Ruanda-Urundi (1885–1917) - became a League of Nations mandate under Belgium, attached to its Congo colony - present-day Rwanda and Burundi 1.3. But some were no where to be found, as if they had disappeared. All Rights Reserved. That spring, French war criminals carrying passports issued by the International Red Cross stamped with Argentine tourist visas began to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Adolf Eichmann (Credit: Adam Guz/Getty Images Poland/Getty Images). Some say up to 80 thousand people met this fate. As he walked to his small brick house in a middle-class Buenos Aires suburb on May 11, 1960, he passed by a chauffer and two men working under the open hood of a black Buick limousine. But even after they and their children and their grandchildren are gone, they will have a legacy in South America. The climate before WW2 It was the only death sentence ever given by an Israeli court. They were free to torture as much as they wish, and no matter what, they were protected by the government. It turns out they had been planning on doing so for quite some time. Germany was not as involved in colonizing Africa as other major European powers of the 20th century, and lost its overseas colonies, including German East Africa and German South West Africa, after World War I. The escape routes themselves came to be known as ratlines. Thanks to the country’s controversial leader who had help from some Nazi sympathizers in Europe, as many as 5,000 SS Officers and Nazi Party members were thought to have found a new life in Argentina after the fall of the Third Reich. Argentine dictator Juan Peron actively encouraged Nazis to come to Argentina, promising protection and a new life. In those days South America seemed like a different world to Europe. Shortly after the German invasion, on June 22, 1941, ... Colonies kept in touch with each other through newspapers, especially Der Staats Anzeiger, based in North Dakota. Decolonization after 1945 The reasons why decolonization took place are many and complex, varying widely from one country to another. For every Eichmann there are many more Nazis who seem to have escaped justice. During his reign tens of thousands of people were abducted and sent to secret camps, where many of them would killed. So many made it that they were able to establish their own communities of former Nazis. Tanganyika. The story of Colonia Dignidad is just one of many in the long sting of Nazi escaped to South America. Soon after, the German Moravians founded the town of Salem in 1766 (now a historical section in the center of Winston-Salem) and Salem College (an early female college) in 1772. There’s a long story behind how Nazi colonies came to exist in the remote regions of South America. Gustav Wagner, an SS officer known as the “Beast,” died in Brazil in 1980 after the country’s supreme federal court refused to extradite him to Germany because of inaccuracies in the paperwork. One hundred thousand either died or escaped. So that’s the story of Adolf Eichmann, the least jolly Adolf to ever live. German Argentines (German: Deutschargentinier, Spanish: germano-argentinos) are Argentine citizens of German ancestry. Another haven for Nazis was the Argentine city of Bariloche, where in the 90s it was revealed many SS officers were hiding. (Credit: Keystone/Getty Images). The war caused significant panic in Latin America over economics as a large portions of economy of the region depended on the European investment capital, which was shut down. In the 1970s and 1980s Chile was ruled by authoritarian dictator Augusto Pinochet. Steinberger formed part of the Ferguson Collection which was received in 1970. From all sides the allies fought their way to Berlin, cutting German society to pieces as they went. As the years turned to decades, rumor spread that high ranking Nazis were being shielded in the colony. The papers of A.B. The extracts from the Grundbuchwere transferred by the Administration of the Trust Territory of Nauru in 1958. He was smuggled to Bolivia, where he continued his spy work and instructed the military regime on how to torture and interrogate political opponents. So many made it to Argentina that the FBI began to investigate if Hitler himself could have. These are colonies settled by and controlled by the German Empire from 1884 to 1919. Only on arriving in Israel did the Argentine government learn of the operation. Schafer was but a low ranking Nazi, but was forced to flee Germany after being charged with the sexual abuse of children. In 1955, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, a grandson of immigrants from Bavaria, opened Paraguay to former Nazis. I mean, it’s still a colony lived in by the descendants of Nazis, but somehow it’s become a destination for tourism… and I don’t know how. Schafer was in effect king of this secret place cut off from the outside world. It’s pure vastness and variety of terrain made it perfect to hide away in. Bavarian houses in Oxapampa. But one day his son met a girl who was also German. It wasn’t long before the Israeli government knew so too. And it wasn’t just Argentina. However, by far the largest number—as many as 5,000—relocated to Argentina. As a German he didn’t feel the need to hide his true identity from her. In South America there are many German colonies where everything is German. Thanks to governmental secrecy we can never know exactly what crimes took place there. Yes, the Nazi colonies will surely live on. Perhaps the most notorious of the fugitives was Dr. Josef Mengele, the “Angel of Death” who conducted macabre experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Suddenly, Klement was grabbed by the men and hauled kicking and screaming into the back seat of the vehicle, which sped off into the night. It was German traveller Baron Cosme Damián Schütz von Holzhausen, who, after visiting German colonies in Texas, USA had the idea of creating other colonies across South America. He was a religious leader and the head of an orphanage. 1945 was an especially bad year. And then there were high ranking Nazis. 81 comments. Paraguay: A Quaint Inn with a Dark Nazi Past - TIME; Why did so many Germans choose to move to Argentina after. This would be an irrelevant piece of knowledge, if one of those camps had not been located within Colonia Dignidad. Even before it looked like they would lose the war, the Nazis had big plans for South America. Everyone knew the war was ending and western leaders were already looking towards the next enemy: Soviet Russia. Many of these German states were officially Protestant, making them traditional allies of other Protestant nations, such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, whose king, George III, was also the Prince-elector of Hanover. In 1922 became a League of Nations mandate under the United Kingdom. Secret files reveal 9,000 Nazi war criminals fled to South America after WWII. And while some Nazi colonies, like Colonia Dignidad and figures like Eichmann are well known – there could well be all kinds of people and places still hidden, waiting to be found. Fearing Argentine authorities would offer him protection, they sent a team of agents into the country. But those are nothing compared to the former Nazi colonies of the continent. But even after they and their children and their grandchildren are gone, they will have a legacy in South America. I don’t know if you’re familiar with German history… but the 1940s were a real rough patch. It was in this year Germany lost the deadliest conflict in human history. He made use of fences, outposts, and even motion sensors. Not all Nazis on the run kept strictly to Nazi Colonies. By the time it was all falling apart in Germany, there were sympathetic regimes across the continent – the most pro… According to Uki Goñi, author of “The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron’s Argentina,” the Peron government in 1946 sent word through Argentine Cardinal Antonio Caggiano to a French counterpart that the South American country would be willing to receive Nazi collaborators from France who faced potential war crimes prosecution. So the cameras were built into the walls of the courtroom and the trial was seen around the world. King George III came from an ethnic German line, and was the first of the House of Hanover to speak E… Similarly to those in Latin America, the Germans in Africa tended to isolate themselves and were more self-sufficient than other Europeans. Tim Kennedy further discusses the history of Nazi's who escaped to South America. colonia Tovar is an example. When there the team abducted Eichmann and smuggled him out of the country. How could so many escape when the whole world was closing in on them? It’s secretive nature means little is known for certain about ODESSA. Are there any like this in your state? These were colonies unsuccessfully settled by Brandenburg-Prussia (part of the Holy Roman Empire realm), after 1701 Kingdom of Prussia, before the foundation of the German Empire in 1871.. Africa. They are descendants of Germans who immigrated to Argentina from Germany and elsewhere in Europe. For ten years they lived a quiet life in Buenos Aires, Eichmann working at a nearby Mercedes factory. Throughout the '50s, '60s, and '70s, stories of former officials of the Third Reich hiding out in Argentina were common -- and they weren't just stories. For years the world’s most wanted Nazi was a man called Adolf Eichmann. Adolf Eichmann on trial, April 21, 1961 in Jerusalem. Yes, the Nazi colonies will surely live on. Of all the towns, neighborhoods, and colonies built by them after the war, it’s inconceivable that none will survive. Brazil took in between 1,500 and 2,000 Nazi war criminals, while between 500 and 1,000 settled in Chile. As it turned out, World War II hardly touched South America. A Map of Nazi South America (Forged by the British) - Big. After 4 months he was sentenced to death by hanging. Today in Peru the population Peruvians of German descent is approximately 160,000 people and hold many high positions in Government, Military and industry. In 1961 became independent and in 1964 joined with former British protectorate of the sultanate of Zanzibar to form present-day Tanzania 1.2. The German legal team that examined South American files in 2012 told the Daily Mail that most of the Nazis who entered the continent did so using forged Red Cross passports, including 800 SS members to Argentina alone. Many Nazi officials were killed or taken prisoner. Knowing the war could genuinely be lost, some within the SS realized they might need to flee for their lives. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. It’s known he spent time there, in Paraguay and in Brazil, where he died a free man. Some Nazi colonies were rich and influential enough to help shape the modern history of South America. But most importantly, many South American governments were sympathetic to the Nazi cause and proved willing to help. Due to the hundreds of thousands of German immigrants who lived in the country, Argentina maintained close ties with Germany and remained neutral for much of World War II. But the craziest part of this story is that their colony still exists. Some were relatively short, leading to Spain or the middle east. Klement was actually Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi SS lieutenant colonel who masterminded the transport of European Jews to concentration camps, and the men with the limousine were Israeli secret service agents. Togoland was conquered by British forces from the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and by French forces from Dahomey (now Benin) in the first month of the war. The 1888 proclamation of the annexation of Nauru by Germany was donated to the Library by Brigadier General Thomas Griffiths, the Administrator of Nauru, in 1921. World War I - World War I - The loss of the German colonies: Germany’s overseas colonies, virtually without hope of reinforcement from Europe, defended themselves with varying degrees of success against Allied attack. Eduard Roschmann, the “Butcher of Riga,” died in Paraguay in 1977. It was claimed by the CIA that the infamous concentration camp Doctor Joseph Mengele was among them. In the years and months leading up to Germany’s defeat, many Nazis carefully planned ways to escape justice. Nazi Germany's conquest of Europe ended in 1945, but fugitive Nazis in South America lasted for decades. In their attempts to aid Catholic refugees amid the post-war rise of communist regimes across Europe, numerous Vatican officials unwittingly aided in the escape of Nazi war criminals, but some clerics such as Bishop Alois Hudal did so with full knowledge of their actions. But only one third of those named were ever brought to justice. Without needing to pay community members for their work, Schafer instead invested in security. It was a former Nazi’s wet dream. European Colonies in North America. 1. They often held prestigious jobs and positions in the local German speaking community. The SECRET Nazi Colonies In South America - Eskify; Why did the European states have to give up their colonies. The Argentine president also sought to recruit those Nazis with particular military and technical expertise that he believed could help his country, much like the United States and the Soviet Union who both poached scientists from the Third Reich to assist them in the Cold War. In the years after the end of the war, Argentine President Juan Peron secretly ordered diplomats and intelligence officers to establish escape routes, so-called “ratlines,” through ports in Spain and Italy to smuggle thousands of former SS officers and Nazi party members out of Europe. This was the result of a new political climate, the rise of nationalism and the waging of independence campaigns in various colonies as well as the new domestic priorities in the post-war period for colonial rulers. It’s called Colonia Dignidad and it was founded by Nazi official turned cult leader Paul Schafer. It’s surprising to learn that South America was a bit of a hotbed for anti-Semitism from the late 19th century – and indeed that one of its most famous German immigrants, Bernhard Förster, was a key influence on Hitler’s political thinking. According to a 2012 article in the Daily Mail, German prosecutors who examined secret files from Brazil and Chile discovered that as many as 9,000 Nazi officers and collaborators from other countries escaped from Europe to find sanctuary in South American countries. And so a secretive cult of sex criminals genuinely operated their own colony in Chile, which became a haven for Nazis on the run and also a government torture camp. They typically led to dictatorships whose government was sympathetic to Nazism. The most senior Nazi whose fate even today remains unknown was Heinrich Muller. As with numerous other fascist-leaning South American leaders, Peron had been drawn to the ideologies of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler while serving as a military attaché in Italy during the early years of World War II. They set up everything a community would need – even a hospital, from which they offered free care for locals. But the greatest ratlines led to South America. By the end of the war ODESSA maintained a covert network of people and locations willing to help former Nazis flee. German East Africa (Deutsch-Ostafrika): 1.1. Muller was director of Germany’s secret police, a close confidant of Hitler, and a notorious figure ominously known as “Gestapo Muller”. SS colonel Walter Rauff, who created mobile gas chambers that killed at least 100,000 people, died in Chile in 1984. As soon as he heard the name Eichmann, the father realized who they were dealing with. Hudal also aided the Franciscan monk in Genoa, Italy, who supplied Eichmann with an Argentine visa and signed an application for his falsified Red Cross passport, which allowed him to board a steamship to Buenos Aires in 1950 under the assumed identity of Ricardo Klement. Klein-Venedig ("Little Venice"; also the etymology of the name "Venezuela") was the most significant part of the German colonization of the Americas, from 1528 to 1546, in which the Augsburg -based Welser banking family to the Habsburgs was given the colonial rights by Emperor Charles V, who was also King of Spain and owed debts to them for his Imperial election. One branch was run by Hitler’s own bodyguard, Otto Skorzany, who went on to work for the President of Argentina. According to Goñi, Hudal, an Austrian-born admirer of Hitler who ministered to prisoners of war in Rome, admitted to abetting Nazi war criminals by providing them with false identity documents issued by the Vatican that were then used to obtain passports from the International Red Cross. Yet it’s unclear how exactly this was to be achieved, or even why. Of all the towns, neighborhoods, and colonies built by them after the war, it’s inconceivable that none will survive. Barbie became one of the few Nazis who fled to South America but ultimately couldn’t escape justice, much like Eichmann who was also convicted of crimes against humanity by an Israeli court and executed in 1962. Little is known of their activity in those early years but the colony grew steadily. The British colonies in the West Indies were under direct threat by German submarines, who were hunting for oil tankers and bauxite carriers making … New members were then forced to work and never allowed to leave. Lightning flashed across the Argentine skies as Ricardo Klement stepped off a bus after finishing his shift as an assembly line foreman at a Mercedes-Benz automotive plant. Germany lost all its overseas colonies after World War I, and therefore had none after WWII. Following the war, the U.S. Counter-Intelligence Corps recruited Klaus Barbie—the Gestapo chief in Lyon, France, who played a role in the deaths of thousands of French Jews and members of the French Resistance—as an agent to assist with anti-Communist efforts. By far the most notorious of such Nazi colonies can still be found in the Chilean Andes. (He, like his eventual acolyte, ended up committing suicide as his utopian colony failed.) It’s fair to say they weren’t happy about it. In 1962, the Chilean town of Colonia Dignidad was found to be home to 300 families who’d fled Germany after World War II, finding a welcome – and no questions asked – among their compatriots in South America.”. Across the continent there are still small pockets where German is the common language. Eichmann was considered a major architect of the holocaust and a notoriously corrupt SS colonel. (Credit: STAFF/AFP/Getty Images). FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Buried under an assumed name after drowning off the Brazilian coast in 1979, Mengele had his identity confirmed only after forensic testing of his remains in 1985. South America. Allowing them to fall into Soviet hands would have been disastrous for the west. HIS PATH TO SOUTH AMERICA: After World War II, Mengele spent three-plus years in hiding in Germany. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! (Credit: John Milli/GPO via Getty Images). So they established a new organization known today as ODESSA. In some cases, the United States was complicit in the exodus of Nazi war criminals to South America. And so the Americans put huge effort into this pursuit. The history of Latin America during World War II is important because of the significant economic, political, and military changes that occurred throughout much of the region as a result of the war. South America; Argentina; W alking through La Cumbrecita is a surreal experience. Strangely these communities received a spike in population growth after the war… I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. But researchers were not the only thing thousands of soldiers were aggressively looking for. The judge objected to proceedings being filmed, fearing the cameras would serve as a distraction. But this was just a way of luring new members to the colony. In Israel he was put on trial, a trial that lasted 4 months and broadcast in it’s entirety. Klaus Barbie outside the Lyons court house following his sentencing on July 4, 1987. After the war he took a ratline to Argentina. Everyone involved in the abduction was playing a high-stakes game of deception. The street signs are in German. 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