bases. 52 boats were surrendered at sea, either on patrol or in transit, and 98 in port, mostly in Norway and at bases in Germany, Denmark and France. Four U-Boats and their crews fled to neutral ports rather than do this; two [U-1277 and U-963] to Portugal and two [U-530 and U-977] to Argentina.

The U-963 left Norway at the end of April of 1945, to lay mines in the English Channel. The crew members tried to still believe in a miracle, in the face of Allied advances, but, when they emerged in the Irish Sea, at the beginning of May, they had  corroboration that the conflict was over. However, they refused the orders of surrender. After some argument, the idea of a scuttle in a neutral country like Portugal arose, where, it was expected, there would be no reprisals, was accepted.

They travelled on the surface during the night, and submerged during the day, for avoid unpleasant meetings. It took the U-963 eight days for the 4,500 km voyage to Nazaré, Portugal, where on 20 May 1945, it was scuttled. The entire crew survived. 

In February 1945, because the U1277, a Type VIIC/41,  was one of the few remaining U-Boats still active, she was transferred to Bergen [Norway], home of the 11th flotilla. This sub was now a front boat. Her first and only patrol was to sail across the Iceland Strait into the Atlantic and position herself on the entrance of the English Channel, and she left port on 22 April 1945, under Captain-Lieutenant Peter-Ehrenreich Stever.  

The U-Boat was scuttled on 3 June 1945 at Capo de Mundo near Oporto, Portugal, by order of her Commander, after sailing without course through the Atlantic for a period of one month [the Armistice was signed on 8 May 1945, one year after her launch into the water and almost one month before she was sunk].  The U-1277 either did not receive Dönitz's surrender order, or chose to ignore it. 

All 47 crew disembarked safely from their sinking boat in rubber dinghies and made their way ashore, landing at Angeiras north of Oporto. There they were interned in the "Castelo de Sao Jose da Foz". A few days later they were handed over to a British warship in Lisbon and put in a POW camp for 3 years, before they could return to Germany.  

After a passage of 66 days, the U-977 arrived off the Mar del Plata on 17 August 1945 and promptly surrendered to the Argentine Navy. The submarine and crew were turned over to the US Navy in November. The captain and crew of the U-977 were interrogated by the US Navy.

The U-530 sailed from Kristiansand, Norway on 4 March 1945 with orders to patrol off Halifax, Canada. arrived off Halifax and attacked ships there between 4 - 7 May, but scored no hits.

When the captain, Otto Wermuth, learned of the German surrender orders [first broadcast 5 May], Wermuth choose to surrender to Argentina. The U-530 jettisoned its remaining torpedoes, its deck gun and secret papers and steered a course for Argentina, arriving at the Mar del Plata on 10 July where it surrendered.

The surrender of the U-530 excited a good deal of comment at the time with Latin America newspapers claiming that it had transported Hitler and Eva Braun to Argentina. With its missing papers and armaments, the U-530 was good conspiracy fodder but both the Argentine Navy and the US Navy interrogated the captain and crew of the U-530 and found nothing exceptional. "Wikipedia" claims that the logbooks of the U-530 were destroyed but Clay Blair in  Hitler's "U-Boat Wars" notes they were recovered and examined after the surrender of the U-530 by the US and Argentine navies.

The unexpected arrival of the U-530 started many rumors

When U-530 was seen close to by the Argentine surveyors on 10 July 1945 this is what confronted them:

The U-Boat looked as though it had survived some dreadful maritime calamity. The hull was devoid of paintwork and very rusted, the deck and structures had been damaged by the use of a ferocious corrosive cleaning material, the upper casing appeared to have been the seat of a great fire. The turret was split apart, the interior of the boat mouldy and the Diesels had been damaged by sabotage.

Neither the US nor the Argentine declassified documents provide any explanation for all the damage except for the Diesels [caused by the crew].

A great quantity of material had been ditched. By Wermuth's own admission under interrogation, the following had been thrown overboard

- The war diary and other secret books
- five unused torpedoes plus the gyro and warhead of a sixth in which the battery had exploded and jammed in a tube.
- the torpedo aiming equipment
- all ammunition for the 20mm and 37mm flak guns
- parts of the 37mm flak gun
- the dynamite scuttling charges
- manometer gauges
- 3 Metox anti-radars
- 1 Hohentwiel radar and antenna

Most of the crew, including the commander, lacked a Soldbuch and other identity documents.

Wermuth told the Argentine naval interrogators that he saw the Punta Mogotes light at Mar del Plata at 0300 hrs on 9 July 1945 from 18 miles offshore and went down the coast to Miramar arriving there at 0600 hrs on 9 July.

“At nightfall on 9 July I surfaced and made my way eastwards back along the coast keeping three miles offshore until reaching Mar del Plata submarine base where I drifted until the early hours".

The US Naval Attaché did not want this jaunt to Miramar published and so falsified his translation from the Spanish to read:

"Wermuth told the Argentines of first sighting the Mogotes light at 0300 hrs on 10 July, thought about going to Miramar to surrender and then he submerged and waited for dawn to view the port of Mar del Plata".

Why did Wermuth go to Miramar?

At the end of 1943, Generalmajor Friedrich Wolf, naval attaché at the German Embassy, had arranged with Gustav Eickenberg, a German-Bolivian tin magnate who had a ranch at Mar del Sur, to use it as an Etappendienst station for disembarkations from U-Boats. The best spot for the arrival of a U-Boat was equidistant between the lighthouses at Miramar and Necochea, where a path led up to Eickenberg’s ranch.

The probability is that Wermuth got off the boat at Miramar. Here the containers of cash, jewels and bonds were unloaded and he took with him the U-530 log, charts and books for the conference with German Naval Intelligence officers of the Etappendienst.

In addition, although well stocked for provisions, the crew was starving and scurvy.

The U-530's Captain, Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth did not explain why it had taken him more than two months to reach Mar del Plata. Brazilian Admiral Jorge Dodsworth Martins said he believed that the U-530 could have sunk the cruiser 'Bahia', while Brazilian Admiral Dudal Teixeira believed that the U-530 had come from Japan. An Argentine reporter claimed that he had seen a Buenos Aires provincial police report to the effect that a strange submarine had surfaced off the lower Argentine coast and had landed a high-ranking officer and a civilian who might have been Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in disguise. U-977 was also accused of sinking the 'Bahia'; an inquiry eventually found that she had been sunk due to a gunnery accident.

Doubts about Hitler's death were revived in London, because of discrepancies in the disclosures of Captain Wermuth, and the presence of a crew of 54, instead of a normal complement of 28 men, including another Captain, suggests that a second U-Boat was also employed was also employed in the escape, after which the second U-Boat was scuttled. 

Admiral Eberhard Godt, Operations Chief of the German Undersea Fleet, denied that the U-530 left Kiel on 3 March for Norway with Hitler and Eva Braun aboard. He described the report that the U-Boat put the pair ashore in Argentina as a "wild rumor".

The Argentine Naval Ministry issued an official communique in which they stated that the U-530 was not responsible for the sinking of the 'Bahia'; no Nazi leader or high military officers were aboard; and the U-530 had landed no one on the coast of Argentina before surrendering.

Tales of the voyage of the U-530 took an even more fantastic turn decades later:

"Wilhelm Bernhardt," co-author of a preposterous novel, "Adolf Hitler and the Secrets of the Holy Lance" [1988], self-described as a member of the U-530 crew, wrote that before arriving in Argentina U-530 carried "six bronze lead-lined boxes" containing "selected treasures" of the Third Reich and placed them in an ice cave in Antarctica.

To believe that Hitler somehow escaped Berlin and made his way to Norway and took passage on the U-530 or the U-977, one has to explain how Hitler managed to bolt almost 2 months before his suicide with nobody noticing to make the sailing of the U-530 on 4 March, or before the capture of the Reich Chancellery to make the sailing of the U-977 on 2 May. Neither are remotely plausible, but that never stopped a good conspiracy theory.

Will the Real Adolf Hitler Please Die?
Joseph P. Farrell 
3 February 2011

I just finished reading an interesting book by Dr. Hans Baumann, called "Hitler's Fate". This short book was well worth the read, for in it, Baumann takes the reader through a careful review of all the published works recounting the standard line of Hitler's and Eva Braun's suicides in Berlin on 30 April 1945, and shows the inherent contradictions in the story, a story whose details depend entirely on the testimony of a few of the witnesses, who even in the standard version of history, did not even really witness the event, but only its alleged aftermath.

By poring over the various studies, including, significantly, the Soviet books and statements on the whole episode, Baumann comes to a novel hypothesis: that sometime on 22 April  1945, Adolf Hitler and his dog, Blondi, disappeared while on a walk in the Reichschancellery gardens, and his double, with another German shepherd dog, were replaced for him. Later, the Göbbels family with a young woman in tow, arrives, the woman to act as a double for Eva Braun.

Baumann presents fascinating evidence from the standard accounts documenting a complete change between the pre-April 22nd and post-April 22nd Hitlers, including statements from US Intelligence sources of the period also declaring quite unambiguously that after 22 April, there is no good evidence that Hitler was even in the Bunker.

Hitler "Dying"
Army News (Darwin, NT)
16 April 1945

LONDON: There is strong evidence in reports reaching authoritative quarters in London that the Nazi Party is overthrowing Hitler, who may be superseded by Himmler, says the diplomatic correspondent of the "Press Association". A serious split among the Nazi leaders appears to be going on. A correspondent of the "Exchange Telegraph Agency" says that foreign observers who have been in direct contact with leading members of the Nazi hierarchy are convinced that Hitler is a dying man

A report, which came through Switzerland, says that Hitler was assassinated on the night of 21 April at his Berlin headquarters. That night, the report says, he presided over a war council. Hitler insisted on a plan to continue resistance in the Bavarian Redoubt, but only Göbbels supported him. A few hours before a second meeting was to have been held there was a terrific explosion in Hitler's private rooms, and he and all his guards were killed, the report adds.

The German Legation In Berne [Switzerland] has had no news from Germany to confirm officially Hitler's death.

The situation became so desperate that on 22 April 1945, Hitler sent Christa Schröder, Johanna Wolf, Arthur Bormann, Dr. Theodor Morell, Admiral Karl-Jesco von Puttkamer and Dr. Hugo Blaschke, away. Schröder later recalled: "He received us in his room looking tired, pale and listless: 'Over the last four days the situation has changed to such an extent that I find myself forced to disperse my staff. As you are the longest serving, you will go first. In an hour a car leaves for Munich'.

On 23 April 1945 German radio broadcasts a report that Adolf Hitler was in the "main fighting line" in Berlin and would "remain there despite all rumors". Allied circles doubted the report and suspected that Hitler was in Bavaria organizing a last stand, and on the next day the Royal Air Force conducted its last significant mission of the war with a raid against Hitler's retreat at Berchtesgaden.

Hitler Still in Berlin
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld]
24 April 1945

LONDON [Special and A.A.P.] German Radio announced that Hitler is in Berlin.

There are conflicting reports of the whereabouts of other leading Nazis, but they seem to be deserting the battle zones for selected "hideouts". Reports say they have fled either north to the Baltic coast or south to the Bavarian stronghold, or are hiding in the Harz Mountains [Central Germany] which the Americans have encircled.

Göbbels told Berliners that he and his wife and children were in Berlin to stay. Luxemburg radio and Stockholm rumours say they have fled north to Mecklenburg. Berne [Switzwerland] reports, however, says the wives of Göbbels, Göring, and Himmler, up till two days ago, were living in a luxury villa on the shores of Lake Constance. Suddenly at midnight on Saturday they left In two big Mercedes cars for the Huns' Bavarian stronghold. Ribbontrop's wife reached Switzerland from Germany in a row boat, but was put back across the frontier.

American officers expect to make a big catch of high Nazis in "this little redoubt," says James Wellard, "London Sunday Express" correspondent at Blankenburg, in the Harz Mountains. There are well-founded reports, he says, that Frau Göbbels and her children, Kesselrlng [Chief of the High Command], and Speer [Armaments Minister] are hidden in caves in this little pocket, which the US First and Ninth armies are mopping up. There is vague news that Himmler, Göring. and even Hitler, are in these parts, Wellard reports.

Göring cached priceless loot in a mineshaft in one of his steel works in the Harz Mountains. Americans are now blasting the cement of the shaft entrance.

Says Hitler in Berlin
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate [NSW] 
 24 April 1945

LONDON. A.A.P.: The Hamburg Radio commentator [Dr. Kriegk] stated:

"From the appeal by Dr. Göbbels we know that the Führer is in Berlin. The Führer has decided to remain at this hour in the Reich capital. We announce it to the German people and tell it to the entire world. 

'With every hour that passes we are becoming surer of our selves, but the struggle is by no means over yet. A great effort will still be needed".

Luxemburg Radio states that Dr. Göbbels and his family have left the capital for  Mecklenburg, despite his promise to stay in Berlin.

Where is Hitler? Where is Göbbels?
The Newcastle Sun [NSW]
24 April 1945

Hitler has taken over command of Berlin's defences, Göbbels, Berlin's Gauleiter and commander of the Volksturm, announced. Hitler is now in Berlin. 

 Göbbels has been recognised among Nazi leaders fleeing into Austria, Swiss observers announced. The report is false, a "Werewolf" station stated -  Göbbels is in Berlin.

The Swiss observers returning from Austria said they identified Göbbels when he descended from his car to stretch his legs while his chauffeur repaired a blow-out. They claimed that his recognition was doubly sure because of his club foot. Others whom they claim to have recognised are Frau Göring and her daughter and Frau Himmler and her daughter. 

 Meanwhile, Hitler, without saying where he is, has sent a message to Mussolini.

"The struggle for our very existence has reached its climax".

Hitler added:

"In a spirit of tenacious defence the German people — all are animated with a kindred spirit— will yet halt the onslaught and alter the course of the war by their unparalleled heroism at a moment when the fate of Europe is being decided for centuries".  

Hitler Flees?
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld] 
26 April 1945

LONDON, April 25 [A.A.P.]: Moscow Radio scotches the rumour that Hitler is in the thick of the battle for Berlin.

"He hasn't been seen in Berlin since the seat of Government was transferred to the south," said Moscow.

"He keeps on changing his abode and goes from place to place in an armoured train". 

The German Radio claims that Hitler is still in Berlin. 

Hero Legend Around Hitler Planned?
Northern Star [Lismore, NSW]
28 April 1945

LONDON - Stockholm messages say a carefully coached former grocer who resembles Hitler has been sent to Berlin in the Führer's place to die on the barricades. The "Free German Press Service" said that he would act as Hitler's trump card, creating a hero legend around the Führer's death while Hitler himself goes underground. It is said that the stand-in is August Wilhelm Bartholdi, a one-time grocer in Plauen, who has been specially trained to speak like Hitler in a long association with the Führer at Berchtesgaden.

The German Foreign Minister' [von Ribbentrop] has issued a secret order to German officials abroad, it is intended as a private morale builder for German diplomats and agents in neutral countries, but a copy has been obtained by the "Daily Mail" Geneva correspondent. Ribbentrop said: "Have courage even if as now seems probable German loses the war.

"Hitler will never fall into enemy hands. He will remain in the midst of the millions of new soldiers who will grow up everywhere under new signs and in new uniforms.

"If every German remembers his oath and is responsible for one of the enemy the Reich will re-live. Germany will never capitulate".

The "Daily Express" correspondent in Moscow says stories that, Hitler is in Berlin, which are constantly plugged by Hamburg radio, have few believers in Moscow. Few think Hitler would give the Russians an opportunity to take him. Two other theories widely held In Moscow are that he is either in his southern Redoubt or already has skipped out, probably to Norway, where further means for a later escape by submarine is open tp him.

Front line reports from Berlin say there is now no escape for the Nazis. If Hitler is in the city the Russians will get him dead or alive, and as the German radio throughout has reiterated that Hitler is inside the doomed capital, his days may well be numbered. One German broadcast said Hitler was fighting to the last with his forces, while the German-controlled "Scandinavian Telegraph Bureau" said Hitler daily has been receiving his commanders in his headquarters.

On 1 May 1945, the Associated Press gave American readers some reassuring news:

"The German radio reported Tuesday night that Adolf Hitler is dead… ‘At the Führer’s headquarters it is reported that our Führer, Adolf Hitler, has fallen this afternoon in his command post at the Reich Chancellery, fighting up to his last breath against Bolshevism,’ said the announcement".

"Whether Adolf Hitler actually died at his command post in Berlin today, as the German radio said, the world may not know with assurance for some time—perhaps never.

"He may have been dead for days or weeks; he may still be living and this announcement only a ruse to help his escape plans.

"However, the Hamburg radio announcement could mean that this is the official end of Adolf Hitler, as far as what authority remains in Germany is concerned.

"Whether he is living or dead, it could mean that the Nazi hierarchy has decided that the myth of Hitler dead now suits its purpose better than the myth of Hitler living and leading the last forlorn hope in Berlin. 


In Baumann's scenario, one of two likely escape routes was possible, by helicopter [yes the Germans had helicopters] to Magdeburg, and thence by aircraft [a Ju 290], to Barcelona in Franco's Spain, and thence probably to the environs of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina, or by some route to Hamburg, where he and dutiful wife Eva make their way by U-Boat eventually to the same destination.

Luft-Transportstaffel 40 based at Ainring in April 1945, had at least three Fl-282 "Kolibri" and also three Focke Achgelis Fa-223 "Drache" at its disposal. during the last few months of the war and this unit made many flights into and out of besieged and encircled towns transporting dispatches, mail, and key personnel. It was possibly one of this unit's Fl-282s that flew Gauleiter Karl Hanke out of besieged Breslau just before the capture of that city on 5 May 1945.

Heinz J. Nowarra, stated that during the April-May 1945, battle for Berlin that Russian fighters planes shot down several German Flettner Fl-282 Kolibri helicopters, which the Germans were using as artillery spotters.

-- "German Helicopters 1928 -- 1945", Schiffer Military History, West Chester, PA, 1990.

Several is unlikely.....

Hans-Ulrich Rudel and Hanna Reitsch practiced through November and December 1944 making rescue flights to the Tiergarten, and all of February 1945 practising low flying over Berlin at night with a Fa-223, but by 29 April 1945, the helicopter at Richlin kept for this task was destroyed by air attacks.

"Hitler's long-distance escape plane crashed soon after leaving the ground on its first test flight, says the Stockholm "Afton Tidningen".
"The plane was reported to be a rebuilt Junkers 290, armor-plated, with seating for 22. It was said to be able to fly non-stop 3750 miles".

-- Australian Associated Press, 10 April 1945

This scenario would fit in well with the overall scenario of Bormann and Müller's escapes that I outlined in "Nazi International". But what was most intriguing for me was Baumann's hypothesis that the architect and malevolent mastermind of all this obfuscation by way of doubles carefully substituted in the Bunker was none other than Heinrich "Gestapo" Müller himself, a point that I also argued in "Nazi International".

Whether or not one adopts or agrees with Baumann's scenario, at the very minimum one will come away from this book, as I did, even more convinced of the gaping flaws of what has been assumed as "history" of the final days of Adolf Hitler.

Suddenly, the long blue prow of a lone submarine shoots above the water. It has been almost four months since World War ll in Europe has ceased. This is German U-Boat 977 badly in need of some fresh air. For it has been traveling under water for 66 days. The U-Boat would come up only at night to charge the electric batteries. The Nazi Swastika is clearly visible on both sides of the conning tower. The skipper, Lieutenant Heinz Schäffer is afraid his sub might be mistaken for a Japanese sub and be sunk. For Lt. Schäffer is on the most top secret mission of his entire career.

When Germany surrendered unconditionally, some warships and submarines were still at sea. A few of these would seek refuge in a neutral country. The time is 0400 O'clock [4:00 am] in the early morning of 17 August 1945. [Germany had surrendered 7 May 1945].The place is the South Atlantic Ocean, just off the shore of the city of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, the second largest country in South America. U-977 is watching for a signal to come ashore, three green lights. As the signal is given, the sub moves up the Rio de la Plata [the mouth of a large river] to dock in Buenos Aires. As U-977 approaches the pier, Lt. Heinz Schäffer ponders over the identity of his three passengers. This mission has been so top secret that no one knows who they are.

A middle aged man and a woman with a small girl emerge topside. But they are bundled up in trench coats and wrapped in several scarves. A full squad of Argentine Army air Force Police and a full squad of Secret State Police [Gestapo] await the trio's arrival. They are quickly loaded into an armored car and whisked away. With sirens whaling, their escorts of four motorcycles and six squad cars soon reach the Army Air Force Base. On the main runway a Tri-motor Junkers Transport JU52/3 airplane is warming up. This plane has the logo of the Argentine Air Force, but it is one of Germany's finest.

After a short two-hour journey that covers around four hundred miles, they land on a secluded airstrip. This is located on the edge of the jungle near Laguna Mar Chiquita, a large lagoon. This is in the middle of the Cordoba region of Argentina. Here is the location of a plantation fortress that covers a thousand square miles. It is enclosed by a ten foot high chain link fence with four strands of barbed wire at the top. Guard towers are located every four to five miles apart. Armed guards with guard dogs also patrol the entire area. A thousand flood lights shine brightly during the night. Large "Keep Out - No Trespassing" signs are posted in three languages; German, English and Spanish.

Finally, two small airplanes circle overhead day and night. There is a large sign over the main front gate that reads, "Neu Kehlstein".


Not too far from Munich, Germany rise the Bavarian Alps, a very beautiful group of mountains. Far up on the slope is a village called Obersalzberg. This is where Hitler had his home as well as Bunkers and air raid shelters. And perched above this near the summit, was his lair or retreat, called "Kehlstein" [Eagle's Nest] - This is where Eva Braun lived with Hitler for many years.

The identity of the three passengers: Adolf Hitler, his wife, Eva Braun-Hitler and their young daughter Uschi Hitler.

Hitler and Eva Braun with the daughter of Oberleutnant Erwin and Herta [Ostermeyer] Schneider - Ursula ["Uschi"] 

Eva and Herta had been friends from childhood, and even after Herta married, she and her children spent a great deal of time with Eva, living with her at the Berghof, because Herta's husband was away in military service. Eva often played with "Uschi", who was one of Adolf Hitler's most welcomed guests.

So many photos were taken of Eva and Hitler with Uschi, that many people in the post-war years thought this was their child.

Germany has surrendered unconditionally but Adolf Hitler had not. He was now here to keep his promise for the Third Reich would last at least a thousand years!

Now many top scientists, historians, and forensic experts have never believed that Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, committed suicide on 30 April 1945. Supposedly Hitler shot himself in the head and Eva used a cyanide poison capsule. Then their bodies were supposedly doused with gasoline and set on fire. The bodies were burned so severely it was impossible to identify them. There was no blood left to be tested and no finger-prints to compare. By 1 May, Russian troops had captured most of Berlin. Josef Stalin, the secretary general, top leader of Russia, wanted positive proof that Hitler was dead. He sent a search team led by Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Klimenko to find the truth. A water soaked body who resembled Hitler was found in an old oak water tank. Although this man had not been touched by fire, he was positively identified as Adolf Hitler. He was put on display in the Reich Chancellery main hall.

Soon another body was found in a wooden box just outside the Bunker door. He looked enough like Hitler to be his twin brother. So he was positively identified as Adolf Hitler. [This body had not been touched by fire either]. Two days later, two bodies were dug up out of a small bomb crater, a man and a woman. They were sent to the 496th field hospital in Berlin-Buch. On 8 May, V-E Day, both bodies were given a preliminary forensic autopsy. Now we know once and for all this is positively Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun Hitler! Their dental records have been compared and that proves who they really are, case closed.

However, this did not prove anything. The woman identified as Eva Braun Hitler had not died of cyanide poison but from a shrapnel wound in her chest. And we know Adolf Hitler had several doubles. At least one double had his dental records and teeth altered to look exactly like Hitler. All of the men and women that surrounded Hitler were completely fanatical in their loyalty and devotion to him. They all swore an oath, not to the German military or to the German Fatherland, but to Hitler himself. Most of them were captured by the Russians, a few by England, and a few by the United States. They were interrogated, tortured, and sent to prison. That is why so many different stories exist concerning the life or death of Hitler and his wife.

As early as September of 1943, "Operation Land of Fire" was put into motion. It was spearheaded by Hitler's private secretary, Martin Bormann, who handled Hitler's finances. He began to smuggle money, gold and art treasures into Argentina by submarine. This is where the finances came from to construct "Neu Kehlstein" the new Eagle's Nest. By the end of World War ll, the government of Argentina had issued 2,003 passports for high Nazi war criminals! Soon reports came pouring in that Hitler was indeed alive and well. He was seen as a headwaiter in a cafe in Grenoble, France. Next he was a fisherman in the Aran Islands, off the coast of Ireland. Then a croupier in a casino in Evian then a monk in the monastery in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Next holed up in a moated castle in Westphalia, Germany. And all the while Josef Stalin was insisting that Hitler and Eva were living either in Spain or Argentina.

Adolf Hitler was a very complex individual with a photographic memory. Many people believe he was insane, while others believe he was a genius. He certainly was a gifted speaker, able to hold mass audiences spellbound. Hitler believed that he was the twentieth century representative of the medieval Teutonic Knights driving back the Slavs from German territory. He promised to completely crush the Jewish and communist backed world conspiracy. Eva Braun met Hitler in 1933, and became his mistress for life finally marrying him on 29 April 1945.

"Time Magazine" selected Hitler as 'The Man of The Year" in 1938. Samuel Church, U.S. Industrialist, offered a one million dollar reward for his capture in 1940.

In 1986 a daily newspaper in Buenos Aires, Argentina, printed a story.

A reporter had just interviewed Adolf Hitler: He is alive and in perfect health, and only 96 years old. 

Is Hitler dead?

More than seven years have now passed without any trace of his survival, despite the most lurid and exciting rumours. lt may well be doubted whether a man in his exhausted state of health would in fact have lived long if he had escaped from the Bunker.

True, the evidence is only circumstantial—the accounts, most carefully investigated by H. R. Trevor-Roper, of those who took part in the final scene at the Bunker, Hitler's statement of intention in his Will, and so on.

Nobody can prove that it was Hitler's body which was carried up the stairs into the garden, for the head remained covered, nor have the ashes and fragments of bone, which even the fiercest fire could be expected to leave, ever been discovered.

But these are less serious gaps in the story than may appear at first sight. lt was perfectly natural to cover Hitler's head, since he had shot himself through the mouth. The clothes on the body were certainly his. As for the ashes, it has been suggested that they may have been collected and placed in a casket to be handed to the Hitler Youth commander, who was present, as sacred relics for the next generation.

But the simplest explanation may still be the correct one. It is not known how thorough a search was made by the Russians, and it is perfectly possible that the remains of Hitler and his wife became mixed up with those of the other bodies which were found there, especially as the garden remained under continuous bombardment until the Russians captured the Chancellery on 2 May.

This remains hypothesis, but when it is added to the psychological probability—which all the evidence confirms —that this was the end Hitler would choose, and the state of his health at the time, it is a fairly convincing argument. In any case, seven years is a long time. If Hitler has not so far appeared to take advantage of the confusion and divisions which he left as his legacy to Europe, it is a reasonable assumption that he is in fact dead. Whether a Hitler legend may not yet appear to prove more troublesome than ever Hitler alive would be, is another question, to which the answer of the future is still concealed.

- Alan Bullock "Hitler: A Study in Tyranny" 1952

Albrecht Alvaro Böhme from unknown Lieutenant to High Rank in Odessa?

During World War II, Böhme was a simple Lieutenant of the Luftwaffe, but he seems to have belonged to the mysterious  I/KG-200 or Kampfgeschwader 200. That training carried out top secret missions for German aviation on different fronts during the war. In the past, some investigators have identified this pilot as commander of a Condor Fw 200, but, apparently, this is a mistake since neither of the two Gruppe operatives of the KG 200 flew this type of aircraft. If Böhme belonged to Gruppe I, as it was manifested, he surely flew one of the four Heinkel He-111 bombers. That group's as main mission to fly behind the enemy lines to transport spies [a total of 260]. The Gruppe II had larger airplanes, such as Ju-290 and Ju-390, and performed long-range reconnaissance missions, as well as spy transport.

One of the most risky operations of the KG 200 was the "Operation Zeppelin", made in September 1944. It consisted of the flight of an Ar-232, which was moving a team destined to take land near Smolensko. After landing, they had to unload a motorcycle group that would take the secret agents to Moscow. The reckless mission was to assassinate Stalin, but this intrepid plan was thwarted when the plane crashed, after attempting to land on too short runway.

The Arado Ar 232 "Tausendfüßler" [Millipede] sometimes also called Tatzelwurm, was one of the first truly modern cargo aircraft, designed and built in small numbers by the German firm Arado Flugzeugwerke during World War II.

The design introduced, or brought together, almost all of the features now considered to be "standard" in modern cargo transport aircraft designs.

Wilhelm van Nes led the design of the Ar 232. He began at the cargo area, with a bay directly behind the "stepless cockpit". Typical designs of the era would use a side-mounted door for access, but the Ar 232 used hydraulically powered clamshell-doors on the rear of the bay with a ramp to allow cargo to be rolled into the hold.

The tail control surfaces were mounted on the end of a long boom to keep the area behind the doors clear so trucks could drive right up to the ramp. The high-set tail on its "pod-and-boom" configuration fuselage allowed the Ar 232 to be loaded and unloaded faster than other designs.

A significant advantage of this aircraft was its rough-field landing gear.

With the landing gear in the compressed position, the eleven pairs of wheels mounted on independently-sprung legs beneath the fuselage, together with the wide-track main landing gear and the levered-suspension nose wheel, endowed the aircraft with outstanding rough field capabilities.


Böhme was born in Mexico and was the son of emigrant Germans. At the outbreak of the revolution and the subsequent overthrow of President Huerta, he and his family had to flee, abandoning everything. The only ship to evacuate the German settlers, embarking at Tampico, was the 'Dresden'; the same ship in which the enigmatic Wilhem Canaris was crew.

There is no indication that Albrecht Böhme was a war criminal, but he was a sympathizer of the Nazi cause, even after the total defeat suffered in 1945.

He legally entered Argentina in the early 1950s. He lived in Córdoba and in the Chubut town of Lago Puelo, near El Bolsón. He settled definitively in Cervantes, 15 kilometers from the city of General Roca. It is known that he dedicated himself to fruit production, was founder of the Chamber of Producers of Cervantes and president of Corpofrut, a co-operative of fruit producers.

According to an investigation by the "Rio Negro" newspaper, Böhme never gave the image of extreme sympathy with Nazi ideology. According to the paper, "He was a man of order, in meager but gentle ways, he was always moved by a significant predisposition to work for the betterment of the region".

But underneath that facade was a double life.

Shortly after arriving in the country, Böhme wove an extensive network of relations with Argentine military power, especially with high-ranking officers of the Army. One of Böhme's main interlocutors was the commander of the Fifth Army Corps, with jurisdiction in Patagonia, General Enrique Guglialmini. Böhme would have even participated, at the invitation of the Army, in exercises of the VI Mountain Infantry Brigade based seat in the province of Neuquén.

Although Bohme was a relatively insignificant figure during the war, it is striking the notoriety of the Nazis with whom he was in contact in the postwar years; whether these were fugitives or only ex-military. For example, it is known, and has been published by several investigators, that  the Cervantes Chara hosted Josef Mengele, one of the most wanted and never captured Nazi criminals. According to the newspaper "Río Negro", Mengele lived for six months on the farm. Reports that made it to the newspaper, claim to have seen Mengele in General Roca in the company of Böhme.

"He was a quiet man, always in impeccable attire, whom Böhme presented as 'a friend'. He spoke Castilian with some difficulty and he came in and out of business always in the company of Böhme," said a neighbor in General Roca, saying that "one day I asked him who his friend was and the response was kind but firm: Mengele".

Another neighbor in General Roca related that he remembered to have recognized Mengele on the Böhme farm in Cervantes. "It was many years ago," said the witness, "concretely in the year 1960. At that time I was engaged in the scrap business and went into the Böhme's cellar to look for iron and there I met Mengele, whom I saw from time to time in photos because they were looking for him".

There are also records of contacts with Reinhardt Kops, apparently in charge of raising funds for fugitive Nazis and with the famous Stuka pilot Hans Ulrich Rudel who lived in Argentina and was a confessed Nazi even after the war.

Many questions have arisen around this unknown pilot of the Luftwaffe who seems to have attracted notice in the Nazi refugee community in Argentina - notoriety he did not have during the war. The reason for his sudden importance to the former exalted members of the Third Reich is unknown, perhaps over time information will continue to be revealed to help close its history.

--  Julio B. Mutti, "U-Boat Argentina"  

Well before the end of the World War II, some senior Nazi leaders had already been meeting to determine escape routes, in the likely event that the Nazis would lose the war. One such meeting was held in secret at the Maison Rouge in Strasbourg. One of the most important planners of these escape routes was Martin Bormann, in what would eventually be known as “Project Odessa”. Bormann was a member of the Nazi Party and was uniquely-positioned as the financial manager of all funds, gold, jewelry and works of art for the Adolfh Hitler Foundation, in charge of managing the money stolen from all the Central Banks of Europe and managing the loot stolen by Nazis from national museums and from the homes of thousands of Jews.

Bormann filled a power vacuum around Hitler that occurred toward the end of the war, left behind by Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Wilhelm Canaris and other important Nazi leaders. At the very end, there were only Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann, besides Admiral Karl Dönitz, who at the last minute was appointed to succeed Hitler.

In the second phase of "Project Odessa", these massive financial assets were put into use, along with a precious collection of strategic scientific projects, to be used as bargaining chips, to negotiate with the Allies and with Argentine President, Juan Perón, in exchange for escape routes and safe haven for Nazis – including for the Führer, himself.

Many German scientists and Nazi projects were thus taken over by the British, the Americans and the Russians.

There are some who suspect that this "bargaining-chip" German technology led to the quick completion of the atom bomb by the Manhattan Project, as well as to the development of jet planes, among other technologies.

Even the Argentines were given access to these technological assets. One example was the Pulqui jet plane, created by Kurt Tank, the celebrated Nazi aeronautical engineer who lived in Córdoba and whose designs were publicly presented by Perón at the Aeroparque in Buenos Aires in 1951. The hope was that, with all of these resources it would be possible to found a 4th Reich somewhere.

Although the existence of Project Odessa has never been irrefutably proven, it is been alleged to have been the secret organization created to expedite the escape of Nazis, with the help of the Vatican, through the German Bishop Hudal, who was very close to Pope Pius XII.

Several historical researchers have found plenty of evidence that Perón opened the doors of Argentina for Nazis on the run, distributing approximately 14,000 fake identity documents, providing assistance, jobs and everything necessary for the exiles to be safe and well protected.

In compensation, Perón is said to have received $250 million, deposited in Switzerland by his famous wife, Evita in 1947. He would later attempt to recover this money from Swiss bankers, without success.

Perón’s "excuse" for this shameless harboring of Nazis was that there was already a huge colony of Germans in Argentina. The truth, however was that the dictator had been deeply sympathetic to the Nazi cause, as well as to the Fascist faith, since long before the war, starting when he was military attaché for Argentina in Italy under Mussolini. The longstanding proximity of Perón with Nazis has been extensively proven: his personal Private Secretary and Head of Security was Rudy Freude, a Nazi Argentine who was always present in photos with the dictator and Evita.

Rudy was the son of billionaire Ludwig Freude, a personal friend of Perón and Argentina’s largest contractor and banker of Nazi funds [Banco Alemán Transatlántico], and considered the true unofficial ambassador of Germany. He was investigated repeatedly for spying by the Americans and was also blacklisted by the US. It was Ludwig Freude who bankrolled the presidential campaign of Perón in 1946.

The names of numerous war criminals, sought under the Nuremberg Principles and hiding comfortably in South America are well known, some of whom, years later were located by Simon Wiesenthal and convicted. Many others were arrested and died in prison, while awaiting their death sentences. Others, however went on to live peacefully in Argentina, many providing consulting services to the military dictatorship of that countryMany wanted Nazi war criminals were arrested and died in prison, while awaiting their death sentences. Others, however went on to live peacefully in Argentina, many providing consulting services to the military dictatorship of that country.

In order to efficiently and discreetly deploy the escape plan, it was essential that there be an agent on Argentine soil, a highly competent “manager”; someone who was audacious but with a low profile, yet well-connected. We are confident that this person was Albrecht Alvaro Böhme, a Mexican-born German, fluent in Spanish and a former pilot in the Luftwaffe in a special tactical airborne unit, the KG 200 and the nephew of the Major General Franz Böhme.

Alvaro Böhme was not cited at the Nuremberg Trials for having committed any war crimes, so it was he who became the agent above any suspicion, the “Unsuspected Nazi” who facilitated the safe passage to Argentina and the provision of some 14,000 Argentine IDs to SS Officers and other top Nazi personnel.

Researcher Alberto Aragon who now lives in Catamarca, a remote region of Argentina, where there are many abandoned mines has been investigating the Nazi presence in Argentina for over 35 years.

Prior to Catamarca, Aragon lived for a long time in Rio Negro [in the same province as San Carlos de Bariloche, 300 km away] and as an agricultural inspector and tax collector for the Argentine government, Aragon was familiar with a certain 200-acre property that had been producing apples and grapes.

Böhme was respected and well-connected, as the Founder and President of the Lower Rio Negro Association of Fruit Producers, in the town of Cervantes. Gradually, Aragon became a close friend of Böhme, who over the years, told him many stories about the Nazis in Argentina and showed him a profusion of documents, correspondence and authentic objects.

When he died in 1986, Böhme left everything to Aragon, including an old suitcase that had belonged to Josef Mengele and which was ultimately used for the latter’s criminal identification.

The absolute confirmation that Böhme was the secret Nazi operator in Argentina, came from the notebooks inside Mengele’s suitcase which was left to Aragon and which contained the names of many of the most important Nazis [many of them presumed dead, such as the powerful Martin Bormann].

Mengele death by drowning was apparently accidental and unexpected, so his perfectly intact suitcase contained an amazing cache of documents, which proved the entire history of how over 30,000 Fascists escaped to Patagonia in southern Argentina via submarine, in what was called "Project Odessa", with the help of the Catholic Church, The Red Cross and KLM Airlines. In addition, at least 14,000 Nazi Party members were issued fake IDs by the Argentinean government’s Fascist dictator, Juan Perón, as the project continued through the 1950s.

The notebooks contained the addresses and locations of escaped Nazis in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Germany. There was also an abundant cache of correspondence. One of these letters, which stood out was authenticated to 1950, written by General Seydliz to Böhme in German, giving updates from Europe and also expressing happiness that Hitler would be living under Böhme's refuge in beautiful Patagonia. At the end of the letter, Seydlitz sends greetings to the beloved Führer for his birthday. Böhme went to Bariloche very often, where evidence suggests that Hitler was hiding in a vast, hidden  property, guarded by 90 security agents called "Inalco", and then later, at the La Clara resort until his death, in 1962.

Inalco, the probable refuge of Hitler, is an imposing property that remains intact and was for sale [as of 2011]. Included in the property is a ramp and a hangar for seaplanes, as it is located on the shore of Lake Nahuel Haupi.

Böhme was married to Elfriede Larch, a confirmed Gestapo agent but who was given a new identity. The two circulated freely in Argentina being that they had no convictions; often returning to Germany throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, from where they returned always accompanied by groups of ex-Nazis, carrying their "special" documents, issued by the Perón government or by the Red Cross in Europe.

Böhme was considered a very wealthy man, possibly due to a well-organized cocaine trafficking operation. He allegedly would receive cocaine shipments sent by Klaus Barbie from Bolivia, using caravans of unsuspicious mules, which were then transferred and hidden in boxes of apples and exported in large quantities. In those times, virtually all of Bariloche and Rio Negro Province was predominantly a German community and it included many hidden Nazis.

In the years between 1945-1950, all of Patagonia became the scene of landings of cargo and people in boats and submarines, which were anchored and hidden in large German-owned property known as the giant Flugell resort, as alleged by many serious scholars of this topic.

The Consul of Patagonia, a Nazi, himself was charged with recording both the lists of crates and their cargo of prized possessions and the names of people landing by submarine, in the dim light of the southern dawn.

These Consular documents went missing for a long time but Aragon finally located them in the possession of the Nazi Consul’s niece, who now lives under an assumed name in southern Chile and who is currently [as of 2011] negotiating their sale.

These documents prove many facts, which are generally still considered to be legends, including the use of U-Boats, crates containing gold and jewels, stolen from all over Europe and brought to the shores of Patagonia to be loaded onto trucks and hidden in the remote, abandoned mines of Catamarca.

Aragon is convinced of the existence of these treasures there and is actively exploring these various mines, which are now closed. With the help of a metal detector, he found surprising evidence of two containing ancient gold jewelry of and another full of cut diamonds, some of which were found on gravel near the gated entrance of one of the old mines, lending credence to the stories that jewelry was unloaded there. Finding the exact locations of all the treasure has become his obsession.

As a consequence of his stubborn research, he met a lady named Chiquita, a local journalist and the mistress of a Catholic Father Confessor to many old Nazis in a nearby parish. One of them, spent part of his life guarding mines and handed him a map drawn in pencil with geographic coordinates. Thanks to his unlimited patience, Aragon got these maps from Chiquita. Aragon has plans to set out on a new round of explorations, using more precise equipment when he’s able to gather the necessary resources and time for this.

Aragon said then that in one of the parties held by the Nazi community in Bariloche, many saw Mengele dancing with a beautiful woman who claimed to be a journalist and who wanted to interview him. He agreed to the interview on the afternoon of the next day in a park in Bariloche. Before leaving her however, he saw that she bore a numerical tattoo, characteristic of the victims of the German concentration camps inside the palm of her hand. He noticed it but said nothing. The interview was conducted and two days later, the woman was found murdered at the base of the cliffs beside Lake Nahuel Huapi.

She was, in fact Mossad agent, 47 years of age, named Nora Eldoc, who had gone to visit her mother, a Jewish escapee of the death camps, who also lived in Bariloche. It was a shocking event at the time.

The police examined the scene of the crime and suspicions fell on Mengele but he had long since disappeared. Mengele hid for a time at Böhme’s farm, 300 km away. Three months later he left, leaving behind the incriminating suitcase, which would certainly do him no good on his person, should he be apprehended while on the run. This is the suitcase that Aragon inherited from Böhme.

-- Olivier Perroy [Translated from Portuguese by Alexandra Bruce]