New evidence exposes Hitler’s Secret Refuge after World War II - Part II

The "official story' says that Adolf Hitler died by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. For decades, rumors swirled throughout Argentina that Hitler had in fact survived the Bunker and escaped to South America’s second largest country where he lived until 1962. Documents recently released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington DC are giving some credence to the rumors. While no concrete evidence exists to support either the death-by-suicide or life-in-Argentina theories, the weight of the evidence is shifting.

One day history may need to be rewritten.


Argentina was Hitler’s Final Home According to FBI Files

Newly released FBI documents seem to indicate that Adolf Hitler survived the Bunker in Germany and made his escape to Argentina where he lived out the rest of his days.

In 1945, two German submarines pulled to the shore one night in Argentina. Approximately 50 people disembarked. They were met and driven off in Argentine buses. Those are known, verifiable facts. Eyewitnesses are still alive that saw the small crowd of people standing around the shoreline waiting on the buses to arrive.

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released previously classified documents that seem to prove that Adolf Hitler, the German dictator, was among the people arriving in Argentina that night. With him was the equally recognizable Eva Braun. 

The documents released by the FBI go on to show that the American government knew Hitler was alive and living in the Andes long after World War II had ended. The newly released documents also show that the director of the OSS, Allen Dulles, provided aid and assistance to the group.

Q: You mention in "Grey Wolf" that the U.S. government was given an ultimatum to turn a blind eye to Hitler’s relocation to Argentina, though you seemed to stop short of unambiguously stating that this was an offer which the U.S. accepted. Can you clarify your thoughts on this matter?

Gerrard Williams: We believe that a small but very influential group of American Intelligence officials, led by Allen Dulles and backed by a group of very wealthy American bankers and industrialists, had been in contact with Martin Bormann and other senior Nazis from before the war and continued those contacts throughout WW2.

Nazi war criminals, after Germany’s crushing defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943, saw the writing on the wall regarding the future of the Third Reich and started hedging their bets.

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

There is  documentary evidence Allen Dulles’ wartime mission in Switzerland included helping Martin Bormann, Hitler’s secretary, to funnel billions of dollars of Nazi ill-gotten financial gain out of Germany and invest in the U.S. and Argentinian stock markets to provide a financial cushion to survive in hiding after the war.

Dulles, at that time an agent of the Office of Strategic Services, or OSS, the predecessor agency to the CIA, communicated secretly with top Nazis from his office in Bern.  

It was this group who negotiated the escape of Hitler, Bormann and finally 30,000 European Fascists to Latin America. I believe that from 1944 this grouping saw the Nazis as finished and believed the real threat was the Soviet Union. It would have been useful to have Hitler on hand to potentially lead Germany along with the Allies in any conflict with the Soviets. This plan collapsed when the true horror of the Holocaust was revealed with almost 7 million people having been industrially murdered. It was no longer possible to work with Hitler and the Bormann organisation but by that stage it was too late. They had escaped and were secure in their protected Andean bolt-hole. In return the US gained amazing technology, and Intelligence, which would eventually take them to the Moon. 

Q: Though the U.S. government had come to an agreement with Hitler that would allow him to escape Germany, the FBI –apparently– continued to investigate the possibility of his presence in Argentina until the 1950s. This seems to suggest an –at best– schizophrenic government and –at worst– the presence of an extra-constitutional decision-making authority inside it. Which, if either, do you believe is the case? Do you think there are those inside the U.S. government, today, who know about an arrangement with the Bormann Organization to facilitate Hitler’s departure from Germany?

Gerrard Williams: It’s important to differentiate between the US government at the time –which I do not believe knew of the deal– and the grouping discussed above. It seems that Director Hoover was not privy to the information. I think that within the archives of OSS/CIA there will be definitive proof of this deal and how CIA used many Nazis post-war for their own ends across the globe and especially in Latin America. Many of the FBI files are also yet to be released. The few we have been able to access in the public domain are heavily redacted, even 75 years later.

In a letter to the FBI, dated August 1945, an informant agreed to swap information for political asylum. The information the informant dangled in front of the agency was tantalizing enough for J. Edgar Hoover, long-time FBI Director, to get personally involved. What the informant told Hoover was shocking.

The informant not only knew that Hitler was in Argentina, the informant was one of four men confirmed to have met the German submarines when they arrive. The largest part of the landing party was on the first submarine while Hitler and Braun were on board the second.

The idea that German submarines could land on Argentine shores is not surprising or novel. U-Boat 977 and U-Boat 530 each landed in Mar del Plata following their own escape from German waters.

Argentina Assistance

Argentine sympathies were with Nazi Germany. South America’s second largest country had a large German “ex-pat” population that stayed loyal to Hitler and the former Führer enjoyed many close friends in Argentina even before the end of the war.

The Argentina government welcomed the German dictator with open arms and assisted him in his hiding. The FBI documents indicate not only could the informant provide detailed directions to the towns which Hitler and his party traveled through, but was also able to provide details of the house in which Hitler and Braun took up residence.

The informant, was credible enough for Hoover to get personally involved in the informant’s subsequent questioning. Hoover then transferred some of the documents to Generals in the US War Department.

Did Hitler escape Germany and live to be an old man in Argentina?


This is NOT "New Evidence"!

"Hitler flew from Berlin to Norway on the night of 30 April 1945 in a Fieseler-Storch plane. His compound is at Paso Flores, 100 miles north of San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, on the banks of the Limay River".

-- "Hitler is Alive!" - National Police Gazette - May 1964


 

FBI Ignored Hitler's Post-War Life
by David Richards
March 16, 2014

A recently declassified document reveals that the FBI knew Hitler had not committed suicide and was living in Argentina. The document can be found on the FBI's own website.

The report presents testimony of an informant who approached the FBI in Los Angeles on  28 1945 with information on Hitler in exchange for asylum. He said he was given $15,000 for his role in Hitler's escape.

The documents states, "€¨€¨€¨€ claimed to be one of four men who met Hitler and his party of about 50 when they landed from two submarines in Argentina approximately two and a half weeks after the fall of Berlin 2 May1945".

"€¨€¨€¨€ explained that the subs landed along the tip of the Valdez peninsula in the Gulf of San Vatias. €¨€¨€¨€ told ¨€¨€¨€¨€ that there are several tiny villages in this area where members of Hitler's party would eventually stay with German families. He named the towns as San Antonia, Videma, Neuquen, Muster, Carmena, and Rason".

He describes a surreal scene of top Nazis' climbing the Andes Mountains on horseback:

"By pre-arranged plan with six top Argentine officials, pack horses were waiting for the group and by daylight all supplies were loaded on the horses and an all-day trip inland toward the foothills of the southern Andes was started. At dusk the party arrived at the ranch where Hitler and his party, according to ¨€¨€¨€¨€, are now in hiding.' This part is not credible since it is more than 500 km from the coast to the Andes".

He gave specific physical details about Hitler. "According to ¨€¨€¨€¨€, Hitler is suffering from asthma and ulcers, has shaved off his mustache and has a long "but" on his upper lip.'

He offered to identify the three other men who assisted him, and to locate Hitler.  "If you go to a hotel in San Antonia, Argentina, I will arrange for a man to meet you there and locate the ranch where Hitler is".

The FBI never took up his offer. The informant also gave an interview to the "Los Angeles Examiner" on 29 July 1945.  Apparently, the story was not published.

Hitler was in Argentina

The FBI had many more sightings of Hitler in Argentina. 

The reports should have been taken seriously as the Argentine government's policy of providing sanctuary to fugitive Nazis was well known.

Many books have been written about the Führer's life in Latin America including "Hitler's Escape" [2005] by Ron T Hansig, "Grey Wolf" [2013] by Dunstan and Williams and "Hitler in Argentina" [2014] by Harry Cooper.

Arguably the best is "Hitler's Exile" by Argentine journalist Abel Basti. He visited German compounds surrounded by security guards, interviewed witnesses in nearby villages, and collected hundreds of media reports and government documents in Argentina that state matter-of-factly that Hitler was laying low within their borders. .

In an interview on "Deadline - Live", an Argentine news program, Abel Basti said:

"Hitler escaped via air from Austria to Barcelona. The last stage of his escape was in a submarine, from Vigo, heading straight to the coast of Patagonia. Finally, Hitler and Eva Braun, in a car with a chauffeur and bodyguard--a motorcade of at least three cars--drove to Bariloche [Argentina].

"He took refuge in a place called San Ramon, about 15 miles east of that town. It is a property of about 250,000 acres with a lake-front view of Lake Nahuel Huapi, which had been German property since the early twentieth century, when it belonged to a German firm by the name of Schamburg-Lippe.

"I was able to confirm the presence of Hitler in Spain thanks to a--now elderly--Jesuit priest, whose family members were friends of the Nazi leader. And I have witnesses that allude to meetings he had with his entourage at the place where they stayed in Cantabria.

"In addition, a document of the British secret services reveals that in those days, a Nazi submarine convoy left Spain, and after stopping in the Canary Islands, it continued its journey to the south of Argentina.

"Hitler lived as a fugitive with his wife and his bodyguard. His first years were in Patagonia, and then he lived in the more northern provinces [of Argentina].

"In Argentina, I have interviewed people who had seen and met with Hitler. In the Russian archives, there is abundant documentation that shows that Hitler had escaped.

"The U.S. has just reclassified [under national security auspices] for 20 [more] years all official material related to this story, and when that deadline is met, it will probably be reclassified. The British reclassified all related documentation for 60 more years. The researchers cannot access that information".

Soviets also covered up Escape

Colonel W. J. Heimlich, Chief of U.S. Intelligence in Berlin, concluded:

"There is no evidence beyond that of hearsay to support the theory of Hitler's suicide. On the basis of present evidence, no insurance company in America would pay a claim on Adolf Hitler".

In his book "Speaking Frankly" [1947] Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes wrote:

"While in Potsdam at the conference of the Big Four, Stalin left his chair, came over and clicked his liquor glass with mine in a very friendly manner. I asked what was his theory about the death of Adolf Hitler and he replied - Hitler is not dead. He escaped either to Spain or Argentina".

In the immediate aftermath of Hitler's disappearance, the Soviets made a series of contradictory statements, bizarrely claiming they had found his remains one day and that he had escaped the next. 

First, they said his body wasn't found. Then, they proclaimed Hitler's remains had been discovered on 4 May 1945. However, Marshall Zhukov, the head of the Soviet army, announced on 9 June:

"We did not identify the body of Hitler. I can say nothing definite about his fate. He could have flown away from Berlin at the very last moment".

The only evidence that Hitler committed suicide are bone fragments from the Soviet archive. For years the Russians have insisted that these fragments are of Hitler. This lie was blown in 2009 when an American researcher carried out tests on skull fragments and found they were those of a young woman. 

The Russians have never got their story straight and presented false evidence.

Their actions certainly aided Hitler's escape. Nürnberg Judge Michael Mussmanno wrote in his book "Ten Days to Die" [1950] that "Russia must accept much of the blame that 'Hitler did not die' in May 1945".

Conclusion

Although the informant offered to identify the others involved, and to locate Hitler, the FBI determined "it would be impossible to continue efforts to locate Hitler with the sparse information to date".

Unredacted FBI document - Hitler in Argentina


Comment from Harry Cooper, author of 'Hitler in Argentina': We saw your blog regarding this topic and this is absolutely correct.  We broke this story more than a decade ago, published our first book on this subject in 2006 and our newest work on this is just out.  You quote Abel Basti - in my opinion, probably the very best researcher in Argentina on the subject of Hitler living there.  I have personally been to Bariloche twice, to Cordoba twice, to the "secret" island off Brazil where the ships and U-Boats took on fresh water and food for as much as two years after the end of the war and I go to Germany several times each year. 

Look to our website at www.sharkhunters.com and click through PREVIOUS PATROLS to see where we have visited, with whom we have visited [under VETERANS] and what has been discovered.  One of our own agents got hundreds of such FBI and CIA [OSS] documents declassified a few years ago.

Conventional historical scholarship holds that on 30 April 1945, in a Bunker beneath Berlin, Adolf Hitler took his own life. Trapped in a city surrounded by Soviet forces, his health failing, and fearing the spectacle that would result from his capture, Hitler chose to go down with his Reich.

Harry Cooper is one individual not concerned with conventional thinking. A Nazi history enthusiast, Cooper is the founder of Sharkhunters International, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of German U-boats and the sailors who crewed them ["decent young men," per Cooper]. Some years ago, Cooper received a curious letter from a fabulously named Spaniard, one Don Angel Alcazar de Valasco. Don Angel, Cooper explains, was a spy in the employ of the SS during World War II, and claimed to have been present in the Führerbunker during Hitler’s alleged final days. What he witnessed there was incredible.

The aforementioned “conventional historians” attribute Hitler’s suicide to a combination of his megalomania and general recalcitrance; he was not a man likely to surrender to his enemies, no matter the odds. In Don Angel’s telling, the Nazi high command agreed, but deemed Hitler’s survival essential to the survival of the Reich. This is why, Don Angel explained, on 28 April 1945 Martin Bormann drugged Hitler, literally stuffed him in a sack, and smuggled the unconscious Dictator out of Berlin.

Cooper believes that Hitler was surreptitiously delivered to Argentina via the "Ratline," which was basically an evil-mirror-universe Underground Railroad for Nazi war criminals.  There he was sheltered by the Peron regime, and eventually died of natural causes sometime in the 1960s. Cooper says he has never located Hitler’s final resting place, but also that he would not tell if he had.

Cooper speculates that the Nazi high command may have cut a deal with the Allies, brokering Hitler’s escape in exchange for surrender and the secrets of the Nazi ballistics program.


Declassified FBI Files: Adolf Hitler Did Not Commit Suicide

After seven decades of purporting the lie that at the end of World War II, on 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in their underground Bunker, the FBI quietly declassified files that prove they knew he was alive and well, living a bucolic and peaceful life in the beautiful foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina.

Unsurprisingly, nobody is rushing to rewrite the history books by once and for all scratching the suicide myth. Even more unsurprisingly, the public is being kept in the dark about the latest revelations by giving them little to no publicity in the mainstream media.

The declassified FBI documents are not the first nail in the coffin of the suicide hype. In 2009, Nicholas Bellatoni – an archeologist from Connecticut, was allowed to perform DNA testing on a skull fragment the Soviets brought with them from Germany, claiming to have come from the corpse of suicided Adolf Hitler. The official story has it that the Soviets found the corpses of Hitler and his partner Eva Braun and burned them down to ashes and dust, destroying the evidence so no one could disprove their narrative. But because DNA tests did not exist back then, the Soviets appear to have picked up a random piece of bone thinking nobody could possibly know it did not come from Hitler.

Nicholas Bellatoni’s tests concluded the bone’s DNA did not match any recorded samples believed to be Hitler’s, just as it did not match DNA of Eva Braun either. They were found to belong to an unspecified woman. While this should have been a conclusive evidence that Hitler did not commit suicide and the whole story the Soviets maintained this whole time was a lie, which should be a discovery making headlines all over the world, it got so little coverage, chances are good few, if any would have even heard of it.

Of course, the bone story wouldn’t be the first time the Russians lied. After all, until Russia’s president Vladimir Putin declassified documents which proved that the Katyn Massacre was committed by the NKVD, the mass execution of 22,000 Polish leaders and intellectuals was blamed on the Nazis. Still, the narrative of proven liars is treated as a historical fact, while scientific evidence and accounts of non-partisan eye witnesses are completely ignored and prevented from gaining any real traction.

Declassified FBI Files

On 29 July 1945, an informant gave an interview to the "Los Angeles Examiner" about having been an eye witness to Hitler’s landing in Argentina. The story was not published.

A few weeks later, the informant went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and provided them with information that two German submarines, one with Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun on board, landed along the tip of the Valdez peninsula in the Gulf of San Vatias in Argentina. The informant was one of the confirmed four men who had met the submarine and was paid $15,000 to assist Hitler’s party. He provided the information in exchange for political asylum in the USA. Copy of the declassified file can be found on the FBI website [with names and other identifiers blacked out]:

The informant gave detailed directions to the villages that Hitler and his party had passed through, and provided physical description of the Führer. The information was so accurate, it was considered credible by some FBI agents.

Not only did the FBI have this information available to them, they also had testimonies from other eye witnesses who observed German U-530 submarines making landing on the Argentinean coast. Still, the FBI did not follow up on the leads and did not investigate. Instead, they kept the knowledge that Hitler was alive hidden, presumably so as not to compromise the suicide story.

In 1945, the US Naval Attaché in Buenos Aires informed Washington that there was a high probability that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had just arrived in Argentina. His report coincided accurately with the sightings of the U-530 U-Boat.

Ladislao Szabo, a Hungarian advertiser, on 10 July 1945 witnessed the arrival of the U-530 and saw its crew disembarking. He had heard that the destination was the German Antarctica and, mistakenly, made a supposition that Hitler had escaped to Antarctica, and published the book "Hitler esta Vivo" [Hitler is Alive], where he speaks about the possible location of Hitler, in Queen's Maud properties, opposite the Weddel Sea, that was then renamed Neuschwabenland, when the area was explored in 1938/39 by the German expedition led by Captain Ritscher.

Zsabo made the wrong assumption.

Had he read the book by Professor Hugo Fernandez Artucio published in 1940, "Nazis en el Uruguay", [National Socialists in Uruguay] he would had discovered that there actually was a plan referring to German Antarctica, but this was nothing but the term they used for Patagonia and that this information had been made public in New York in 1939".

Says Hitler has Haven in Argentina
The Argus [Melbourne, Vic.]
Friday 21 January 1944 

NEW YORK, Thursday, AAP. Hitler has prepared a haven for himself Argentina, according to the "World Telegram". The paper says the State Department has received a report from sources inside Argentina on Hitler's preparations. The report also asserts that the Nazis engineered the coup last June which placed the Ramirez Government in power, and that they are lining up the semi-dictatorial States in South America against USA.

The report, according to the "World Telegram", concludes with a plea to USA to take immediate steps of an economic nature [and military if necessary] to encompass the early downfall of Argentina's dictator. The report gives a long list of pro-Nazi acts and statements by high Argentine officials, all of which leave no room for doubt that the Germans have acted in South America as effectively as they did in some European countries by fifth column tactics.

Mr Hull, Secretary of State, told the Press that this and other reports of pro-Axis activity in the Western Hemisphere would be dealt with when the question of recognition of the Bolivian Government was decided.

Later, future US president, but then General Dwight D. Eisenhower told the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper that he believed there was the real possibility that Hitler lived safely and comfortably in Argentina.

Colonel W. J. Heimlich, Chief of U.S. Intelligence in Berlin, concluded:

"There is no evidence beyond that of hearsay to support the theory of Hitler’s suicide. On the basis of present evidence, no insurance company in America would pay a claim on Adolf Hitler".

In his book "Speaking Frankly" [1947], Secretary of State Jimmy Byrnes wrote:

"While in Potsdam at the conference of the Big Four, Stalin left his chair, came over and clicked his liquor glass with mine in a very friendly manner. I asked what was his theory about the death of Adolf Hitler and he replied – Hitler is not dead. He escaped either to Spain or Argentina".

In conclusion – the story of Hitler’s suicide and there being nothing left of him but a few bone fragments the Soviets took to Russia continues to be presented as a historical fact despite evidence to the contrary..

Propaganda portals, such as "Wikipedia" which is the Encyclopedia of choice for many people nowadays, currently serves as the primary proponent and sustainer of the lie. While hard copy books could claim the evidence has not been available to them at the time of publishing, there is no excuse for an Internet portal that can be updated in real time to purport the lie. The fact that they ignore this new evidence to maintain the lie proves that the portals serve propaganda objectives of their owners.

Adolf Hitler's secret FBI files
By Timothy W Maier

For almost 30 years, J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI maintained a detailed dossier on Adolf Hitler and closely investigated any report that indicated he still was alive.

Adolf Hitler lives -- in Cyberspace, that is, where 734 pages of Hitler's raw FBI file can be downloaded from the Internet. The files contain speeches, rare photographs, old newspaper clippings, details about discovery of the Führer's personal notes and chinaware and assassination plots -- as well as an extensive 11-year probe into the possibility that Hitler faked his own death with a bogus suicide in 1945.

The Argentina stories intrigued Hoover. In 1944, a year before Hitler's reported death, Hoover received a tip that Hitler would receive refuge in Argentina, according to a 4 September 1944, memo written by D.J. Ladd, an FBI agent. The memo noted that Argentine political leaders had plans to conduct clandestine meetings with Hitler "for the arranging of importing arms and technicians into Argentina." The memo notes that bicycle factories there had been converted to plants for manufacturing munitions and that a "large wealthy German colony in Argentina affords tremendous possibilities" as a refuge for Hitler and his henchmen.

"One of the members [of the postwar German planners], Count Luxburg, has been mentioned as operating a ranch which would serve in providing a haven".

At times these files read like a supermarket tabloid, with outrageous conspiracy theories that remind readers that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was a suspicious man.

Here is a taste of some of these reports from the declassified documents:

- Hitler is located on a ranch in Argentina which he reached by submarine two weeks after the fall of Berlin.

- Hitler is located in an underground complex beneath a ranch in Argentina

To: Edgar J, Hoover

3 November 1945

Dear Friend,

I have some news in my possion whitch I believe to be true and would interest you very much.

I canot davulg the mans name at present who gave me the news but I will geve you the news I have and if you think it is worth while then can have one of your men contact me, for further information.

Hitler is in Argentina, He is liveing in a great underground establishment beneath a vast hacienda - 675 miles west of Florianopolis; 430 miles northwest of Buenos Aires; and 'two doubles' are there with Hitler.

The western enterence to elevators leading to Hitlers new underground is a wall operated by photo-electric cells, and that be code signals of even dim flash lights, wall slides to left, lets Autos speed in, and instantly slides back into place.

Do not believe the British lie that Hitler is dead I am a full blooded American and think this should be investigated at once. Your Friend,

[Signature redacted]

[Note: misspellings above from the original]

- Hitler is in German Switzerland because he couldn't be bothered to learn a foreign language.

- A Mrs. Jones claims she saw a man who looked suspiciously like Adolf Hitler in Charlottesville, Virgin

The F.B.I.

Charlottesville, Va.

Dear Sirs:

A few weeks ago, while spending a short time between trains, in your city, I was so sure of seeing Hitler that I can't get the experience out of my mind.

While having breakfast at the Hotel Charlotte about (illegible) it happened that we sat facing each other, so I had ample time to observe him.

Being deeply impressed, I resolved to report the incident to a policeman. Then I talked myself out of it. Now I'm writing you, since my strange feeling still persists.

Do you know if the man is a regular frequenter of the hotel, and has been reported before this?

The queer part of it is that he watched me so constantly.

I regret so keenly not reporting the man at the time.

I hope you will be so kind as to answer my letter.

Very sincerely,

[Signature redacted - Received 20 July 1946]

- A Mr. Walter Winchell shared a table with a man who he claims looks exactly like Adolf Hitler in New York City.

- Hitler is being treated by a Spanish doctor in Spain.

- A man who works as a ship guard claims that Hitler is currently working as a butler for a certain De Valeria.

- Hitler and Eva Braun were seen sitting in a small gathering of Germans in the town of Casino, Brazil outside of Rio de Janeiro.

- Hitler bought a farm in North Carolina

- Hitler is hiding in the mountainous area around Schwindigg, Germany.

- Hitler is in  New York City

Dar Sir:

I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that Hitler is located right in New York city!

There's no other city in the world where he could so easily be absorbed. No doubt you considered this possibility, but I mention it for what it is worth anyway.

[Signature illegible - Received 15 October 1945]


- Hitler was on a train to Chicago from New Orleans.

- Hitler stayed at Hotel Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, Quebec.

- Hitler is in Bogotá, Colombia

- Hitler is staying at the rooming house of an old lady in Washington D.C.

- Adolf Hitler is in St. Louis, Missouri

Beside all the dross sent in and duly filed and cataloged, there are a few nuggets that the FBI paid attention to: a suggestion that Hitler had fled to Switzerland was forwarded to the OSS, the recovery and verification of some documents taken from the Reich Chancellery, and creditable claims of Hitler in South America were followed up on.

On 1 May 1945, at 9.30 in the evening, Hamburg radio warned the German people that "a grave and important announcement" was about to be made. This was immediately followed by several excerpts from a number of Wagner's operas and the slow movement of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony. Then at 10.20 pm, came the voice of Grand-Admiral Karl Dönitz, Commander-in-chief for the north of Germany. In sombre tones, he announced the death of Hitler and his own succession as Fuhrer of the Reich. Hitler had fallen "this afternoon," he said, fighting "at the head of his troops".

This statement was believed by many. The "Times of London" printed Hitler's obituary next day. President Valera of Ireland sent his condolences to the German ambassador in Dublin. But it was untrue. Hitler, as the world was later told, had died the previous day and had not fallen in action, as a heroic martyr, but had committed suicide without leaving the Bunker under the Reichschancellery where he had been since 16 January 1945. Dönitz perhaps had more than one reason for releasing the story he did. He may not have been aware of all the facts, but in any case he must have wondered how the German troops would have reacted if they had been told that their leader had not died a glorious death but had taken his own life.

Official circles in London and Washington gave the news of Hitler's death a rather skeptical reception: 

Washington is inclined, to the belief that before the Führer's death can be accepted as an fait accompli, some further and stronger confirmation is necessary. London considers that, if Hitler is dead; he died a week ago when Himmler first made his peace overtures. Moscow Radio is preserving its usual silence, and. has offered no comment.

The "Exchange Telegraph's parliamentary correspondent reports "that some members of the House of Commons are Inclined to regard Hitler's death announcement as a ruse to facilitate his escape.

Up to 7 p.m. on 1 May,  the German Radio was still repeating the German communique in reference to Hitler being surrounded in Berlin by his faithful troops. The British "United Press" diplomatic correspondent states:

"Hitler's death was almost too perfect. At no moment of his career could he have died with better effect in order to be created a Nazi or German saint and the first announcement of his death shows this to be the Nazi aim. The coincidence could not go much farther. The Russians possess nine-tenths of Berlin and organized resistance cannot be maintained for more than another 48 hours, possibly less. If Hitler was to die defending the capital the Germans could not risk having him live much longer".

The "Press Association's correspondent said Hitler's death may have occurred a week ago when Himmler announced he was suffering from a cerebral haemorrhage and unlikely to survive for elpht ho

Mystery Of Death Of Hitler
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld]
8 May 1945

LONDON —It is most unlikely that Hitler died from an cerebral haemorrhage declares Major Erwin Giesing, the doctor who examined Hitler regularly from last July until February this year. According to "The Times' correspondent in Bavaria, Giesing said that Hitler was sound in heart and lungs, and had above the average health for a man of 58. His condition could not have so deteriorated in 10 weeks as to make a cerebral haemorrhage possible.

When Giesing was summoned to examine Hitler and 21 members of the General Staff injured during the bomb incident last July, Hitler said he had noticed that he was unable to hear the higher harmonics of violins in the overture to Wagner's "Lohengrin". Giesing found that Hitler's ear-drums had been perforated by the explosion, which tore his trousers to shreds and caused superficial injuries to his hands and legs.

"Giesing's account of the bomb Incident," the "Times' correspondent goes on, "shows that the course of history might have been different if 20 July  last year had not been a hot day at Hitler's Headquarters, causing the windows to be wide open so that the blast caused by the bomb was dissipated.

"Giesing is probably the only man who can positively identify Hitler's body. He has X-ray photographs of his teeth and ears, and knows the exact position of scars caused by the bomb".

The "Daily Telegraph's corespondent said, "The announcement that Hitler died in action fighting against Bolshevism was, no doubt, a polite figure of speech".

The British "United Press" diplomatic correspondent said "the wording of the German announcement breathes of the intention to Deify Hitler— to turn him into 'Saint Adolf' and it is probably to this end that ihe he was sacrificed by the inner group of Nazis still controlling what is left; of the Reich and, of which Himmler is probably the leader. The timing lis perfect". 

Reuter's correspondent states, ''there are two possible explanations for Dönitz' appointment as Hitler's successor: firstly, his unquestionable loyalty to National Socialist ideology and to Hitler personally; secondly, with the German army and air force in ruins he represents the one arm, namely the navy, with which Germany could still continue some form of effective guerrilla warfare".

The correspondent adds that the. unexpected choice of Dönitz, also supports the theory that Hitler elected him to continue the fight against Bolshevism, while entrusting Himmler with the practical job of negotiating the surrender.

Hitler's End - Stage Managed by Nazis?
Mystery Deepens with Probe
Cairns Post [Qld] 
26 September 1945

There is a possibility that a bogus Hitler was substituted for the Führer in the final stages of the battle of Berlin, enabling the real Hitler to escape.

This is one of the theories advanced by the "Evening Standard" correspondent, Leslie Randall, who for the past six weeks has been investigating the Hitler mystery. Randall scouts the possibility that Hitler may have taken off in a plane at the last minute from the Charlottenburger Chaussee - the broad Berlin highway close to his Chancellery. It is impossible, he says, to fix the exact last day when an aeroplane could have taken off from there, but it was possible as late as 30 April. By the following day, 1 May, the road was cratered and was under shellfire. If the man in the Chancellery at 2.30 a.m. on 1 May, was in fact Hitler, there was no escape for him. There was nothing for him to do but blow out his brains.

The earliest date on which a bogus Hitler could have been substituted was 29 April. On that date General Weidling, commander of the Berlin garrison, had a long session with Hitler on the defence of the city. He says Hitler was then bowed and shaky and "almost unrecognizable". 

"Summing up all the evidence, it seems to be that the most suspicious aspect of the strange case of Adolf Hitler is the obviousness of the clues: his farewell appearance, the blood-stains and charred bodies and empty petrol cans," Randall says. "All these seem to bear, the hallmark of careful stage management".

Investigating the record of Hitler's surgeon, Ludwig Stumpfegger, who said he was with Hitler during his last moments at the Chancellery, Randall found out that Stumpfegger had carried out experiments for inducing paralysis at Ravensbrück concentration camp. Himmler later introduced Stumpfegger to Hitler and procured him a Chancellery post, although Stumpfegger had neither the qualifications nor experience to justify his appointment as Hitler's surgeon. The appointment can be explained, Randall thinks, only on the ground that Himmler wanted a man upon whom he could rely absolutely as Hitler's surgeon.

During the last days of the battle of Berlin Stumpfegger was the only medical man attending Hitler. Stumpfegger often vowed to friends that he would stay with the Führer to the end and share his fate, but after two bodies had been carried out from the shelter and burned Stumpfegger made a desperate attempt to break through the Russian lines and escape.

The commander of Hitler's personal bodyguard [sic], Erich Kempka, also Bormann, Hitler's Deputy, accompanied Stumpfegger. They tried to rush the Weidammer bridge in armoured cars. One car was blown up, Bormann was killed and Stumpfegger critically wounded. Kempka returned to the Chancellery shelter, changed into civilian clothes and made his way to Bavaria, where he told his American captors that he was Hitler's chauffeur, and also told the story of Hitler's death. There is evidence that last March Hitler was in good health and astonishingly optimistic of Germany's chances of winning the war, but there is a mass of testimony that he began to crack up during April. Randall adds, however: "But after six weeks' investigation, I can come to no definite conclusion, except that in all probability the great Hitler mystery will remain a mystery for all time".

Meanwhile, another contribution to the Hitler mystery has been made by a journalist, Frau Inger Haverzettel, who was a member of Göbbels' personal staff, who says Hitler may be hiding in a monastery. She says the opera singer, Kalkun, who was a close personal friend of Hitler and Göbbels, told her that Hitler became reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church toward the end, and was helped to escape by priests to a monastery somewhere in Europe, where he may now be still living in sanctuary.

Whatever Dönitz's reasons, this erroneous story, combined with the complete silence on the part of the Russians regarding what they had or had not found in the Reichschancellery and the absence of a body - either Hitler's or Eva Braun's - did not convince many people. On the contrary, throughout the summer of 1945 the rumours that Hitler was still alive gathered pace.

There were many sightings. Among the first, it was reported that Hitler had been seen living as a hermit in a cave near Lake Garda in northern Italy. Another report had it that he was now a shepherd in the Swiss Alps, a third that he was a croupier at a casino in Evian. He was seen at Grenoble, St Gallen and even off the Irish coast.

Viewed from this distance, each of these accounts appears fantastic and incredible. But that was not how they were seen at the time. Not all of the accounts were so fantastic. In July 1945, the US Office of Censorship intercepted a letter written from someone in Washington. Addressed to a Chicago newspaper, the letter claimed that Hitler was living in a German-owned hacienda 450 miles from Buenos Aires. The US government gave this report enough credibility to act on it, sending a classified telegram to the American embassy in Argentina requesting help in following up the inquiry. Besides giving basic information the telegram added that Hitler was alleged to be living in special underground quarters:

"Source indicates that there is a western entrance to the underground hideout which consists of a stone wall operated by photo-electric cells, activated by code signals from ordinary flashlights. Entrance thus uncovered supposedly provides admittance for automobiles".

It continued that Hitler had provided himself with two doubles and was hard at work developing plans for the manufacture of long-range robot bombs and other weapons. The matter was taken sufficiently seriously for J. Edgar Hoover, then the director of the FBI, to become involved, although shortly afterwards he wrote to the War Department:

"To date, no serious indication has been received that Adolf Hitler is in Argentina".

The Russian newspaper "Izvestiia" ran a report that Hitler and Eva Braun were both alive and well, and living in a moated castle in Westphalia. This implied complicity on the part of the British, for Westphalia lay in the British zone of occupation. The report was followed by one in August, in which an American lawyer wrote to Hoover at the FBI to say that the former Führer was living under the alias of Gerhardt Weithaupt in a house belonging to a certain Frau Frieda Haaf at Innsbruck. With Hitler, said this lawyer, was his personal physician, Dr Alfred Jodl.

Another account also placed Hitler at Innsbruck. The informant was an educated man - again a lawyer - rather than a peasant or an ill-educated private soldier. Another came from a German doctor, a man presumably trained in observation. Karl-Heinz Späth claimed he had treated Hitler on 1 May 1945 at his Berlin casualty clearing station ill the cellar of the Landwehrkasino right opposite the Bunker at the Berlin Zoo. Späth said that Hitler had been wounded at a tank barricade in the fighting around the Kustrin area of the city. In his sworn deposition, he added:

"Hitler was lowered to the floor. A shell fragment had pierced the uniform, went through his chest and entered the lungs on both sides. It was no use to do anything. I took a few first-aid bandages and bandaged him. During this time Hitler groaned continually. He was not fully conscious. To relieve his pain I went back to the collecting station to get some morphine and gave him a double strength injection. The general opinion was that Hitler would die. I examined his pulse and respiration and found that after about three minutes he had stopped breathing. The heartbeats continued for about three minutes and then ceased. After I had pronounced the Führer dead and had informed the SS leaders of this fact I was released and went back to my work".

Shortly afterwards, Späth said, the surviving SS leaders "blew the body into the air with two three-kilo charges of high explosives." He repeated his story to an officer of the Military Government, who in turn reported to Berlin in September. Everyone, everywhere, seemed determined to ignore Grand-Admiral Dönitz's statement of 1 May.

Such accounts of Hitler's death were scarcely less confusing than the more numerous examples of sightings and the situation looked like getting out of hand. General George C. Marshall, the American Chief of Staff, had realised as early as 1 May that it might be necessary to do something to counter the "Hitler martyr myth" which had been fuelled by Admiral Dönitz's announcement. Eisenhower seemed not to agree. In June, when he was probably the most popular leader in the West, he attended a press conference at the Hotel Raphael in Paris. There he voiced doubt that Hitler was really dead. He was the first Allied figure of authority in the West to say this.

Sightings of Hitler continued.

In 1946 he was seen in Spain, where he was reported at the end of September as leading a Wolf-pack of U-Boats. For added verisimilitude, he was said to be suffering badly from seasickness. Next, he was reported as living on a farm at La Falda in Argentina although his appearance had been changed, according to this report, by a plastic surgeon who had performed the operation on the boat that ferried the Führer across the Atlantic from Europe to the new world.

Just before Christmas 1946 the US embassy in Stockholm received an anonymous letter addressed to the "Chief of the American Zone". Given that even Kurt Dittmar had admitted that there was a small Redoubt in northern Scandinavia, this report was treated more seriously than many others. It read in part:

"If you look in the Bauerska mountains you will find a long cave about 466 metres or maybe even longer, with doors, well camouflaged. Hitler has here a room thirty by thirty metres, with electrical stoves, one big, one small. There is food there, cans of all kinds for several years ahead and lots of money, of all kinds of currencies. There is also a pipe from the top of the mountain in which food can be dropped down. Those who bring food there are called 'Ravens'. Those who built this in the mountains have been killed long ago so it would not be discovered. When you have found it, I demand one sixth of what there is there and a Jeep and a tractor. You will know my name when you have found him".

On the reverse was written: "They had stolen horses and cows, hay and so on. They have plenty of ammunition and guns. A Swede who has a sixth sense is with them. He tells them all. Find these gentlemen. What will be done will be done soon".

Still another report in 1946 placed Hitler in Holland, in a coffee room in Amsterdam. This time the writer commented on the Führer's strange appearance - he had a very long body and long arms - but the informant also said that this Hitler still had direct links with the Gestapo and was trying to kill the writer, who therefore begged the Allied authorities to act quickly.

Another report placed Hitler in Zürich, saying he had aged dreadfully, that his hair had turned white, his body was bent forward and he took very short steps. He apparently had some form of lung infection for he coughed persistently. He preferred dark suits and hats and his demeanour was "similar to that of a pensioned official". The Deputy Director of Intelligence at the European Command instructed his subordinates to check out this report, as he did with almost all such paperwork coming across his desk. "I feel we would be remiss in our duty," he wrote, "if we failed to follow up a report of this nature." He even requested help from the Chief of the Swiss Federal Police in Berne.

Nor were the Allied Forces immune from spotting Hitler. One American GI reported that he had seen the Führer, Eva Braun and her sister Gretl in Bernheim in the house where he collected his laundry. This man had to be Hitler, the GI felt, because he flew into a rage whenever the V-1 weapon was mentioned and "exhibited great sentiment over the photograph of a dog" which seems to have closely resembled Blondi, the Führer's own Alsatian.

The impact of these reports may be judged from the account of Lieutenant Colonel W. Byford-Jones, a British Intelligence officer who, on 20 April 1946 [what would have been Hitler's fifty-seventh birthday], questioned twenty educated Berliners on the fate of Hitler.

"Only, one thought Hitler was dead. The other nineteen betrayed that then were conscious of the fact that it was their Führer's birthday. They  were convinced he was alive and spoke of him with anything but reproach. I found also that children, who are usually a good guide to the beliefs of adults, almost without exception spoke of Onkel Adolf as a living being.

"A new feature in this belief was where Hitler was supposed to be hiding. In the summer of 1945 1 had been told he was in Spain, South America and other unlikely places, but now another hide-out, was mentioned. He was with the 'Edelweiss', an illegal organisation well known to exist, and he was in the wild mountainous area that extends from the Alps on the Swiss frontier to the Tyrol in Austria, where thousands of Wehrmacht troops, calling themselves Edelweiss, retain their wartime formations, stores, equipment and munitions and live high up in the mountain fastness".

The Redoubt was back.

In January 1947, a report was sent to the American CIC forces via the French Intelligence services. This claimed that Hitler was hiding in the area of Heidelberg and was in touch with a Resistance leader in Weinheim. The French report said that Hitler had visited Weinheim disguised as an American soldier, the visit no doubt part of the Fuhrer's campaign to begin a new Reich.

Weinheim duly became the subject of a raid by thirty Allied officers - five CIC special agents and twenty-five men of the us Constabulary. There was no trace of either Hitler or the Resistance leader.

-- excerpt from The "Death of Hitler: The Full Story with New Evidence from Secret Russian Archives" by Ada Petrova and Peter Watson

At other times, the files reveal how serious the FBI considered allegations that one of this century's most evil despots may have escaped his Berlin Bunker.

The records begin with President Franklin Roosevelt becoming enraged upon learning of a 1933 New York conspiracy to kill Hitler and continue into the fifties with a Western Union telegram declaring, "I have positive proof that Hitler is living"."

There are seven volumes of these records. A photographic exhibit of Hitler in uniform dominates the final volume.

 

Scattered throughout are clippings from newspapers. The last story is a 1956 article about the plans of Hitler's sister, Paula Wolf, to write a book about her brother to "set some facts straight" as soon as a Munich court declares her brother dead. "The readers will forgive me," she says, "if I abstain from depicting my brother at all costs as a wicked character just for the sake of profit." An accompanying "Associated Press" article noted boldly, "He Is Officially Alive 'Til Court Issues Certificate".

As for that Western Union tipster, the FBI never tracked down the sender nor did it ever identify the members of the 1933 conspiracy plot to kill Hitler. But that plot sure kept Hoover's G-men busy. The file reveals that the plot began when the German Embassy asked the State Department to initiate an investigation based upon a letter signed by a "Daniel Stern," which said that unless FDR rebuked Hitler for his outrages against Jews, then "I notify you that I shall go to Germany and assassinate Hitler"

The State Department handed off the probe to the FBI, which never found Stern. But the probe opened the door for Hoover to look at pro-Nazi organizations. Don Whitehead, one of the few authors to research the plot, wrote about it in his book, "The FBI Story, A Report to the People". He calls it a "diplomatic fumble" by the German ambassador in Washington, who probably wished he never had called the State Department. That's because Hoover's investigation ultimately became "a valuable reference when the Department of Justice requested additional investigations. And Hoover passed the information to the president," Whitehead observes.

In the archives of the FBI in Washington, there is a file labeled “Adolf Hitler.” In the file there are memos, reports, and letters documenting an alleged attempt by American Jews to assassinate Hitler in 1933.

The file, number 65-53615, details a plot involving one man. The plot passed the initial planning stage but may have been foiled by the U.S. Department of Justice. In an effort to prevent an international incident—an American citizen assassinating a German leader—American law-enforcement officials might have helped save Hitler.

The tale of the conspiracy to kill the German chancellor came to the attention of the American government by way of a letter dated 23 March 1933, typed on plain white paper and addressed to "The German Ambassador, Washington D.C." The ambassador passed the letter to the Secretary of State Cordell Hull on 28 March, and Hull forwarded it to the U.S. Attorney General Homer Cummings.

It read:

Dear Sir:

I have asked President Roosevelt to publicly remonstrate with your government [about] the outrages committed upon the Jews in Germany, and to demand an immediate and complete end of this persecution.

In the event that he does not make such a statement, I notify you that I shall go to Germany and assassinate Hitler.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Stern

German diplomats demanded an immediate and full investigation of the threat. It should be mentioned that the German ambassador, Friedrich Wilhelm von Prittwitz, resigned from the German government in April 1933 in protest over Hitler’s appointment as Bhancellor.

Franklin Roosevelt had been in office only a few weeks and had a nationwide Depression to contend with. Events in Germany, including Hitler’s accession to power, hardly concerned the government or most of the American public. Nonetheless, the threat expressed in the letter could not be ignored or simply attributed to a crank. More militant members of the American Jewish community had reacted to Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies by taking to the streets. Hundreds picketed German consulates, businesses, and stores selling German products. Thousands attended protest rallies and parades in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and other cities. In this atmosphere, Stern’s personal declaration of war against Hitler was taken seriously.

Attorney General Cummings turned to J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Justice Department’s Division of Investigation, and asked him to locate Daniel Stern and stop him. Hoover headed the division since his appointment by President Calvin Coolidge in 1924. The division became the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. Hoover’s "G-Men" [agents of the FBI] searched for Stern through the spring, summer, and into the fall of 1933. Among their primary contacts were figures in the Jewish American underworld, where Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Dutch Schultz, and Lepke Buchalter—all associated with New York’s Murder, Inc. syndicate—had well-earned reputations for using violence to protect their business interests or to defend their communities.

Hoover assigned one of his top agents, Dwight Brantley, to coordinate the national investigation. An early lead from Detroit sent that city’s G-Men scrambling but went nowhere. Another lead came from a special agent in charge of the division’s Chicago office. He’d heard about a Daniel Stern who was rumored to have mob associations and who had moved to Philadelphia, where the letter to the German embassy had been postmarked. Agents in Philadelphia searched local telephone directories, but they failed to turn up the name Daniel Stern. They did find a reference to a Daniel Stern in the city directory. When they went to the address, the janitor told them that Daniel Stern had "left the apartment over a year ago and that his present address is unknown".

The agents then turned to Jewish gang contacts for information. Max "Boo Boo" Hoff, who dominated Philadelphia’s criminal enterprises at the time, offered to cooperate. He talked to Agent G.R. Hardy for several hours but could not recall meeting Stern or knowing anyone else who had met the man. Harvey interviewed several of Hoff’s associates, but all claimed they’d never heard of Stern or of a plan to kill Hitler. However, almost all of them, Harvey reported, were impressed by the scheme and thought it was “a great idea.”

On the other hand, the German consul in Philadelphia stated that, "in all probability, it was written by some crank, who is a sympathizer of the Jewish element". The consul further stated that "he is besieged by individuals who make threats upon him, but that they are all of the crank type, and he dismisses them and pays no attention to them as he does not consider their threats serious".”

In April, the Justice Department received a promising lead from a letter dated 21 April to the German embassy and postmarked Highbridge Station, New York. The translation of the letter from German stated, "Having overheard a conversation between several Jews in New York, I learned that there is a movement on foot to assassinate Chancellor Adolf Hitler and that a young American Jew has already been selected to commit this murder. The Jews present were joyfully enthused over this plan. I communicate this to you in order that if possible any such act be prevented. Very respectfully, C Portugall".

Hoover had Agent Brantley pass along the information to the division’s New York office. From 18 July to 23 July, agents scoured city directories, telephone books, and postal records. They tapped their covert sources in the underworld in search of Stern and the so-called "joyfully enthused" Jews. Every clue led to a dead end.

Meanwhile the Criminal Division received a letter dated 27 May from the German embassy that had been written by an individual staying at the San Carlos Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. The writer, whose name has been blacked out of FBI memos, reported that "he overheard two Jews say Hitler was to be assassinated between May and September 1933 by an agent of New York City Jews". He wrote that Hitler was either to be poisoned or shot and "a young American Jew had already been chosen to perform the act". He immediately sent a letter reporting what he had heard to the German embassy.

Brantley immediately dispatched agents from Los Angeles to Phoenix. When they interviewed the man, he was reluctant to discuss the matter and was unclear about the details. The agents later reported that the man "is a political exile from Mexico and is a citizen of that country. It seems that he is strongly pro-Hitler and anti-Jewish in his conversation". The agents searched the hotel register from April to June 1933, without finding anyone by the name of Stern or Stearn registered. They then interrogated everyone on the hotel’s staff. No one remembered anything of the alleged meeting or recalled anything unusual. The agents examined the hotel’s registry and wrote down every “Jewish sounding” name. They transmitted the names and the results of their inquiry to division headquarters in Washington.

The trail went cold again.

On 19 August 1933, Special Agent J.M. Keith sent a progress report, "Daniel Stern and the Threat to Assassinate German Chancellor Hitler" to Hoover. Keith summarized the investigations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Phoenix, and New York. He conceded that that the division had failed to locate Stern or to uncover any assassination plot.

On 2 September, Special Agent Brantley submitted a final report to Hoover. He wrote that all outstanding leads regarding the threat to assassinate Hitler "have been completed without any definite information having been obtained. Accordingly, this case is being closed at the Washington field office". Brantley assured Hoover that the case would be reopened if the German embassy received any additional information.

All of this is in Hitler's FBI file -- even Whitehead's observations. Between the poor copies, some nearly impossible to read because, says FBI Freedom of Information Officer Linda Gloss, the copies were not made from originals -- and the heavy black ink blocking out what today still is considered classified, there rests a fascinating tale of the FBI's role during the World War II era.

For example, deep in the files are a series of memos written by Hoover on 5 October 1939, reviewing intelligence from a confidential informant. The Hoover memos to various U.S. military-intelligence agencies and the president's chief of staff warned of future Japanese aggression and Germany's attack on France. "The Japanese will attack British Indochina and other colonies without warning, simultaneously with the German advance on France," Hoover wrote.

And there is ample evidence in the files to undermine rumors that Hitler's personal physician tried to poison him or "administer narcotics that might have contributed to the impairment of Hitler's health" or that "Hitler inherited certain [psychophysical] traits in his childhood and later on, and that these might account for his crimes and other actions," according to an FBI investigation into the matter.

Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck wrote a book ["Patient A"] about Hitler's relationship with his personal physician, and was quoted in "American Medical News" to the effect that Hitler was neither clinically insane nor chemically dependent on drugs. Schenk says that  Hitler's regular injections consisted of vitamins mixed with glucose and caffeine. Hitler was not a regular user of any stronger drug, but was given them on occasion: codeine and cocaine for colds, strong painkillers and barbiturates for cramps and colitis (an intermittent condition in most people that suffer it). By the end of his life, Hitler showed obvious symptoms of Parkinson's disease, and also had a heart problem that was treated with nitroglycerin and digitalis. Schenk says that medically there was nothing unusual about Hitler [AP, 10 October 1985]  and there is no reason to believe that drugs adversely affected Hitler's judgment.

In 2010 the book "War Hitler Krank?" by Henrik Eberle and Hans-Joachim Neumann (published in English in 2012 as Was Hitler Ill?), offered generally the same assessment as Schenk. They write that "at no time did Hitler suffer from pathological delusions," ["Eine Besessenheit im Sinne eines krankheitsbedingten Wahns gab es bei Hitler zu keinem Zeitpunkt."] and they find no indication that Dr. Theodor Morell was anything other than a competent and ethical physician.

The FBI's Hitler files have been available for some time to anyone who cared to schedule an appointment at FBI headquarters in Washington, but few have done so. Two recent critically acclaimed books, "Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet" by Fritz Redlich and "Explaining Hitler" by Ron Rosenbaum, fail to mention the FBI files - although some of the records used to support these authors' opinions, such as Hitler's medical records, are duplicated in the files from other sources.

Redlich and Rosenbaum may have avoided Hitler's FBI file because some of the information there concerns allegations that border on the absurd -- for instance, that Hitler survived the war. Historians generally accept that Hitler committed suicide 30 April 1945, in a Berlin bunker as Allied troops closed in on him. The Soviets recently made available forensic proof of this in their possession since the war's end. But there was no such certainty in the West 50 years ago when opinion polls showed that two of every three Americans believed Hitler indeed was alive. Hoover didn't rule it out but never concluded that the Nazi dictator was dead. Besieged with letters from witnesses swearing they had spotted the defeated Nazi dictator, the files show, the Hitler hunt began.

Some tips were considered credible. One of these came from a doctor in 1954, who claimed to have treated Hitler for an intestinal disorder in St. Louis - an alarming story because the FBI obtained Hitler's classified medical records and verified that Hitler suffered from a similar condition. That information was not publicly known at the time.

In 1943 Hitler's health deteriorated rapidly. He was constantly ill with stomach pains, headaches, nausea, shivering fits and diarrhea and was now completely dependent on the treatment of Dr Theodor Morell. Hitler's secretary, Traudl Junge, reported that he was very dependent on Morell: "He (Hitler) was taking any amount of medication. Either before or after meals Linge had to give him at least five different pills. One was to stimulate the appetite, another to aid digestion, a third to prevent flatulence, and so on. In addition Professor Morell turned up in person every day to administer his usual miracle-working injections.

Hitler's Health - Is it Failing?
National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW) 
10 February 1943

LONDON - That Hitler is not dead was indicated by a broadcast made yesterday by Robert Ley. the German Labor Front leader. Some observers think, however. that it might indicate that Hitler is not well as Ley besought fate to preserve his leader's health. It was recently suggested that Hitler's long silence indicated that he was dead.

Following Ley's broadcast, which was heard In London, questions are being asked.

'Was he drunk?'' The question was raised bv many British listeners who heard Ley speaking from n German war factory. The BBC announcer said: "It seems as if he is drunk," while the EUP said, "He is drunk, if the delivery of the speech. as heard, was any guide". 

The BUP announcer added that Ley spoke strangely, often halted, and frequently repeated himself. He finally worked himself up to a state of complete frenzy. Ley called the Russians, those low Mongolians, and said:

"We Germane will conquer them. They ask whether we have any reserves left. They should see this hall. Ail these thous ands of men can carry a rifle. We all can do it and if we have to do so, we shall.  '

"Yesterday I had the incredibly happy experience of spending the whole day with our beloved Führer. We can ask only one thing from fate — take any of us, myself, you, any one — but preserve the health and strength of Adolf Hitler!"

Other reports simply were bizarre. A 77-year-old man claimed to have found a letter written by Hitler in 1947. "Call it a Hitler hoax, if you will," the man wrote Hoover, "and believe its delivery in German over a USA radio would be the most startling sensation since Orson Welles attack of the Martians".

During an FBI interview with the elderly man, he admitted to "perpetrating this hoax to create a sensation," according to the interrogating agent's notes. "He seemed to be a psychopathic case," the agent wrote. And that was far from the only nut to roll out of the barrel. Others told tales of Hitler dining in a Washington restaurant in 1946; jumping out of a New Orleans train in 1948; purchasing 8,960 acres of land near Kit Carson, Colorado; and finding work as a butler in London in 1946.

Most of the letters had one thing in common: suspicions and allegations but no proof -- such as this 15 October 1945, letter from a New York man who wrote, "I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that Hitler is located right in New York City. There's no other city in the world where he could so easily be absorbed. No doubt you have considered this possibility, but I mention it for what it is worth anyway".

As incredible as all of this sounds now, the FBI treated such matters very seriously. If the G-men couldn't chase down the tip, they made every effort to find the tipster and either expose a mistake or identify a prankster or mental case. For instance, on 10 October 1948, a Washington woman who operated a boardinghouse wrote to the FBI, claiming one of her borders was Hitler. She mostly was worried about whether she might be prosecuted for harboring him and wanted to know if any "action could possibly be taken against her". The FBI dismissed the complaint with the note: "She is obviously demented".

But while some sightings were dismissed without an intense investigation, others weren't. The files show that Hoover's G-men conducted a massive manhunt for Hitler on a scale not seen since Charles Lindbergh's baby was kidnapped and murdered, with agents trekking to the four corners of the globe in search of the Nazi leader.

The most frequent sighting was in South America -- a notoriously safe haven for Nazi war criminals, according to the FBI files. And so the FBI dispatched a team of G-men to investigate reports from newspaper articles (many contained in the FBI file) and independent witnesses apparently claiming Hitler was in Argentina.

The Argentina stories intrigued Hoover. In 1944, a year before Hitler's reported death, Hoover received a tip that Hitler would receive refuge in Argentina, according to a 4 September 1944, memo written by an FBI agent.

Says Hitler has Haven in Argentina
The Argus [Melbourne, Vic]
21 January 1944 

NEW YORK, Thursday, AAP. Hitler has prepared a haven for himself Argentina, according to the "World Telegram". The paper says the State Department has received a report from sources inside Argentina on Hitler's preparations. The report also asserts that the Nazis engineered the coup last June which placed the Ramirez Government in power, and that they are lining up the semi-dictatorial States in South America against USA.

The report, according to the "World Telegram", concludes with a plea to USA to take immediate steps of an economic nature (and military if necessary) to encompass the early downfall of Argentina's dictator. The report gives a long list of pro-Nazi acts and statements by high Argentine officials, all of which leave no room for doubt that the Germans have acted in South America as effectively as they did in some European countries by fifth column tactics.

Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, told the Press that this and other reports of pro-Axis activity in the Western Hemisphere would be dealt with when the question of recognition of the Bolivian Government was decided.

The memo noted that Argentine political leaders had plans to conduct clandestine meetings with Hitler "for the arranging of importing arms and technicians into Argentina".The memo notes that bicycle factories there had been converted to plants for manufacturing munitions and that a "large wealthy German colony in Argentina affords tremendous possibilities" as a refuge for Hitler and his henchmen. "One of the members [of the postwar German planners], Count von Luxburg, has been mentioned as operating a ranch which would serve in providing a haven".

Karl von Luxburg [10 May 1872 in Würzburg – 2 April 1956 in Ramos Mejía, Argentina] was German chargé d'affaires at Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1917, during World War I.

In the summer of 1917, Luxburg sent secret dispatches to Berlin through the Swedish legation via Stockholm, which were made public by United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing. These dispatches urged that certain neutral Argentine ships should be “spurlos versenkt” — destroyed without a trace. The publication of the documents resulted in the dismissal of Count Luxburg from Argentina, and the virtual entrance of Argentina into the war. Luxburg was also Minister to Uruguay, and on his dismissal from Argentina, he asked for a passport to Montevideo instead of to Berlin.

Count von Luxburg was chief of Nazi intelligence in Argentina during World War II, and a close associate of Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz.

Within a year witnesses began flooding the FBI with Hitler sightings in Argentina. Some of these, the FBI rationalized, resulted from tabloid press reports claiming Hitler had escaped and was waiting for war to break out between the Soviet Union and the United States before emerging as a leader in the new world. And there were outspoken Nazi sympathizers such as Otto Abetz, Germany's wartime ambassador to France, boasting that Hitler "is certainly not dead" and was "not a coward -- I believe one day he will return".

The most sensational story appeared 20 June 1948, in "El Tiempo", a Spanish newspaper published in Colombia, claiming Hitler had escaped via submarine to Bogotà. The paper provided a detailed account of Hitler's supposedly cowardly flight and fueled dozens of similar stories around the world. Many of those appeared in the FBI files as clippings ranging from obscure magazines to the "Associated Press".

One such story claimed that the Swedes observed a mysterious yacht moving in and out of inlets on the North Sea or a Brazilian ship reportedly sunk by an unidentified submarine transporting a woman some claimed to be Eva Braun, Hitler's wife. Braun landed from that submarine off the coast of Argentina, one article claimed. The same article suggested a Japanese navy staff officer had volunteered details of a plan to evacuate Hitler and Braun to Japan after the fall of Germany.

Japanese Sub For Hitler Did Not Arrive
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld]
17 October 1945

LONDON — A Japanese Navy Staff officer has disclosed that Hitler planned to escape by submarine to Japan with Eva Braun, savs "Reuter's Tokyo correspondent. The officer said he attended a secret meeting in Tokyo on 1 March, when final arrangements were made. The plan, he said, was an ambitious one.

"Hitler promised the Japanese  that if they provided safe refuge for Braun and himself he would give them plans which it was guaranteed would win the Pacific war. 

"'He asked that a Japanese submarine should, go to Germany to pick him up".

At dawn on 5 March, a luxuriously appointed ocean-going submarine was dispatched from Yokohama, to Hamburg with 90 days' supplies. It kept a re-fuelling rendezvous with a tanker of the south coast of India 14 days later, but failed to reach its destination. Its fate is not known.

Replying to a question in the House of Commons to-day, the Under-Secretary to the Foreign Office, Mr. McNeil, said the Government had no information proving conclusively that Hitler is dead or alive. Further investigations are being made.

Tokyo denied role in Hitler’s reported plan to escape to Japan: Declassified documents
The Japan Times
9 March 2013
 

Tokyo denied any involvement in a reported plan by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler to escape to Japan, declassified Foreign Ministry documents showed Thursday.

On 19 October 1945, more than two months after Japan’s surrender and half a year after Hitler’s reported suicide in his Berlin Bunker, a U.S. newspaper, citing Japanese sources, reported that the dictator had planned to escape to Japan, according to one of the documents dated 21 October that year and compiled by the now-defunct Central Liaison Office, the intermediary between Tokyo and the Allied Occupation powers.

In response, the liaison office denied Japan’s involvement in any plan to rescue Hitler and his mistress, and later wife, Eva Braun, saying Japan did not send a submarine to Germany to rescue the couple, the documents showed.

Closer to home a mysterious submarine reportedly was seen about 1,300 miles north of Catalina, California, in a location where Theodore Donay, a wealthy Detroit importer, disappeared. According to wire reports, Donay was convicted in 1943 as a traitor for aiding Hans Peter Krug, an escaped Nazi, and never was found.

 
A memo from J Edgar Hoover referring to Hitler operating under an
alias "Theodore Donay" who was reported missing from a foreign submarine. Whoever this source was, was obviously credible enough
for Hoover to write back thanking him for the information. He didn’t do that to very many of the other reported sightings. There are quite a few documents in the FBI files relating to this foreign submarine incident.

But none of these reports apparently could be directly linked to Hitler and the FBI repeatedly concluded they were baseless rumors. One agent expressed shock in the files that the "Chicago Times" carried such rumor and innuendo and chastised an unnamed writer. "His reputation is extremely poor and he is generally considered to be a journalist of the most sensational and unreliable nature".

One reason that Hitler's death was not believed for so long was that the Russians deliberately withheld information, writes Redlich. In fact, it wasn't until Russian journalist Lev Bezymenski wrote a book translated into English in 1968 that the West learned that the Russians performed autopsies on corpses recovered 2 May 1945, in shallow graves in a garden near the Berlin Bunker. The bodies were believed to be Hitler, his wife and their two dogs.

The United States was angered by the slow Russian revelations - but the Russian government defended its actions, saying 30 years was customary for declassification of secrets. Meanwhile, at the Yalta conference in 1945, Stalin declared that Hitler had escaped.

First published in 1968, “The Death of Adolf Hitler: Unknown Documents from Soviet Archives,” by journalist Lev Bezymenski was the means by which the Soviet Union chose to inform the world of the findings of the Russian medical team that performed the autopsy on Hitler’s corpse in 1945. [The Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev decreed an invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crack down on resistance to Soviet occupation and dissension from Communism]. Why were the findings of Hitler’s autopsy kept secret for so many years?

Notable among the Soviet autopsy findings was the claim that Adolf Hitler was missing a testicle. Lev Bezymenski had been described variously as a Soviet journalist, an historian, and an intelligence officer [a member of Red Army Marshal Georgy Zhukov’s staff].

Hitler’s Last Minute
Hugh Trevor-Roper 
The New York Review of Books 
September 26, 1968

"The Death of Adolf Hitler, Unknown Documents from Soviet Archives"
Harcourt, Brace & World, by Lev Bezymenskl

A few months ago, the German publisher Christian Wegner offered to his Western colleagues a share in a great scoop. From Russia he had obtained a book which, he said, would be "a sensation to all, not only the historians"; for it would, "for the very first time," show to the world the true story of Hitler’s death, as documented from Soviet archives. This new story, he said, would "considerably alter the picture which the world has had of Hitler’s death".”

In making his offer, Dr. Wegner gave nothing away. The author of the new book was not named. The text was not to be divulged till it had been paid for. A similar technique, it may be recalled, was adopted in respect of Svetlana Stalin’s memoirs, which might or might not encourage the purchaser. Finally, after sale, no advance review copies were sent out: the bomb was to explode all at once.

Now it has exploded. The author is revealed as Mr. Lev Bezymenski, co-editor of the Soviet journal "Novoe Vremia". Mr. Bezymenski was evidently an interpreter during the war and was present at the battle for Berlin. He has since written, we are told, "numerous articles on current events which were published throughout the Eastern countries".” This makes it all the more remarkable that his present book is apparently for Western consumption only. No publication in communist countries [I am told] is envisaged. No Russian text has been seen. The newly published Russian documents will not be available in the original tongue. The English translation has been made from the German, in which Bezymenski appears to have written it. No explanation is offered of these interesting facts, which suggest a propagandist rather than an historical purpose.

But let us examine the book objectively, on its merits and its claims. How new, how explosive is it? We can best approach this question by summarizing the evidence concerning Hitler’s death which was available before Bezymenski’s book appeared.

The fact of Hitler’s death was first announced privately to the Russian commander in Berlin, General Zhukov, by the German Chief of Staff, General Hans Krebs, on the morning of 1 May 1945. Later in the same day it was published by the German radio, on the orders of Admiral Dönitz, at Flensburg. Next day the Russians took Berlin and the world waited for confirmation and details. None came. Admittedly, by the beginning of June, the Russians in Berlin stated unofficially that they had discovered Hitler’s body and identified it "with fair certainty".

After the war, various misinformation about Hitler's death, which had proved to be untenable, was put into circulation, above all by the Soviet side.  In at least two instances, corpses were "examined" or "identified" by the Soviets, which were demonstrably not Hitler's mortal remains.

-- Werner Maser, "Adolf Hitler"

Apparently, the Soviets tried to find and identify Hitler's corpse several times, albeit unsuccessfully and even with contradictory results.

They also revealed that, before his death, he had married the hitherto unknown Eva Braun. But this brief flicker of unofficial light was soon officially extinguished, and darkness was restored, thicker than ever. Stalin in Moscow, Zhukov in Berlin, pronounced firmly that there was no evidence of Hitler’s death. On the contrary, they said, he was most probably still alive, in Spain or South America. Three months later the Russians became more precise. They accused the British of harboring Hitler in their zone of Germany, with malevolent intent. It was at this point, and as a direct consequence of this accusation, that I was appointed by the British authorities to establish, as far as possible, the truth.

Naturally I realized from the beginning that the Russians possessed vital evidence. It was they who had captured Berlin. It was they who controlled the Chancellery area. They probably had some documents [though they had surprisingly overlooked some]. They certainly had important witnesses. I therefore asked for their co-operation; and in order to make that cooperation easier, I named four witnesses whom I knew to be in their hands: Otto Günsche, Hitler’s S.S. adjutant; Heinz Linge, his personal servant; Hans Baur, his pilot; and Johann Rattenhuber, the commander of his bodyguard. However, all my requests for Russian cooperation were totally ignored, and I was obliged to carry out my inquiry on the basis of Western evidence only.

Fortunately, there was enough of this, I was able to locate and interrogate several witnesses living, captive or free, in the Western zones. I had the documents seized by the British at Flensburg, including the last telegrams from Hitler’s Bunker. Afterwards I was able to add to these Hitler’s two testaments and their companion texts, which were discovered in Western Germany. On this and other evidence I based my conclusions, which were first submitted to the Four Powers and afterwards published in my book, "The Last Days of Hitler".

The Russians showed no interest in my inquiry or my conclusions, and did not welcome my book. Wherever their writ ran, the book was silently banned. A Polish edition was stifled in the press. An edition which was actually printed in Bulgaria was immediately seized and destroyed. As late as 1960, when the British Council organized an exhibition of British books in Moscow, the Russian authorities forbade its opening unless certain books, including "The Last Days of Hitler", were first withdrawn. In all these years the Russians only once, as far as I know, publicly referred to Hitler’s fate. That was in their propaganda-film "The Fall of Berlin", which was first exhibited in 1949. In this film Hitler was incidentally shown taking poison. But even that admission did not last long. After the death of Stalin the film was explicitly condemned by Khrushchev. Its vulgar worship of Stalin, he said, "made one sick"; and it was pulped.

It is a common mistake of totalitarian regimes to suppose that by slamming the front door they can stop anyone from entering the house. They forget the back door and the windows. In fact, long before the Russians broke their own silence, their secrets were out. For in 1955-56 the Russian government at last released its German prisoners, whom it had held since 1945, and these prisoners included those four witnesses of Hitler’s last days whom I had identified but had been unable to interrogate in 1945. I therefore went to Germany and obtained all the evidence that I could, both from them and from certain other newly released prisoners. I found that their evidence did not alter my story, though it might add detail here and there. However, it did enable me to solve one mystery: a mystery not of substance but of method. By interrogating the returned German witnesses, I learned of their experiences in Russian hands, and I was thus able to reconstruct the hitherto secret history of the Russian inquiry into the death of Hitler. I thereupon wrote a full account of this inquiry, which I published as a new introductory chapter to the third British edition of my book [1956]. It has been published in all subsequent impressions and translations.

Briefly, I showed that, immediately after capturing Berlin, the Russians carried out a search of Hitler’s Bunker; that they soon dug up the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun which, as I had surmised, had been buried in a bomb-crater in the Chancellery garden; that they took steps to identify them, and in the end did identify them, by the teeth; and that by the end of May, 1945, they were in possession of all the essential facts. But I also showed that, on 9 June 1945, Stalin intervened. Zhukov in Berlin was then ordered to suppress the facts which he had discovered—and indeed partly revealed. Although he knew that Hitler was dead, he was ordered to maintain in public that he was still alive. This was the background to my inquiry in September, 1945. Then I showed how the inquiry, though stifled in Berlin, had been continued in Moscow, until the Russian government finally yielded to the evidence and, by 1948, had accepted the verdict of their own inquiry of 1945. Between their account and my account there was only one significant difference. Whereas I had accepted the statements of all personal witnesses—both those whom I had interrogated in 1945 and those who had returned from Russian captivity in 1956—that Hitler had shot himself through the head, the Russians maintained that he had poisoned himself with cyanide. I therefore examined this outstanding question and concluded that, on the balance of evidence, "although Hitler may conceivably have taken poison as well, he certainly killed himself with a revolver-shot".

Thus already by 1956 it was established that the Russians had conducted an inquiry and come to certain conclusions. But still they did not admit the inquiry or publish the conclusions. It was not till 1965 that any Russian writer was permitted to break this silence. The first to do so was Yelena Rzhevskaya, who published a somewhat fragmentary and rhetorical article, entitled "Berlin Notes," in a special commemorative number of the Russian periodical "Znamya": an article which she has since extended into a book. Mme. Rzhevskaya wrote with some authority because she had been attached as an interpreter to the Russian unit charged to discover Hitler, alive or dead, in 1945.

In her article, Rzhevskaya described how the Russians had discovered the bodies of Hitler, Eva Braun, Krebs, and the Göbbels family, and also certain important documents, including part of the text of Göbbels’s diaries, a telegram from Bormann to his representative at Obersalzberg, Helmut von Hummel, and a presumed diary of Bormann. She also described the examination of the bodies and the autopsy on them conducted by a Russian army doctor, F. I. Shkarovsky. By this autopsy, she said, it was determined that all had died by cyanide poisoning. She then described the methods used to identify the bodies of Hitler and Eva Braun; exactly as I had described them in 1956. But, she added, "by then some of our chiefs, aware of the way the wind was blowing at the top, had lost interest in our investigation".” It was not till 1965 that Rzhevskaya was allowed to see the documents in the case and so enabled to write up her "Berlin Notes".

Even then, it seems, she did not see them all. For instance, she seems not to have realized that German witnesses were available. She evidently knew nothing of the later investigation in Moscow, or of the Western evidence. She afterward admitted that she had never read the public statements—far less the secret interrogations—of Heinz Linge, Hitler’s servant, who had been a Russian prisoner for eleven years. On the other hand she did quote an alleged speculation by Johann Rattenhuber, based on an alleged cryptic remark by Linge, that Linge might have given Hitler the coup de grace with a revolver, after Hitler had taken poison. However, Rzhevskaya only mentions this hypothesis in order to dismiss it. According to the autopsy report, she says, Hitler died of poison, "and the doctors added that they could find no other possible cause of death".

Thus by 1965 my conclusions about the early stages of the Russian inquiry had been confirmed and amplified. The fact of the inquiry in Berlin, and of its suppression by Stalin, had been confirmed. So had my account of the method of identification [by the teeth] and of the conclusion of the inquiry [the death by poison]. The only discrepancy lay still in the difference between that conclusion and my own. I had concluded that Hitler had shot himself, though he might conceivably have taken poison too; the Russians had concluded that he had poisoned himself, though he might conceivably have been shot as well. This difference is not very great or important, and even if it were to be resolved one way or another, such resolution [we may think] would hardly constitute a "sensation," radically altering the received version of events.

Now we can come to Bezymenski. In 1965, it seems, Bezymenski saw that something could be made of Rzhevskaya’s revelations. He therefore wrote a book, "On the Trail of Martin Bormann": a work of crude anti-Western propaganda in which great [and indeed insupportable] weight is given to the Bormann-Hummel telegram and the Bormann diary, first mentioned by Rzhevskaya. He then moved on to Hitler and wrote his present book, which also contains its quota of anti-Western propaganda and also rests heavily (though with the minimum of acknowledgment) on the work of Rzhevskaya. Indeed the bulk of this short book is simply a more prejudiced re-hash of Rzhevskaya’s article. Although Bezymenski adds some decorative detail, his range of evidence is no wider than hers. He too says nothing of the later stages of the inquiry. He too has not questioned witnesses. He too has made no use of Western evidence. If he had, he could have avoided some errors. His independence of mind—as shown by his absurd "explanation" of Stalin’s suppression of the evidence—is no more than we would expect from a Soviet editor. The sole new contribution which he has made is the text of the autopsy reports, which Rzhevskaya claimed to have had in front of her when she wrote, but which Bezymenski now prints "in full," and the sole question which these reports may enable us to answer is the limited, factual question, whether Hitler died by pistolshot or poison.

The first question which we naturally ask is, are the documents genuine? Bezymenski does not offer to authenticate them. He does not say where they are. The original Russian text is apparently not to be divulged, and Bezymenski’s handling of texts, in his book on Bormann, does not inspire unqualified confidence. At one point the autopsy report on Hitler contains an obvious [and admitted] interpolation. A skeptic might ask many questions. Why were these documents suppressed in 1945? Why, and where, have they been hidden for twenty-three years? Why, and by whom, have they been released now? The history of any document contains part of its authority, and any document without a history must be accepted with some reservations.

However, in this instance I am not disposed to be too skeptical. Russian editors, by now, have probably lost the habit of respecting the critical faculty of their readers, and documents may be authentic even if their presentation is unscholarly. I am therefore prepared to assume, for the time being, that these documents are, as stated, "complete and authentic," and fairly translated. The question that we must then ask is, what do they tell us that we did not know before.

The answer is that they give documentary support to the well-known Russian allegation that Hitler died of poison. The doctors who examined his body declared that they had found in his mouth fragments of a crushed glass ampoule, and this, they wrote, "permitted them to conclude" that death was caused by cyanide. On the other hand, once this has been said, certain reservations must be added. To a critical eye the text is not so conclusive as it seems to those who, like Rzhevskaya and Bezymenski, are evidently determined in advance to show that Hitler died not "like a soldier," gun in hand, but by poison "like a dog". And even if it were, there is other evidence which cannot be altogether ignored. The evidence of the Russian doctors, who saw Hitler’s body after it had been "severely charred" and "greatly damaged," must be supplemented by the evidence of the German witnesses who saw it before it had been so disfigured. And these witnesses agree that it had been shot through the head.

What is one to do when two sets of witnesses give apparently incompatible answers to the same question? One solution is to choose which witnesses one will believe and ignore or discredit the others. This is the method of the Russian commentators. Rzhevskaya simply ignores the difficulty. Bezymenski, more boldly, declares that all the German witnesses are liars: they are engaged in a conspiracy to pretend that Hitler died "a soldier’s death". To prove his point he dwells heavily, and uncritically, on some trivial and often unreal discrepancies in their memories, and then casts them aside. He has questioned none of them and is not interested in what they may say. Of what significance are their loose allegations compared with the "hard," scientific evidence of the Russian doctors?

I do not believe that this is a legitimate method. For after all, why should the German witnesses persevere in a false pretense? If Hitler merely poisoned himself, why not say so? Suicide by poison was not "cowardly". Cyanide capsules were issued to German soldiers, for use in extremity, and no one has accused Göring, Himmler, and Ritter von Greim of "cowardice" for using them. Besides, loyalty to Hitler was dissolved by his death. Several witnesses have declared this: once the Führer had deserted them, they said, they felt no further obligation to him. "The Führer is dead: each for himself!" was the cry. And some of those who have described Hitler’s suicide by gunshot, or saw the wound, never had any personal loyalty to him to distort their observation. Therefore, I believe, the evidence of the German witnesses cannot be lightly dismissed. It must be respected.

Besides, if the German evidence, on inspection, is not altogether loose, the Russian evidence, on inspection, is not altogether hard. Rzhevskaya says firmly that the doctors "could find no other possible cause of death" except by poison; but this is not what they certified in the autopsy report. There they wrote not that the evidence compelled but that it "permitted" the conclusion of death by poison. And they included in their report one interesting sentence which reopens the whole question. That sentence reads, "Part of the cranium is missing". No doubt it is because of this inconvenient sentence that Bezymenski involves himself in the most tortuous and evasive part of his whole narrative.

I have mentioned the hypothesis allegedly advanced by Johann Rattenhuber while in Russian captivity, viz: that Heinz Linge, obeying Hitler’s orders, finished his master off, after he had taken poison, with a revolver. We are told nothing of the circumstances in which Rattenhuber made this speculation, or the question to which it may have been the answer. Rattenhuber himself told me that the Russians persecuted him endlessly with silly questions. But presumably, in this instance, they were looking for an explanation of the head wound (the doctors say explicitly that they were "no visible signs of severe lethal injuries" on the body). In other words, they recognized that the head wound could be a gunshot wound and they wanted an explanation of it. Unfortunately, the only "evidence" for Rattenhuber’s alleged guess is another guess: a hypothesis about the hidden meaning of an alleged remark by Linge. Linge is said to have said that, after Hitler’s suicide, he had to carry out "the most difficult order of his life". Linge has since explained, plausibly enough, that this was the order to burn his master’s body. The "evidence" is not, therefore, very convincing. Indeed, Rzhevskaya only mentioned Rattenhuber’s hypothesis in order to reject it as unnecessary and implausible. But then Rzhevskaya simplified her problem by ignoring the head wound which the hypothesis was called in to explain.

So simple a solution cannot be adopted by Bezymenski, who publishes the autopsy report, with its reference to the broken skull. So what does he do? He avoids drawing attention to the difficulty but, in case anyone else notices it, he brings back the old hypothesis. He brings it back, it is true, in a somewhat half-hearted way. After all, if it is to be taken seriously, the Russians should have cross-examined Linge about it. He was at their mercy, for eleven years. But they seem not to have done so. Even now, Bezymenski refused to confront Linge and confute him. When the British Broadcasting Corporation invited Bezymenski to discuss his book on television, he agreed—upon one condition: Linge was not to be there.

Moreover, as if aware of the weakness of the case, Bezymenski clutches at an alternative explanation. "Soviet researchers," he says vaguely, "are of opinion that it was Günsche [i.e., not Linge] who pulled the trigger". Unfortunately it seems that neither these Soviet researchers nor Bezymenski troubled to test their "opinion" by cross-examining Günsche either. And anyway, this hypothesis is even more desperate than the other. For in transferring responsibility for a hypothetical act from Linge to Günsche, Bezymenski has incidentally detached the conclusion from the only shred of "evidence" on which it had rested—the alleged remark to Rattenhuber not of Günsche but of Linge. Having thus confused the issue, Bezymenski falls back on what he regards as the only certainty: the death by poison. Everything beyond this, he says, is mere conjecture. The broken skull is conveniently forgotten.

So there we are, back at Square One. What we are left with is evidence that Hitler shot himself—the evidence of the witnesses and the broken skull, and evidence that a crushed poison-capsule was found in his mouth [the doctors curiously avoid saying whether there was evidence that poison had been swallowed]. This confirms what Artur Axmann deposed as a fact in 1946 and I endorsed as a possibility in 1956, viz: that Hitler put a capsule in his mouth before shooting himself, to make doubly sure. Bezymenski’s book contains some useful corroboration of accepted views, and some interesting circumstantial detail; but it is no bombshell. It is not a "sensation". It does not [as the blurb claims] "end all speculation". It does not "considerably alter the picture which the world has had of Hitler’s death".

What really happened, said Bezymenski, was this:

"On 2 May 1945, Lt. Col. Ivan Klimenko, a Soviet counter-intelligence officer, led a group of men to the Chancellery in Berlin after hearing reports of burned corpses, said to be those of Hitler and the mistress he married the day before his death, placed them in wooden boxes where they were found by Soviet intelligence officers half-buried in a shell crater near the Berlin Bunker.

"A private, Ivan Churakov, had climbed into a crater strewn with burned paper and saw legs sticking out. The Russians dug into the crater and found the bodies of a man and woman and two dogs.

"Detailed study of their teeth [both bodies had a number of false teeth] and interviews with their dentists proved that the bodies were those of Hitler and Eva Braun".

The principal forensic pathologist of the Soviet Forensic Commission was Dr. Faust Shkaravski who performed the autopsy on the two newly recovered bodies. The autopsy reports noted that part of Hitler’s cranium was missing, and that Eva Braun had suffered splinter wounds. But the Soviets attributed Eva Braun’s injuries to fragments from Russian shells exploding in the Chancellery gardens as the bodies were burning. The body of Propaganda Minister Josef Göbbels was also found in the gardens. One of Hitler’s bodyguards later independently pointed out the crater as Hitler’s burial place.

After the findings of the autopsies were reported to Moscow, Bezymenski wrote, the corpses were "completely burned and their ashes strewn to the wind". ["Associated Press", 13 August 1968] But there were reservations and cloudy remarks on why none of the material had been previously released. [Bezymenski’s 1968 storyline was obviously published only after careful study in Moscow of testimony and grim photos].

Quite puzzling was the claim that Adolf Hitler was missing a testicle. None of the doctors that examined Hitler had ever reported on the rather conspicuous condition of monorchism.

After the 20 July plot, although he felt uninjured, Hitler did summon an ear specialist from Berlin, because his hearing was giving him trouble and was suffering from headaches. Dr. Erwin Giesing found out that one eardrum was burst and the other damaged.

Dr. Giesing gave Hitler a full examination:

"Hitler pushed back the bed covers and drew up his night shirt so that I could examine his body. He was generally somewhat emaciated and I detected a distinct meteorism [build up of intestinal gases].... The peritoneal reflexes when tested with a needle seemed very responsive. I then requested Hitler to submit to a neurological control examination to which he agreed. I covered the abdomen with a night shirt and pulled away the bed clothing. I found no abnormalities of the genitals.... The pallid skin was fairly dry with no sweat in the armpits. The triceps and arm reflexes were very responsive either side, the spastic reflexes of the upper extremities negative".

Hitler told Giesing: "I hope that everything will be well again quite soon. Even the intestinal cramps are easing off....."

"Those who saw [Hitler] naked testified he was quite adequate in the nether region.

'When he went on picnics from the Berghof, one of his greatest pleasures, he would urinate against the trees with the rest of the male entourage, who were naturally interested in Hitler's physical endowments. None of them ever reported that he was lacking in that quarter".

-- Charles Whiting, "Adolf Hitler’s Personal Life"

Observers also cast doubt on why a piece of Hitler’s cranium was reported missing — it was the segment supposedly providing evidence that there was no bullet hole in Hitler’s skull [i.e., his death was by cyanic compounds]. It was rumored Stalin used the piece as an ashtray.

In 1968, Bezymenski said that Hitler’s corpse was cremated and the ashes scattered in 1945. But in a 1992 report that appeared in the "Sunday Express", Bezymenski alleged, “the corpse had been buried and unburied on several occasions before finally being burned in 1970".

Still, the most confusing fact was that Soviet leader Josef Stalin often claimed the Führer had escaped the Berlin Bunker with the help of British military intelligence. If Stalin knew that Hitler’s burned body had been found, why did he go on spreading reports of the Führer’s escape? Lev Bezymenski claimed that the autopsy results were kept in reserve “in case someone might try to slip into the role of the Führer saved by a miracle".

Otherwise stated, Stalin "knew" that the real Adolf Hitler was dead. But he also presumed that Hitler’s double had escaped with the backing of western security forces.

Historian Asserts Soviet Soldiers Found Hitler's Charred Remains
By Steven Erlanger
The New York Times
18 September 1992

MOSCOW, Sept. 17— A Russian historian said today that the charred remains of Adolf Hitler had been found by Soviet troops soon after the German leader's suicide in 1945, and that his jaw and parts of his skull were still stored in the Soviet archives in Moscow.

But the historian, Lev A. Bezymensky, said a piece of Soviet archive film supposedly showing Hitler's intact corpse, shown Tuesday night on Russian television, was known not to show the body of Hitler at all.

The film caused a sensation because by virtually all accounts Hitler's body was doused with fuel and burned after he committed suicide in his command Bunker in Berlin on 30 April 1945.

In an interview, Mr. Bezymensky said the body in the film, which looked like Hitler's and had a bullet hole in its forehead, was found by Soviet troops on 4 May 1945, near the Hitler Bunker. Believing that they might have found the body of the Nazi leader, Soviet officers ordered that the body be filmed, he said. But later that same day, he said, Soviet troops found the actual charred bodies of Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, who committed suicide with him.

The bodies had been put into a shallow ditch by SS troops in the presence of Josef Göbbels and Martin Bormann, and burned. German troops later buried the bodies in a shell crater with the corpses of Hitler's favorite dogs, Mr. Bezymensky said. 

Stalin had ordered military-intelligence troops to find Hitler, and the double discovery on 4 May was followed by a thorough medical investigation. Mr. Bezymensky said Andrei Smirnov, a former Soviet press attache at the Berlin Embassy who had known Hitler before the war, went to Berlin the same day and declared that the body that had been filmed was not Hitler's. Mr. Bezymensky said the fact was later confirmed by a comparison of dental records.

But the film was sent to Moscow and was erroneously included in a documentary made just after the war, Mr. Bezymensky said. But later, in another documentary called "Chronicles Without Sensation," the error was identified and corrected. "For specialists, it's a well-known mistake", he said.        

"I'm absolutely sure the body in the film is not Hitler's," Mr. Bezymensky said. "The actual body of Hitler was found in a different place, in the garden of the Chancellery, and that body was identified by the special Soviet commission as Hitler's."

He said troops of the Soviet Third Army had carried the corpses of Hitler and Braun with them as they advanced westward in the final days of the war, burying and exhuming them as they went. Their last resting place, he said, was in Magdeburg, near the line that later divided East and West Germany.

In an article he published in July in "New Times", Mr. Bezymensky said Stalin had ordered Hitler's jaw and part of his skull brought to Moscow and put into the Soviet archives, though it is not known where they are now.
In 1970 the Magdeburg grave was ordered destroyed by the K.G.B., said Mr. Bezymensky, who has seen the official act ordering the destruction.

Further adding to continuing suspicions are the autopsy reports concerning a missing testicle and superficial accounts of main body organs. Indeed, Bezymenski since has acknowledged that the autopsy reports were false, casting more mystery on Hitler's death. Redlich says, "This only confirms what Western historians and forensic experts suspected: that the Soviet investigation was fraught with deceit, secrecy and incompetence."

Compounding the mystery was how Hitler died. It generally was believed by historians that Hitler bit down on a glass ampoule containing potassium cyanide while shooting himself in the head on 30 April 1945. But Redlich observes, "The question can be raised as to whether Hitler's Parkinson's tremor would have allowed him to follow this procedure" Proving that theory ended after it was learned that Hitler's remains had been transferred nine times from one burial site to another and, finally, to the Lefortove prison in Moscow where they were cremated.

It wasn't until 1973 when two Western experts in forensic dentistry compared Russian medical reports and X-rays of Hitler's teeth that it became evident that the corpse found outside the Bunker indeed was the Führer. For Redlich and others that is enough proof. "It is certain that Hitler, who at present would be over 100 years old, is dead and that he died by suicide. No serious student of history maintains that he escaped with the help of his paladins."

Meanwhile, the definitive proof that the X-rays of the corpse provided by the Russians to that forensic dentistry team are legitimate, rests in a Russian classified vault. What's inside that archive? Hitler's lower jawbone. At least that's what the Russians claim. Such details no doubt are being added to Hitler's FBI file even now

German forces reeling back to the Reich in disarray following the hammer blows of the Normandy and Southern France campaigns, the end of the war in Europe seemed tantalizingly near in autumn 1944.

Readers of the "New York Times" thus might be forgiven if, on 12 November 1944, they read with skepticism two items that suggested otherwise.

In an article entitled 'The Nazis Still Hope for a Miracle,' George Axelsson, the paper's correspondent in Stockholm, noted that the Nazi leadership understood they could no longer win the war. While Axelsson had hinted in an earlier article that the Nazis might conduct a guerrilla war from the Bavarian Alps, he now stressed their determination to prolong the fighting in order to inflict maximum casualties on their enemies, as well as in the hope of splitting the "unnatural" Allied coalition. Despite the looming chaos and massive destruction visited on Germany, it could thus be expected that the Germans would continue to fight doggedly, trusting in yet another of Hitler's miracles to save them. The other piece, 'Hitler's Hideaway' by London correspondent Harry Vosser, seemed to hint at what that miracle might be. Emphasizing that the Eagle's Nest, the Führer's retreat near Berchtesgaden, lay in a virtually impregnable area, Vosser underscored the probability of protracted guerrilla resistance by elite Schutzstaffel [SS] fanatics. Not only had the area been cleared of civilian inhabitants, he claimed, but an elaborate series of tunnels and storage areas for food, water, arms, and ammunition had been carved out within the mountains. With a nicely apocalyptic touch, Vosser also alleged that the Berchtesgaden district, some fifteen miles in depth and twenty-one in length, had been wired in such a way that the push of a single button would suffice to blow up the entire area. 


Fantastic stuff, and likely not taken terribly seriously either by the casual reader or by any American official who happened to read the articles. Not, that is, until after the German counter-attack in the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge, provided a shocking demonstration of their continued ability to spring nasty surprises. Yet another in a distressingly long line of intelligence oversights stretching back through the failure to note the defensive potential of the hedgerow country in Normandy to the blunder at Kasserine Pass during the North African campaign, this latest fiasco put the Allied intelligence community on full alert. By its very nature an inexact science, Intelligence assessment is a bit like trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together without seeing the original picture. Forced to process a mixture of scattered and imperfect information, some rumor, some planted by the enemy, some accurate, analysts try to take the bits and pieces and create a credible assessment based on an appraisal of enemy intentions and capabilities. 
 

 

Stung by the Ardennes embarrassment and fearful that they had overlooked key evidence, American and British intelligence officials in early 1945 began re-examining information, focusing on three key areas: secret weapons, guerrilla activity, and prolonged resistance in an Alpenfestung [Alpine Fortress, or National Redoubt]. Of the three fears, the latter seemed most likely and threatening. Not only did the Alpine area of southern Germany, western Austria, and northern Italy, with its massive mountain ranges, narrow valleys, and winding roads, offer an ideal defensive terrain, but German forces in Italy had already demonstrated their skill at such fighting. Furthermore, the commander of the German forces in Italy that had so stymied and frustrated the Allies, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, had just been appointed commander of all German troops in the south. In addition, Allied advantages such as superior air power and ground mobility would to a considerable extent be neutralized by the poor weather and cramped mountainous terrain. Moreover, underground factories in southern Germany were known to be producing the latest miracle weapon, jet airplanes, which might operate from airfields hidden in the mountains. Finally, the human factor could not be ignored, especially since Hitler had already issued any number of "stand and die" orders. Headlines in the "Völkischer Beobachter", the Nazi Party newspaper, seemed to confirm such a determination to fight to the last, repeatedly proclaiming, "We will never capitulate," and "Relentless people's war against all oppressors".

 

Indeed, to Churchill and others, the sustained and fanatical German resistance around Budapest and Lake Balaton in Hungary seemed pointless except as a desperate attempt to keep the eastern approaches to an Alpenfestung open for retreating German troops.  Worried about protracted resistance from a mountain stronghold, aware of the increasing imperatives of the Pacific war, and, not least, determined not to be caught off guard again, Allied intelligence officials set about assembling evidence to confirm their explanation for German actions.

Once begun, the search resulted in what appeared to be ample substantiation of the reality of an Alpenfestung. Ironically, the notion of a National Redoubt, indeed even the name, stemmed from Swiss efforts between 1940 and 1942 to construct a mountain fortress that would serve as a deterrent to any possible German attack. By late 1943, with the tide of war turning against them, the Germans began exploring the possibility of utilizing existing World War I positions in the Dolomite Alps of Northern Italy as the basis for a defensive line running east from Bregenz on Lake Constance to Klagenfurt and then along the Yugoslav border toward Hungary. Since many of these fortifications had remained in relatively good condition, the Germans assumed they could build a strong position rather quickly. Thus, it was not until September of the following year that work began on improving the southern Alpine fortifications. That same September, the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht [German Armed Forces High Command, or OKW] ordered a survey of the western and northern Alpine regions with an eye toward linking these with the southern defenses. An engineering staff under Brigadier General August Marcinkiewicz was established at Innsbruck for the purpose of mapping out future defensive positions, although no actual construction began.

As the Germans began initial preparations for construction of an Alpine fortress, intelligence agents just across the border in Switzerland took note. In late July 1944, Swiss intelligence agent Hans Hausamann sent a report to his government indicating a growing concern that fanatical Nazis would hold out in the Alps until new secret weapons or a split in the Allied coalition produced a decisive turnaround in the war. Swiss intelligence also informed Allen Dulles, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) representative in Bern with whom it maintained regular contact, of the possibility of prolonged German resistance. Although himself somewhat skeptical, Dulles conceded that the Swiss took the possibility of a Redoubt seriously, so he dutifully dispatched this information to Washington, where it likely would have been relegated to the wild rumor file except for two coincidental developments in September. First, one of the many American intelligence agents working in Switzerland sent a detailed report to Washington informing of powerful German defenses in the Alps. He spoke of monstrous fortifications with underground factories, of weapons and munitions depots, of secret airfields and stockpiles of supplies. Should the Germans successfully retreat into this fortress, the agent warned, the war could be extended by six to eight months and American forces would suffer more casualties than at Normandy. Of equal concern, he predicted that the Nazis could hold out for two years in the event this last bastion was not assaulted, a situation which might encourage widespread guerrilla activity throughout occupied Germany.

 

Then, on 22 September, the Research and Analysis Branch of the OSS issued a scholarly analysis of southern Germany and its potential as a base for continuance of the war. Taken together, these reports nurtured a growing concern in Washington of the possibility of a last-ditch German defense in the south. After all, if the Swiss had created such a stronghold, it seemed only logical that the Germans could and would as well. Once conceived, the fear of an Alpine fortress exercised a strange fascination on American officials determined to avoid any further shocks like the Ardennes offensive. The Germans had certainly undertaken some type of military activity in various areas of the Alps, the idea of a Götterdämmerung struggle in a mountain aerie conformed with Hitler's personality and previous actions, and there seemed little reason to doubt that the SS would continue to obey orders and fight fanatically. Moreover, Bavaria had been the birthplace of Nazism, and many of its leaders, not least Hitler, displayed an almost mystical attraction to the mountains. Finally, because the redoubt lay in the future American zone of occupation, it would be solely an American problem if allowed to become operational.

 

Unfortunately, despite the undeniable logic of American assumptions, much of the information on which their suppositions were based had been planted by SS-Sturmbannführer Hans Gontard, head of the Sicherheitsdienst [Security Service, or SD] office in the border town of Bregenz. Having intercepted the OSS report to Washington warning of the Alpenfestung Gontard could only marvel at what seemed to him boundless American gullibility. In late September, in fact, Gontard showed a copy of the report to Franz Hofer, the Gauleiter [party leader] of Tyrol, whom the OSS regarded as a radical Nazi fanatic, in order to demonstrate the ineptitude of the American Intelligence service.

In a grand irony, Hofer not only perceived how American fears could be exploited by propaganda, but also that the idea of a mountain fortress made sense from a military perspective. In early November, therefore, he dispatched a memorandum to Martin Bormann, head of the Nazi Party and secretary to Hitler, that detailed the need for immediate construction of a defense line in the Alps. What had not existed, what the Americans had conceptualized, Hofer now tried to make a reality. In addition to construction of fortifications, he proposed diverting enormous quantities of supplies, munitions, machinery, and military equipment to depots within the proposed fortress area, closing the region to all civilians and refugees, transferring thirty thousand Allied POWs to the Alps for use as hostages, and withdrawing the German army in Italy, still largely intact and undefeated, to the southern defense line. To Hofer's great distress, however, no one in authority in Berlin showed interest in his suggestions, regarding them as overly pessimistic. Bormann, in fact, refused even to pass Hofer's memorandum on to Hitler for fear, at a time when great hopes were vested in the Ardennes operation, of being characterized as a defeatist.

Only Propaganda Minister Josef Gö
bbels recognized the value of an Alpenfestung, and then merely to exploit "Redoubt Hysteria" among the Americans. Convening a secret meeting of German editors and journalists in early December 1944, Göbbels ensured the dissemination of rumors about a National Redoubt by expressly forbidding any mention of such a thing in German newspapers. Then, in January 1945, he organized a special propaganda section to concoct stories about Alpine defensive positions. All the stories were to stress the same themes: impregnable fortifications, vast underground storehouses loaded with supplies, subterranean factories, and elite troops willing to fight fanatically to the last. In addition, Göbbels saw to it that rumors leaked not only to neutral governments but also to German troops. Because Allied Intelligence drew on POW interrogations as well as reports from neutral countries, these actions ensured the further dissemination of apparent evidence of the existence of an Alpenfestung. Finally, Göbbels enlisted the aid of the SD to produce fake blueprints, reports on construction timetables, and plans for future transfers of troops and armaments into the redoubt.

 

Aided by the efforts of Göbbbels's team, American journalists seized the tantalizing story. In late January, Austrian-born Erwin Lessner reported in a sensational article in "Colliers" on an elaborate guerrilla warfare school being run near Berchtesgaden. There, elite SS and Hitler Youth members were allegedly being instructed in partisan warfare, with the goal of harassing the conquerors and terrorizing any Germans co-operating in the occupation. Lessner emphasized that these young guerrillas, given the name Werewolves, would stage lightning raids out of an Alpine fortress, trying to inflict as much damage and as many casualties as possible before retiring back to their mountain citadel.


Werwolf flag 1945-47


Although confident that this guerrilla war would ultimately fail, Lessner warned that it could nonetheless cause grave difficulties if not taken seriously by the Allies. After all, he pointed out, the Nazis had the advantage of having studied all of the resistance movements that had opposed their rule, and so had a clear understanding of how to conduct an effective underground war. In Lessner's assessment, the Nazis meant guerrilla war to be another V-weapon, which, after all, in German stood for Vergeltung [revenge, retaliation]. The goal, then, was not victory as much as it was vengeance.

A few days later the Swiss added fuel to the smoldering fire. The Zürich newspaper "Weltwoche", under the headline 'Festung Berchtesgaden,' reported on 2 February 1945 that "reliable reports out of Germany contained technical details of the construction of a Berchtesgaden Redoubt position with the Obersalzburg as the nerve center". As the nearest neighbors to Germany, the Swiss had instant credibility, which was reinforced in the article by the accumulation of detail about the alleged mountain fortress. Running along the rugged crest of the mountains, the defensive system, with its installations of machine gun nests, anti-aircraft positions, radio transmitters, and secure Bunkers at the passes provide evidence that the romantic dream [of sustained resistance] is taken seriously and that good German thoroughness is once again being directed at a fantastic goal.

"In the heights around the Königssee, in the old salt mines in the area, in hollowed out mountains and along valley roads, little by little massive depots of war material, munitions, repair and maintenance shops are being established. Industrial facilities to produce war material are being built there. Airplane factories for jet fighters are being erected, huge fuel depots put in place. . . . Underground airfields and hangers stand ready. . . . Grain and potato 'Endkampf' supplies have been gathered".
 
"The fortress Berchtesgaden," the article emphasized, "is no legend", with its political purpose more important than its military significance. It was, the author declared, intended to keep alive "a bacterial culture of National Socialist ideology and strength" until the day when a renewed Nazism would again seize power.


Little over a week after the article, a long piece in the "New York Times Magazine", 'Last Fortress of the Nazis,' seemingly confirmed the Swiss assertion. The author, Victor Schiff, almost certainly had read the Swiss article, for much of his detail mirrored the information contained in the Zürich newspaper. Schiff asserted that the Nazis, having nothing to lose, would fight bitterly to the last in the hope of a reversal of fortune, and that the fight would be carried on by Hitler's fanatical elite, the SS. He went on alarmingly:

"It is noteworthy that since the beginning of the Russian offensive very little has been heard of the SS troops on the Eastern Front. . . . It looks as if the Wehrmacht and Volkssturm are being deliberately sacrificed in rear-guard actions. . . . SS formations are likely to retreat swiftly southward to a region already selected as the last theater of operations in Europe. . . . It will stretch from the eastern tip of Lake Constance to the approaches of Graz in Styria . . .  [with] an approximate length of 280 miles and an average width of 100 miles, and a total area slightly larger than Switzerland. . . . It would be comparatively easy to defend this 'fortress' for a very long time with some twenty divisions . . . behind the formidable barrier of the gigantic chain of central and eastern Alps. . . . The few gaps in the valleys . . . can be sealed with more fortifications and pill-boxes dug in the rocks, and [there is] little doubt that the Todt Organization is already being used to the limit for that purpose. . . . We can assume that the Nazi High Command has started hoarding reserves of arms, munitions, oil, food, and textiles in a series of underground depots within the Alpine quadrangle".

Pointing to the difficulty posed by such an Alpine fortress, Schiff observed, "If they succeeded in holding out till the autumn of 1945, operations would have to come to a standstill till the spring of 1946 . . . [because of] the impossibility of any real warfare in such regions during winter".

Ending his gloomy assessment, Schiff raised the specter of "a monstrous blackmail," noting:

"Since D-Day all the main political hostages from Allied countries have been moved by the Gestapo [German secret police] from various parts of the Reich into this Alps quadrangle".

Nor could this article be dismissed as wild speculation, for Dr. Paul Schmidt, spokesman of the German Foreign Office, gave a speech on 13 February to foreign correspondents in which he boasted, "Millions of us will wage guerrilla warfare; every German before he dies will try to take five or ten enemies with him to the grave". As another journalist, Curt Riess, argued, such talk played to the element of Todesverlangen [longing for death] allegedly rampant in German culture. Just as Wagner portrayed the world's end as a "Twilight of the Gods", so Hitler and Göbbels wanted their own "Gotterdammerung" and hoped to convince average Germans that their death was a "fate full of meaning".

By the end of the month, even the Soviets had gotten in on the action, warning in "Pravda" that the Nazis had made complete preparations for setting up "underground terrorist organizations" for the purpose of sabotage and revenge. Adding weight to these assertions, Dulles communicated his growing concern to Washington, stressing on 22 January that "The information we get here locally seems to tend more and more to the theory of a Nazi withdrawal into the Austrian and Bavarian Alps, with the idea of making a last stand there". A few weeks later, in fact, Dulles raised the possibility of not one, but several Redoubts, asserting,

"When organized German military resistance collapses, there will probably be more than one 'reduit' or inner fortress of Nazi resistance. . . . It seems generally accepted now that a delayed defense fortress will lie in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps. Swiss sources have information which they consider reliable that substantial amounts of foodstuffs being collected here, and that some underground factories are being prepared to supply arms for mountain warfare".

The problem, Dulles admitted, was that "it is impossible to put your finger on the particular area where the foodstuffs are being collected, or where these underground factories are being prepared". He then closed his dispatch with a horror scenario outlined by the "National Zeitung" of Basel: "The most important centers of resistance . . . are to be in Thüringen, south of Stuttgart, and in Middle Bavaria and Austria. There is plenty of protection there by mountains and hills, and many fortifications have been constructed. There is already an armament industry in operation. . . . The idea of [guerrilla warfare] existed in 1918. . . . Similar plans are now to be carried into effect by the Nazis, with their habitual thoroughness, and aided by their experiences with the resistance movements in occupied countries. . . . There are special schools for recruits . . . [and] huge underground ammunition plants and tremendous stores of ammunition and food".

As influential journalists and intelligence operatives supplied seemingly detailed and knowledgeable accounts of the likelihood of endless conflict in a mountain bastion, higher-ranking Allied intelligence officials too began to fall under its apocalyptic spell. The fear that thousands of GIs would be killed in subduing an Alpine fortress was a nightmare that had to be taken seriously. Increasingly, then, all military measures of the Germans came to be viewed through the lens of the apparent reality of an Alpenfestung. The continued fighting in Hungary now seemed to make sense only in relation to buying time for an occupation of the Redoubt. In addition, the numerous trains heading to the south (most, ironically, carrying looted art treasures to safety) were interpreted as military supplies heading to the fortress area. Scattered rumors gleaned from POW interrogations that referred to mysterious SS movements, bombproof buildings in mountain regions that would serve as military headquarters for a guerrilla war, and underground production facilities all added to the emerging picture of a National Redoubt. Even the missing SS divisions added to the weight of evidence pointing to a last-ditch resistance, since Allied intelligence had also noticed an absence of several key SS units before the Ardennes offensive. "Not enough weight is given the many reports of the probable Nazi last stand in the Bavarian Alps," concluded a counterintelligence assessment issued by the War Department on 12 February: "The Nazi myth which is important . . . [to] men like Hitler requires a Götterdämmerung".

In closing, the memo urged that American commanders "down to the corps level" be alerted to the danger.

A month later, Dulles seconded this contention, noting that "present [German] military strategy seems to be built around the idea of a reduit". Not to be outdone, the Research and Analysis Branch of the OSS issued a long report on 22 February summarizing much of the accumulating evidence from POW interrogations regarding an Alpine redoubt. Taking as a given the existence of an "inner bastion," the OSS stressed that it was an ideal gathering point for all retreating German forces. Psychological factors also pointed toward a drawn-out resistance. "Comprising as it does the Obersalzburg, the holy of holies among Nazi sanctuaries," the authors emphasized, "the [Alpine] region has a romantic appeal to potential last ditch heroes". The report then detailed the myriad activities throughout the region that supported the notion of an Alpenfestung: movement of SS troops and forced laborers, construction of fortifications, road and rail improvements, construction of barracks, warehouses, and weapons depots, installation of communication facilities, and excavation of tunnels. Taken together with evidence that the greatest efforts were in the Berchtesgaden area, the OSS could only conclude that the Nazis were concentrating their last resources for a defense of a National Redoubt.

 

Continued reports from prisoner interrogations over the next few weeks seemingly confirmed this assessment, as POWs spoke of underground barracks and armaments factories, movements of SS troops, removal of civilians from specific areas, and preparation of bridges and tunnels for demolition. Finally, Allied intelligence took particular note of the activities of Organization Todt, which had specialized in erecting defensive fortifications throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. As such, they had developed a system of standardized fabrication that allowed for the rapid construction of various types of reinforced concrete structures. Moreover, sufficient labor existed in the form of forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners to expedite any last-minute construction orders.
 

Adding to the growing Allied fear was a mid-February report obtained by an OSS agent from neutral military attachés in Berlin that warned that the Nazis were preparing to conduct a bitter struggle from an Alpenfestung. "Military strong points are connected with each other by underground railroads," asserted the attachés.

"They have sufficient supplies for many months, the best weapons, and almost the entire German stockpile of poison gas. All people engaged in the construction of these secret facilities are to be killed, including any remaining civilians, at the beginning of the battle".

Since this report emanated from the heart of the crumbling Nazi empire, the OSS believed it could not be discounted, despite its sensationalist message and failure to address actual military possibilities. Nor could its claims of vast underground works be easily dismissed, for the Allies knew that the Germans had already moved many armaments factories into subterranean locations, which remained both undetected and undisturbed by Allied bombing. Peering into the unknown, worried about the possibility of yet another German surprise, Allied leaders increasingly agreed that the Alpenfestung was likely a reality.

Allen Dulles noted in mid- and late March the likelihood that the fierce German resistance in the Ruhr and Berlin was aimed at gaining time to gather forces in the redoubt. He then stressed:

"[Nazi leaders] now feel themselves as beyond the law. . . . We know that no fighters are more dangerous than those who fight with the energy of despair. They shrink from nothing . . . , for they have nothing more to lose".

According to Major General Kenneth Strong, the head of intelligence at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), by March 1945 his office was "receiving a continuous flow of reports that the Nazis intended to stage a final prolonged resistance" from a National Redoubt. Strong admitted that the "reports of deep dugouts, secret hiding-places, underground factories, and bombproof headquarters were confusing and unconvincing. No single piece of information could be confirmed". An Alpine stronghold "might not be there," he concluded, "but . . . we nevertheless had to take steps to prevent it from being established. After the Ardennes, I was taking no more chances". Echoed Dulles from Bern:

"I have reported several times about the alleged plans of the Germans to establish a maquis or reduit. . . . On the whole I am inclined to believe in this possibility, but I must admit that a critical analysis of reliable data received so far does not indicate that the preparations have as yet progressed very far. There are a number of newspaper articles on the subject, with maps indicating the boundaries of the reduit and generalities about great hidden stores of provisions, about the preparation of underground factories, and the like. Much of this is probably fiction. . . . Some plants have been moved into the mountains. . . . Some preparations have undoubtedly been made, but not yet on the scale we have been led to believe. . . . [The Germans] have neither the supplies, the transport or the men to spare [for] any great effort to fortify and stock a vast inner fortress. And, from the practical angle, the talk of building in the mountains great new underground factories is nonsense. It would take years. There are some tunnels . . . which can be used and adapted. But new construction on a great scale . . . has been out of the question".

Still, he hedged:

"This does not mean . . . that we will not have to fight the Nazis into mountain retreats. It is likely that we will have to do so".

And here he added a point important to military planners:

"Nature itself, without much preparation, as the Italian campaign has shown, may make the going slow, difficult, and costly. . . . Much in the way of supplies and manpower may possibly be flung into this area at the last moment, unless our armies can cut off the Nazi retreat".

In late March he returned to this theme, stressing:

"Elaborate fortifications are not in themselves necessary to make a mountain area . . . a formidable fortress if defended by resolute men . . . [willing] to make a determined stand".

 

As Allied intelligence officials struggled to gain a clear picture of German intentions, they sought to supplement their sketchy knowledge with information obtained from other channels. The SHAEF "Weekly Intelligence Summary" for the week ending 11 March, for example, worried that "the main trend of German defense policy does seem directed primarily to the safeguarding of the alpine zone," and emphasized that both ground reports and limited photo reconnaissance evidence of some twenty sites indicated the likelihood of German plans for resistance in the Alps:

"Defended both by nature and by the most efficient secret weapons yet invented, the powers that have hitherto guided Germany will survive to organize her resurrection. Here armaments will be manufactured in bombproof factories, food and equipment will be stored in vast underground caverns and specially selected corps of young men will be trained in guerrilla warfare, so that a whole underground army can be fitted and directed to liberate Germany from the occupying forces. . . . It thus appears that ground reports of extensive preparations for the accommodation of the German Maquis-to-be are not unfounded".

In closing, the Intelligence summary claimed that "considerable numbers of SS and specially chosen units are being systematically withdrawn to Austria; that a definite allocation of each day's production of food, equipment, and armaments is sent there . . . ; [and] that some of the most important ministries and personalities of the Nazi regime are already established in the Redoubt area".

Immediately following the release of this report, SHAEF ordered an increase in photo reconnaissance over the suspected redoubt area. As with most of the accumulating evidence, aerial observations seemed either to confirm, or at least not to contradict, the emerging picture of an Alpine bastion. Although intelligence officials were troubled by the lack of any clear pattern to Nazi construction activity and the absence of any indication of a deliberate German move to man an Alpine fortress, aerial photographs did show a disturbing increase in the number of antiaircraft sites and weapons around Berchtesgaden.

In his official postwar report, Eisenhower admitted:

"Although there was no evidence of any completed system of defenses . . . air reconnaissance . . . revealed underground construction activity. . . . It was believed that some subterranean factories had been established in the area".

In addition, ULTRA decrypts indicated the movement in late February and early March of German military headquarters to the south. Adding another piece to the emerging puzzle, British intelligence decoded a mid-March Japanese diplomatic message from Bern, Switzerland, that reported, "considerable stocks of war material were being accumulated in two last battlegrounds, or Redoubts".

Although British intelligence generally remained more skeptical about the German ability at this late stage of the war to outfit and equip an Alpine bastion, Churchill nonetheless admitted that the possibility of such a Redoubt needed to be investigated. By mid-March, then, the Alpenfestung had advanced from a speculative secondary issue to one that now began to influence Allied strategy.

No further confirmation of that was needed than one look at the giant map that hung in Eisenhower's headquarters bearing the legend 'Reported National Redoubt'. Daily, it seemed, red marks, each representing some kind of defense installation, sprouted on the map like a fever rash. Troop concentrations and jagged lines of defensive fortifications; food, ammunition, fuel, and poison gas dumps; power stations; barracks and headquarters; bombproof underground factories; each day more symbols were added, until the map was awash with red dots. Although uneasy that most were also labeled "unconfirmed," Intelligence officers at SHAEF, stung by their earlier failures, now overreacted. To them, the forbidding mountain terrain of southern Germany and Austria seemed the greatest remaining threat in Europe, a nearly impregnable mountain stronghold that might prolong the war by months or even years. Despite a sober analysis by the Psychological Warfare Division at the end of February that regarded the whole notion of an Alpenfestung as a dubious product of Nazi propaganda, and which also emphasized German deficiencies in food, munitions, and fighting power, American intelligence officers in particular had succumbed to Redoubt fever.

In early March, both Bradley's Twelfth Army Group and SHAEF's Joint Intelligence Committee issued summaries that stressed the likelihood of fanatical resistance in the Alps, both to obstruct Allied occupation of south Germany and lay the basis among the young generation of a future myth that National Socialism had never capitulated. Moreover, as late as mid-April both continued to note disturbing facts, such as long lines of rail and highway traffic moving toward Berchtesgaden and the concentration of two-thirds to three-quarters of German SS and armored divisions in the south. OSS reports also seemed to confirm the assessment of the military intelligence officers.

Dulles reported on 6 April:

"While we believe that press [sic] has somewhat exaggerated extent of German preparations and probable territorial extent of reduit, there is evidence that considerable activity has recently developed . . . and that sufficient supplies and weapons have been stored . . . to equip with light arms and feed approximately 25,000 men for period of [one] year. Work on defense of important passes into reduit and on certain underground plants . . . and hidden depots has also been pushed". In a telegram the next day, Dulles concluded, "Reduit becoming a reality. Large quantities of supplies are being accumulated. . . . Further indications are that OKW is being transferred. . . . Weissenberger [head of Wehrkreis (military district) XIII] is ardent Nazi and must be expected to fight to end".

By 21 March, the threat had led some American commanders, Bradley among them, to rethink operational goals. In a memorandum entitled "Reorientation of Strategy," the G-2 of Twelfth Army Group noted the continued German will to resist even after losing areas vital to military production. Further, the G-2 emphasized that "all indications suggest that the enemy's political and military directorate is already in the process of displacing to the Redoubt in lower Bavaria".

Since Twelfth Army Group's G-2 also observed a change in German defensive tactics, giving priority to the utilization of obstacles, followed by concealment, cover, fire, and movement, all of which suggested a trend toward guerilla warfare, the inescapable conclusion seemed to be that the Germans were slowly withdrawing into a prepared fortress area. As a result, Allied strategy needed to be adjusted accordingly. Bradley now proposed that instead of thrusting toward Berlin, American forces should first split Germany in two in order to "prevent German forces from withdrawing . . . into the Redoubt," then pivot south to eliminate any remaining enemy resistance.

Although based on a misassessment of Nazi intentions and capabilities, this analysis nonetheless correctly noted a variety of developments and put forward a reasonable reaction to changed circumstances. In contrast, a report issued a few days later by the G-2 of General Alexander Patch's Seventh Army, which would do the bulk of the fighting in the Redoubt area, was frankly alarmist.

Colonel William Quinn, who suffered from a particularly acute case of Redoubt psychosis, issued an assessment on 25 March entitled 'Study of the German National Redoubt,' in which he expected the Germans to continue their stubborn resistance along the Seventh Army's front and slowly retire to the Alps as a last stand. Quinn concluded that the defensible nature of the Alpine region, the fact that troops from the eastern, western, and Italian fronts could all converge on the area, and the continued German resistance in the Balkans and Italy all pointed to the existence of an Alpine fortress. He also asserted that information from "fairly reliable sources" indicated that the Germans had stockpiled weapons for 200,000-300,000 elite Nazi troops, who would fight to the last under the leadership of Hitler and Himmler. Already, he claimed, "three to five very long [armament] trains" had arrived each week since early February from the Skoda works bearing new types of weapons. Further, elaborate underground munitions factories were being built, an aircraft plant capable of producing Messerschmitts was already in operation, hydroelectric plants were generating power, and giant depots containing foodstuffs had been established in the Salzburg area.

Quinn proposed four scenarios for the expected German resistance:

(1) an immediate retreat into the Redoubt under cover of dispensable Wehrmacht units,
(2) a planned retreat in stages,
(3) defense of the outer reaches of the Redoubt and an orderly withdrawal under pressure from Allied forces, and
(4) defense of every piece of German soil to the last man.

Of the possibilities, Quinn considered the third most likely, with German forces in the west holding tenaciously to the Steigerwald, the forested peaks along the Main River, and the Franconian Heights farther to the south, then pivoting on the Black Forest and Swabian Alps as they slowly withdrew to the south. This would allow maximum numbers of German forces to reach the Alpenfestung, which Quinn had no doubt would be defended, since the Nazi leadership still had the will to resist

Although a massive misreading of German capabilities, Quinn's report seemed to gain legitimacy from other sources. The Intelligence chief of the First French Army, part of the Sixth Army Group, issued a study that confirmed Quinn's fears of the potential for an extended Alpine resistance. Recycling all the usual rumors, the French concluded that the reports of underground factories, storage depots, power plants, and synthetic fuel installations, in conjunction with the movement of prominent foreign hostages south, could only mean a Nazi intention to carry on the war from a mountain bastion. Despite the fact that his own G-2, General Eugene Harrison, doubted the veracity of the French report, General Jacob Devers, commander of the Sixth Army Group, passed it on to higher headquarters.

At SHAEF, meanwhile, further ULTRA decrypts breathed more life into the Redoubt. A series of Führer directives in late March, especially one ordering all units of the Ersatz [Replacement] Army, except those that were "pure German" units, to be placed in "rearward positions in order to support the front [in creating a] strategic zone in depth on the eastern and western fronts," seemed to substantiate fears of a transfer of elite German units to the Redoubt. So, too, did intercepts which indicated that SS units were being moved to the south, along with high-level military headquarters staff and civilian ministries. From the sheer volume of ULTRA intercepts, it appeared in late March that a Redoubt was prepared and the Germans were moving to occupy it.

There were some in the Intelligence community who, while conceding that the Germans might have theoretical plans for a mountain fortress, doubted that the enemy had the actual ability to man or defend it. Nevertheless, many of these same skeptics also admitted that, given the inconclusive and indeterminate nature of the available information, the Allies should act as though the Alpenfestung existed.

Not until 18 April, for example, did Dulles express forceful doubts about the reality of the Redoubt. Even then he raised concern over the large number of German forces, totaling well over two hundred thousand in northern Italy alone, in addition to those fighting near Vienna and in Bavaria, which might conceivably retire into the Alps and their consequent ability to hold "this difficult mountain area for some time, assuming, as we believe to be the case, that a reasonable supply of munitions and other military supplies and food have been collected there". Three days later, though, he hedged again, saying, "Reduit is to be taken seriously but will contain so many unreliable elements that will [sic] not hold out for long. . . . Military preparations within reduit feverishly but ineffectively prepared".

Then, on 25 April, Dulles reported cryptically: "OKW, Himmler ordered northern reduit front be held," which seemed again to provide evidence that the Alpenfestung was real. In addition, faced with stiffening German opposition along the eastern front, the Soviet leader Josef Stalin weighed in with his belief that the enemy would conduct a last-ditch resistance from a mountain stronghold in western Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Bavaria.

Referring to rumors of secret negotiations in Italy, Stalin in the strongest terms also expressed his fear that the western Allies might be colluding with the Germans to halt the fighting in the west and continue it in the east, with enemy utilization of a mountain Redoubt the key to the strategy.

That the Allies were aware of fairly strong German mobile reserves in Czechoslovakia added to their anxiety, as did the knowledge that arduous fighting would result if even a fraction of the troops withdrawing from Italy, the Balkans, and southern Germany reached the Redoubt area. Moreover, the Allies had no specially prepared troops for guerrilla warfare in the mountains, and in any case wanted to avoid any prolonged fighting, for in the words of General Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's chief of staff at SHAEF, there was "a hell of a lot of pressure" from Washington to redeploy troops to the Pacific. As General Omar Bradley remarked after the war, "This legend of the Redoubt was too ominous a threat to be ignored and in consequence it shaped our tactical thinking during the closing weeks of the war".

Eisenhower, further supported in his conviction by a message from General George Marshall, now acted to prevent the specter of an Alpenfestung from becoming reality. On the chill afternoon of 28 March , he composed three messages, the first of which was most significant and unprecedented. For the first time, and in order to co-ordinate the movements of the two powerful converging armies, Eisenhower communicated directly with Stalin. In his cable, he not only inquired of Stalin's plans, but revealed his own intention not to drive toward Berlin but to move forces to the south and southeast, "thereby preventing the consolidation of German resistance in a Redoubt in southern Germany". Eisenhower then dispatched messages to Generals Marshall and Montgomery informing them of his decision and emphasizing again the "importance of forestalling the possibilities of the enemy forming organized resistance areas" either in the Alps or in Norway.

British leaders reacted angrily to Eisenhower's actions, in part because they had not been consulted, partly because they thought the Americans failed to appreciate the political goals of the war, and also because British intelligence officials were less impressed by the possibility of the Redoubt's existence. Despite their often caustic and acerbic remarks, though, Eisenhower's decision was not based on a whim but, as his subsequent dispatches to Marshall, Churchill, Montgomery, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff illustrate, was grounded in a sober strategic appraisal of the situation in late March 1945.

Although his messages to Churchill, Montgomery, and the Combined Chiefs were terse and correct, the legendary Eisenhower temper revealed itself in the lengthy cable he sent to Marshall, in which he vented his fury at British condemnation of his action. "I am completely in the dark as to what the protests concerning 'procedure' involve," he complained to the U.S. chief of staff: "I have been instructed to deal directly with the Russians concerning military coordination".

In defending his strategic decision to turn away from Berlin, Eisenhower noted irritably:

"Even cursory examination of the decisive direction for this thrust . . . shows that the principal effort should under existing circumstances be toward the Leipzig region, in which area is concentrated the greater part of the remaining German industrial capacity, and to which area the German ministries are believed to be moving. . . . Merely following the principle that [British Chief of Staff] Field Marshall Brooke has always shouted to me, I am determined to concentrate on one major thrust".

Eisenhower also left no doubt of his disdain for British arguments advocating a "northern thrust" toward Berlin. Not only was "Berlin itself . . . no longer a particularly important objective," but, he observed caustically, "the so-called 'good ground' in northern Germany is not really good at this time of year. That region is not only cut up with waterways, but in it the ground during this time of year is very wet and not so favorable for rapid movement. . . . Moreover, if, as we expect, the German continues the widespread destruction of bridges, experience has shown that it is better to advance across the headwaters than to be faced by the main streams".

Barely containing his anger, Eisenhower then noted:

 

"The Prime Minister and his Chiefs of Staff opposed 'ANVIL'; they opposed my idea that the German should be destroyed west of the Rhine . . . ; and they insisted that the route leading northeastward from Frankfurt would involve us merely in slow, rough-country fighting. Now they apparently want me to turn aside on operations in which would be involved many thousands of troops before the German forces are fully defeated. I submit that these things are studied daily and hourly by me and my advisors and that we are animated by one single thought which is the early winning of this war".

Nor did the Supreme Commander leave any doubt as to how he believed that aim could best be realized, concluding his cable to Marshall: "I will thrust columns southeastward . . . in the Danube Valley and prevent the establishment of a Nazi fortress in southern Germany".

 

Although unspoken at the time, years later Eisenhower acknowledged another reason for his decision to opt for a southern advance over a northern one. In an interview with Cornelius Ryan, Eisenhower stressed:

"Montgomery had become so personal in his efforts to make sure that the Americans . . . got no credit, that, in fact, we hardly had anything to do with the war, that I finally stopped talking to him".

Moreover, as SHAEF's deputy chief of staff, British lieutenant general Sir Frederick Morgan, put it: "At that moment Monty was the last person Ike would have chosen for a drive on Berlin....Monty would have needed at least six months to prepare".

Echoing this sentiment was British major general John Whiteley, SHAEF's deputy operations chief, who noted that "the feeling was that if anything had to be done quickly, don't give it to Monty". In his 31 March cable to Montgomery, Eisenhower had underscored this final point. "My purpose," he emphasized, "is to destroy the enemy's forces and his powers to resist". Left unsaid was his belief that Montgomery could do neither quickly.

That the Alpenfestung existed only as a myth, as a refuge rather than a Redoubt, did not become apparent until weeks later. Although Eisenhower's decision might now seem hasty and ill-advised, given what was known at the time of both the overall military situation and Nazi tendencies, his determination to prevent a prolonged guerrilla war appears prudent. In a cable to Marshall on 7 April, for example, Eisenhower noted a growing problem:

"In our advance into Germany we are experiencing the same thing that always happens in an invasion of enemy territory, namely, the need to drop off fighting units to protect the rear and to preserve order among the population. This task is becoming particularly acute because of the habit of displaced persons, released by our advances, to begin rioting against their ex-masters. Because of this drain on our forces we must economize everywhere if we are to maintain the vigor and strength of our planned offensives".

And maintaining vigor seemed especially important [as Eisenhower stressed in another message to Marshall later that day] in order "to disrupt any German effort to establish a fortress in the southern mountains". A week later, in a cable to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, the Supreme Commander still worried that "present evidence indicates that the Germans intend with every means in their power to prolong their resistance to the bitter end in the most inaccessible areas . . . which their troops still occupy. . . . [O]perations against certain of them . . . may involve considerable forces and also may last for some time. . . . [T]he storming of the final citadels of Nazi resistance way well call for acts of endurance and heroism on the part of the forces engaged comparable to the peak battles of the war". Significantly, Eisenhower also indicated his appreciation of "the urgent necessity for the early release of forces . . . for the prosecution of the war against Japan".

With the latter in mind, Eisenhower later on 14 April dispatched another message to the Combined Chiefs in which he stressed that "to reduce the length of time for which the enemy may prolong hostilities" it was necessary to "capture . . . those areas where he might form a last stand effectively. . . . The capability of enemy forces in the south to resist will be greatly reduced by a thrust to join the Russians. . . . However, the national Redoubt could even then remain in being, and it must be our aim to break into it rapidly before the enemy has an opportunity to man it and organize its defense fully". Eisenhower's greatest fear, as he noted in a cable to Marshall, also on 14 April, was that "operations in the winter would be extremely difficult in the National Redoubt". Nor was the Supreme Commander alone in his fears. Influential journalists, such as Drew Middleton and Hanson Baldwin of the "New York Times", continued throughout April to warn of serious military and political problems from Nazi diehards determined to resist to the death in the National Redoubt.

The twin ironies of Allied Redoubt psychosis, as expressed in March and April 1945, were that Allied military officials were thinking more like the Nazis than the Nazis themselves, and that they mistook the logical consequences of the military attempt to split Germany in two for a deliberate Nazi decision to wage a partisan war from an Alpine fortress. In any case, without the determined American movement to the south, German military leaders might well have sought belatedly to make a virtue of necessity and turn the Redoubt into a reality. Hitler had, in fact, planned to leave Berlin for Berchtesgaden. Not until late April did he decide to stay and die in the ruins of the German capital.

In driving south-eastward to the Alps, the U.S. Seventh Army and the French First Army together took some six hundred thousand prisoners from mid April to the end of the month, a total much greater than their own combined combat strengths. It thus seemed impossible that any sizeable number of German troops had reached the Alpenfestung. When asked on 5 May at the surrender ceremony the number of Germans cut off in the Alps, the German emissary for Army Group G, Lieutenant General Hermann Förtsch, astounded General Jacob Devers, commander of the Sixth Army Group, when he indicated at least 250,000 and as many as 350,000 in an assortment of remnants, with the higher figure more nearly correct.

In addition, the Seventh Army bagged prominent military figures such as Field Marshals Albert Kesselring, Gerd von Rundstedt, Wilhelm List, and Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, as well as political luminaries of the Nazi state such as Robert Ley, Julius Streicher, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the latter the head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt [Reich Main Security Office, or RSHA], all of which seemed to add credence to the possibility of a Redoubt. Moreover, SS troops under the command of General Gotlieb Berger, which included General Max Simon's Thirteenth SS-Army Corps with its remnants of the Seventeenth SS, Thirty-fifth SS, and Second Gebirgsdivision (mountain division), did not surrender until two days later. Although disorganized, weary, and short of food, munitions, and supplies, the total bag of more than nine hundred thousand prisoners since mid-April impressed American military officials as much for what might have been as for the absence of any Redoubt.

If British displeasure failed to recognize Eisenhower's reluctance to incur what he saw as needless casualties or his moral repugnance at the useless destruction produced by hopeless German resistance, they also overlooked his fear that prolonged fighting in Europe would have a negative impact on both the Pacific theater as well as the grand alliance. At this late stage of the war, Hitler could only hope to buy time, but given the prospect of new German secret weapons and the growing tensions in the Allied coalition, any delay in defeating Germany raised the prospect that Hitler might be able to secure more advantageous peace terms.. In the end, then, Eisenhower's aim was simple and straightforward - to destroy the German forces completely in the shortest possible time. Preventing any German retreat to the Alpenfestung had become his primary concern.

 

These illusions came to an embarrassing end in late April, when three German soldiers crossed the Elbe near Magdeburg and surrendered to the Allies, one of which was Lieutenant-General Kurt Dittmar. When asked about the Alpine Redoubt at his debriefing, Dittmar laughed and called it "...a romantic dream. It's a myth". Although initially sceptical, SHAEF soon came to accept the truth of his words.

Meanwhile, Stalin steamrollered his way towards Berlin.


-- exerpt from Stephen G. Fritz, "Endkampf: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Death of the Third Reich"


Map of the “mountain heart of Europe” from "Life" magazine, 9 April 1945

The German National Redoubt That Wasn’t
The Allies were astonished to find that the Nazi mountain fortress had been nothing but a rumor.

As the war in Europe drew to a close, the Western Allies convinced themselves that the fall of Berlin would not be the end of it. The Nazis, they believed, would hunker down in the Austrian and Bavarian Alps and continue the war from a formidable Alpenfestung in the mountains.

"Time" magazine, in February 1945, predicted that top Nazi officials, accompanied by Hitler Youth fanatics and dedicated SS officers, would retreat, “behind a loyal rearguard cover of Volksgrenadiere and Volksstürmer, to the Alpine massif which reaches from southern Bavaria across western Austria to northern Italy.”

Immense stores of ammunition and food were being laid down in prepared fortifications there. "Time" reported. “If the retreat is a success, such an army might hold out for years".

"Life" magazine similarly reported two months later, only days before Adolf Hitler shot himself in Berlin, that the German army was “wheeling back toward the best defensive positions in Europe, the Bavarian and Austrian Alps".

Seventh Army prisoners told tales of their officers deserting in mass and heading for the Alps. There was a mysterious absence of SS divisions on the Western Front. A story of a Berchtesgaden meeting of all Nazi Party leaders 26 March leaked into Switzerland. The Vatican reported that its apostolic Nuncio to Germany was now in Bavaria, heaving been evacuated from Berlin.

It seemed significant to "Life" that, as the Rhine and Order lines were rent, the Germans held firm in the Italian mountains and Franconia, north of Bavaria.

Salt mines in the area had been converted into war factories, it claimed, producing guns, fighter planes and gasoline. “There were said to be subterranean hangars, tremendous depots of coal, grain and foodstuffs.” The magazine estimated that as many as 25 divisions could hole up in the region.

The neutrality of the republic of Switzerland protects the western flank. There are said to be extensive fortifications around Bolzano, southwest of Graz and around Berchtesgaden. Close to Berchtesgaden are the estates of Hitler, Göring, Himmler, Ribbentrop and the president of the Nazi Party, little-known Martin Bormann. This area in the high Tauern Alps would probably be the final defense system.


Carinthia [German:Kärnten] is the southernmost Austrian state or Land.
Situated within the Eastern Alps, it is noted for its mountains and lakes.

During World War II, Slovene Partisan resistance was active in the southern areas of the region,
reaching around 3,000 armed men. The cities of Klagenfurt and Villach suffered from air raids,
but the Allied forces did not reach Carinthia before 8 May 1945. Toward the end of the war,
Gauleiter Friedrich Rainer tried to implement a Nazi plan for Carinthia to become part of the projected
Nazi National Redoubt [Alpenfestung]; these efforts failed and the forces under Rainer's control surrendered to the forces of the British Army. Once again as at the end of World War I,
Yugoslav troops occupied parts of Carinthia, including the capital city of Klagenfurt, but were
soon forced to withdraw by the British forces with the consent of the Soviet Union.
 

"Life" was in no doubt that the Nazis were capable of “so criminal and irresponsible an idea". Indeed, it could not believe the regime was about to give up. “The way the Nazis seemed to be whimpering into defeat belied their boastful threats of Götterdämmerung".

The story appears to have originated with an "Associated Press" correspondent, Wes Gallagher, who reported in late 1944 that SS chief Heinrich Himmler had "started laying the plans for underground warfare in the last two months of 1943".

Gallagher reported that Nazi leaders were planning to flee to the Alps once the military was defeated in the rest of Germany. From there, they would continue to wage war on Hitler’s enemies by leading a sabotage and guerrilla campaign.

Gallagher’s story was not unfounded. Himmler did propose preparations for a National Redoubt, but Hitler never embraced the plan. At least not until it was too late. Only a week before he committed suicide in his Bunker under Berlin did Hitler order the evacuation of all remaining government personnel from the capital to the Alps.

Hitler Expected to  Try to Escape
The Newcastle Sun [NSW] 
16 April 1945

Australian Associated Press WASHINGTON — Allied Intelligence agents are scouring oc cupied Germany for Hitler's finger prints. They believe Hitler may try to get out of Germany and hole-up in some neutral country in disguise.

The Allies doubt very much whether Hitler will play the heroic role of defender of a lost cause at Berchtesgaden. They think it more likely that Hitler will shave his famous moustache, dye his hair or in some other way change his appearance and attempt to flee the country.

Intelligence agents have been warned of this possibility. Hitler is included in a list of 2000 leading Nazis, ranging from Himmler and Göring downwards. Complete dossiers have been filed on these war criminals, giving their complete case history.

Agents have been furnished with artists' drawings, showing what these war criminals possibly would look like under various facial disguises.

Wandering Arabs in the North African desert are responsible for .he blocking of at least one of Hitler's last escape routes, according to the  Trípoli correspondent of the "Daily Express.'' He says that the Arabs several times reported to the Allied authorities that they had seen German planes landing at a hidden airfield about 200 mile's inland from the North African coast.

Reconnaissance parties discovered the existence of a heavily camouflaged German airfield, with underground hangars, containing stocks of fuel and spare parts, apparently for emergency use by the Nazi higher-ups. Maps and other documents revealed that Nazi escapees intended to make for South American destinations. The possibility of other secret airfields has caused the Allies to redouble their watch on Nazi escape routes.

Face Lift for Hitler?
Daily Mercury [Mackay, Qld] 
7 April 1945

"The question whether Hitler may be undergoing operations to disguise his appearance is being seriously discussed in responsible quarters," writes John Gaunt, "Daily Express" special correspondent.

"Reliable reports reaching London show that a number of Germany's leading plastic surgeons have been brought into the Berchtesgaden fortress in recent weeks. As the tide of war gets nearer to this last Redoubt the question whether- it will be possible to identify Hitler when he is caught is becoming more urgent. The question is exercising Allied intelligence departments and the new Allied international "Scotland Yard," set up to track war criminals.

"The suggestion that Hitler may be having his face changed under guise of having bomb injuries attended to is not so fantastic as it sounds. The Nazi leaders are a bunch of gangsters, and during the heyday of gangsterism in the United States gang leaders made great use of plastic surgeons. Tell tale scars were removed, fingertips changed, and faces lifted. It entailed fairly long periods of disappearance from the public gaze, which was made all the easier if the gangster had a hideout or double. Hitler has both".

The latest theory to account for long Hitler's absence from the public eye is a report from Stockholm that the Führer has resorted to  plastic surgery to facilitate his escape when, in even his maniacal brain, victory is a vanished mirage.

The Stockholm source backs up this I report with a claim that in the last two years Hitler has discussed details of facial transformation with two surgeons who have been bound to secrecy, under penalty of death.

The Stockholm claim goes further. Himmler, Göring and Göbbels, it says, know of the Hitler's blueprints, and are themselves considering extensive facial reconstruction. The plastic surgery theory, say its supporters, ties up with the widespread accounts of quantities of gold smuggled out of Germany to various European centres and to the Argentine, so that the top-ranking Nazis wilt have the necessary funds to support them in comfort for the rest of their lives.

Dr. J. H. Crum, American plastic surgeon of 30 years experience, points out that changes in Hitler's appearance would probably include: raising hairline to give a higher forehead; operation on temples to tighten sagging cheeks; removal of part or all of ear lobes; raising eye brows; skilful rounding of nostrils, thinning of nose, alteration of lips and slitting of eyelids.

"'All of these operations," says Dr. Crum, "could be done in three hours while Hitler sat in a chair. A local anesthetic would be used and bandages need be worn for only 24 hours. Upon removal of the bandages application of infra- red ray heat would coagulate the blood to speed healing of the incisions".

"Before operating on the fore head and temples, the hair would be shaved, and there would be no visible scars because new hair would cover the incisions. Sunglasses would be needed for a week or 10 days at most, to shield operations around the eyes. And the net result would be a Hitler that even his mother wouldn't recognize".

"In any case, except when roused by oratory or in passion, Hitler is a dull and colorless little man, with lacklustre eyes. It would need only smallest alterations and he could easily pass for any little Austrian bourgois drafted for forced labor in the fortress area.

"Himmler, too, would be easy enough to disguise, though Göring's size and Göbbels glowing eyes and club foot would be difficult to conceal.

"The escape situation has deteriorated for Nazi leaders recently. Argentina— for so long regarded with favor and the recipient of discreet Investments- has declared war; and Sweden, has declared her intention of not harboring war criminals, and would certainly not receive the more prominent ones.

The Moscow correspondent of "Associated Press" says Hitler, Himmler, and Mussolini are expected to seek refuge in Japan almost any time now according to a Rumanian diplomat returning home from Tokyo.

The diplomat, Victor Gutxulesco, stated that they had been expected there for a long time. The Japanese did not appear particularly pleased about giving shelter to the Fascist leaders, fearing that it might only make life harder for them.

Some preparations had been made. Tunnels were dug for underground factories, similar to the Mittelwerk facility near Nordhausen that produced the V2 rocket. But most of it was a Propaganda coup by Josef Göbbels.

He fooled even Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme allied commander, who pursued a broad-front strategy instead of a direct advance on Berlin in order to stave off any German resurgence in the south.

General Omar Bradley later said the Alpenfestung myth “grew into so exaggerated a scheme that I am astonished we could have believed it as innocently as we did. But while it persisted, this legend of the Redoubt was too ominous a threat to be ignored".

One of History's most famous Conspiracies - Hitler escaping the Bunker in 1945
History is Now Magazine
24 July 2016

There have been many conspiracy theories of Hitler’s escape from his Bunker at the end of World War Two over the years. And here George Balakrishna explores the conspiracy. As we’ll see, there is a thread of evidence that he made it to Spain and South America, but it is very thin and it is extremely unlikely to have happened…

When Adolf Hitler died on 30 April 1945, it signaled the end of one of history’s worst figures. He was responsible for the systematic death of six million Jewish people [along with an estimated four to six million non Jews], the deportation of even more, and the destruction of Germany and Europe during World War Two. Unlike many of his Nazi colleagues, he was not convicted at the Nurnberg Trials that followed the end of the war; however thanks to recently declassified FBI files and newly discovered evidence, this could go down as one of history’s greatest injustices. Such files have brought light to the possible escape of Adolf Hitler from the Führerbunker to South America – but how was it possible for the world’s most wanted man to escape? How could it have happened?

Hitler’s death is announced

Though Hitler died on 30 April, it was not until 1 May that his death was announced to the world. At around 10:30 pm, a German newsreader reported that Hitler had "fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany” with Admiral Dönitz being announced as his successor. Yet, even at this point reports from Washington suggest that US officials were suspicious of the timing of the announcement, did not celebrate the death, and feared that he had escaped via the underground tunnels of Berlin.

Berlin tunnels show Hitler's megalomaniac vision
By Madeline Chambers | Berlin
Reuters
25 August 2008 

Three vast tunnels were opened under central Berlin this month, giving a glimpse of Adolf Hitler's megalomaniac vision of a new architectural centre for the capital of Nazi Germany.

The 16-metre [50-foot] deep tunnels were constructed in 1938 as part of an underground transport network beneath a series of bombastic buildings designed by Nazi architect Albert Speer, including the biggest domed hall the world had ever seen.

The overground plans, never completed because of World War Two, included boulevards, squares and huge buildings, such as an arch dwarfing the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the 290-metre high Great Hall, with room for 180,000 people.

Hitler called the concept, a symbol of the power of the Third Reich, "Berlin -- the capital of the world" but in recent times it has come to be known as "Germania".

The tunnels, between 90 and 220 meters long lying beneath the Tiergarten park, would have accommodated roads and a railway line.
 
"The tunnels -- which are in surprisingly good condition -- were part of Speer's grand plans, what we now call 'Germania'," historian Dietmar Arnold, head of the Berlin Underground Association and bunker tour guide, told "Reuters".

Last week, Arnold -- who runs an exhibition of Hitler's plans -- took journalists on a rare visit into the dank tunnels.

They are closed to the public most of the time because of safety concerns, but visits can be arranged.
 
"The acoustics are incredible"" said Arnold, who likes singing a note and hearing it reverberate around him.

After the war, British forces in divided Berlin closed the tunnels. They were rediscovered in 1969 but have remained shut. In 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they were handed to the city of Berlin.

The Berlin Underground Association, set up in 1997, has seen a surge in interest in tours of Berlin's remaining Bunkers.

Although most were destroyed, some of the maze of 1,000 World War Two Bunkers are intact and serve as a reminder of the city's violent history.

Propaganda posters and escape instructions on the walls convey a sense of the past. In one Bunker, suitcases, helmets, and uniforms from various sites are on show.

"Interest is constantly growing -- we have about 150,000 visitors a year to the Bunkers," said Arnold. "That is partly why we want the Bunkers to be protected -- they are an important part of the history of Berlin".

By the end of the war, Germany's most heavily bombed city could protect up to 800,000 people in its Bunkers.

Escape to Tempelhof

In order for Hitler to flee Berlin upon the Soviet invasion, he would have needed to go through Tempelhof Airport. Since Berlin was swarming with Soviet soldiers, making himself visible at any point would have been fatal so the question resides in how he could have travelled around three and a half miles from his headquarters to Tempelhof without being seen. The aforementioned underground tunnels, developed by Hitler himself in 1938 as part of his megalomaniac vision of an architecturally brilliant transport network, would have got Hitler most of the way, though maps of the tunnels suggest he would have been limited in his travels to what was then the ‘U6’ subway station [now Luftbrücke], leaving him 200 meters short of the airport. This means he would have gone over ground to get there. Indeed, one can imagine that Hitler would have been willing to risk this, given the compromised situation he was already in. However, military grade, ground-penetrating equipment has very recently discovered a false wall, allowing passage directly to the airport. From 22 April, prominent Nazis had been flown from Tempelhof to Munich as the Russians edged closer to central Berlin, culminating in the capture and control of Tempelhof by 27 April meaning Hitler’s escape has most frequently been pinpointed to 26 April.

In this sense, escape from the Führerbunker to Tempelhof now seems in many ways probable and entirely plausible

From Tempelhof to Spain

Under its leader Francisco Franco, Spain had remained ‘neutral’ during World War Two so did not technically support or oppose Hitler. However, whilst staying neutral it also remained a quasi-fascist state, and during its own Civil War in 1936-39 had allowed Hitler to terrify the world in testing his arms. Franco and Hitler were known to hold similar views and to be friendly with one another. Assuming still that Hitler made his way to Tempelhof, strong evidence suggests Hitler took refuge in Spain, keeping a low profile before being able to build up his Fourth Reich. Stefan Aceituna, one of Franco’s drivers describes how in late April 1945, he was sent to meet a plane that had arrived "very late", was of "German origin" and the passenger he came to collect "had no luggage". He describes how he was ordered by Franco to "transport the passenger directly to the [Presidential] Palace".

In May of 1945, the east wing of the palace was completely sealed off, with no explanation ever recorded, nor so for the fourteen-foot wall that was built around the palace in the same month. Furthermore, every member of staff who worked in the east wing was fluent in German. From May 1945, there was a monthly order for 144 bottles of ‘Doctor Kostler’s Anti Gas Pills’ – the same pills Hitler’s physician, Theo Morell, had introduced to him and which he had become addicted to, to the extent he was known to swallow the pills by the handful. Herein it becomes difficult to comprehend that General Franco developed a sudden flatulence problem, exactly the same as his acquaintance, one Adolf Hitler, immediately after the reported "death" of the latter. And this continued until October 1947.

Dr Victor Vega Diaz was the director of the Clinico San Carlos whilst also holding the title of President of the International Association of Cardiologists. More simply, he was the world leader in his field. He recalls in his personal diary how on 1 November 1947, being called upon by Franco to 'examine a member of Franco’s gardening staff'. Perhaps the greatest curiosity and mystery lay not only in the fact a world expert was asked to treat a gardener, but the fact he was asked to come from Clinico San Carlos when Franco had always favored the closer, better equipped hospital, which Franco had named after himself, the Hospital Francisco Franco. If this seems illogical and inexplicable, the ‘name’ of the gardener he recalls treating propels even more questions. The name of the man was Adi Lupus; a man described by Diaz to be "in his late fifties or early sixties" [Hitler would have been fifty-eight]. Upon further inspection, there is no employment history, birth certificate, registration on the electoral role, or marriage history of such a man either. Even further, ‘Lupus’ is Latin for ‘wolf’ – we know the wolf was something of great sentimental importance to Hitler. When he had met Eva Braun, he had gone under the pseudonym of ‘Mr. Wolf’, he named his yacht 'Sea Wolf’ and his plane ‘Flying Wolf’, and two of his headquarters were the ‘Wolf’s Lair’ and the ‘Wolf’s Den’. ‘Adi’ could well be interpreted as a shortened version of Adolf.

Dr Diaz' diary on 1 November 1947, records that at 3:32 pm he certified the patient’s death from “Cardio Myopathy”, a fairly basic heart attack and it appears that no autopsy was performed. .

At the top of the page, beside the words "Patient Identification" the doctor had written: "Senor Adi Lupus".

Unfortunately the doctors personal notes do not elaborate further and the Clinico San Carlos has relocated since 1947 and if any official hospital records ever existed they are now lost for ever

Despite lengthy searches of all cemeteries within reasonable proximity to Madrid, no record can be discovered which documents the burial or cremation of Senor Adi Lupus.

Of course, it is as likely that all of this was a coincidence as that Hitler genuinely was in Spain and we can by no means assert with confidence this means that Hitler did escape, but certainly it is thought provoking. Evidence of Hitler being in Spain continues until around October of 1947, when it seems Hitler made a move elsewhere.

The declassification in 2014, of more than 700  FBI documents dating back to the end of the Second World War prompted the probe into whether Hitler may have in fact evaded capture in Berlin and been spirited away to South America was prompted by these files, which feature numerous "sightings" of the Nazi leader, reveal that the US authorities were sceptical about the official version of Hitler’s death. They call into question the received history, that as the Red Army marauded through the streets of the German capital in late April 1945, he shot himself in the Führerbunker and that his corpse was then burnt in the Reich Chancellery garden by his close followers.

A secret memo from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover himself stated that, "American Army officials in Germany have not located Hitler's body nor is there any reliable source that will say definitely that Hitler is dead".

Rumours circulated immediately after the war that the Führer had managed to fake his death – to such an extent that the US Army launched a covert "search and destroy" mission to track him down in Spain.

Spain to South America

South America, especially Argentina, was a known retreat for wanted Nazis following the War. In fact, around 5,000 Nazis in total escaped including very prominent officials such as Franz Stangl, commanding officer of Treblinka, Adolf Eichmann, responsible for the co-ordination of the deportation of Jews out of Germany, and the infamous ‘Angel of Death’ Josef Mengele who tortured men, women and children in experiments in Nazi war camps. Look through declassified FBI files [all 732 pages available on the FBI website] and you will see evidence which suggests Hitler himself had also fled to Argentina, via U-Boat, like so many Nazis before him.

In particular, the FBI files reveal and point to Nazi hotspots deep in the Argentine interior, in Misiones. It was here archaeologist Daniel Schazelvon and his team from the University of Buenos Aires discovered over 2,000 Nazi items from post World War Two, Nazi buildings as well as medicine used to treat the same ailments experienced by Hitler. Once more, this does not prove Hitler came here but adds to the growing evidence that he could have do

Report of Argentine ‘Nazi jungle bolt-hole’ debunked
Archaeologist Daniel Schavelzon admits his shock "discovery" was "just speculation"
By Stuart Winer
The Times of Israel
24 March 2015

There is little evidence that a group of buildings in the Argentinian jungle was a secret hideout for Nazi war criminals and in fact probably predated World War II by many years, the researcher who made the supposedly shocking find told the "Guardian" Monday. 

But Schavelzon said linking the find of some German coins and other wares to a supposed Nazi bolt-hole was "speculation on my part" that was blown out of proportion by the press.

"There is no documentation, but we found German coins from the war period in the foundations," Schavelzon said.

The University of Buenos Aires researchers found five German coins minted between 1938 and 1941 and a fragment of porcelain plate bearing the inscription "Made in Germany" the local "Clarin" newspaper reported at the beginning of the week.

However, according to the "Guardian" report, the buildings were already open to the public decades ago and other ruins close by date back to 17th and 18th century when they were used by Jesuit missionaries.

Nearby is San Ignacio Miní, a Baroque monastery that draws many tourists.

Although a sign on the ruins notes their connection the Jesuit site it also claims that "in the 1950s they were refurbished and inhabited by Hitler’s most faithful servant, Martin Bormann".

Yet the "Guardian" suggested Bormann’s residency was more likely a mistake based on fake files sold in the 1970s by Argentinian police officers to Hungarian historian Ladislas Farago. In addition, a DNA test in 1998 proved that bones held in Berlin were those of Bormann and that he was killed as he tried to flee the city in 1945.

As for the coins, they could have been dropped by any of the multitude of immigrants who arrived Argentina and according to the report there are some three million Argentinians of German descent in the country today.

Nonetheless, after the war thousands of Nazis, Croatian Ustasha fascists and Italian fascists did arrive in Argentina with the blessing of president Juan Peron, who led the nation from 1946 to 1955 and again briefly in the 1970s, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center. Rather than living in secret jungle Bunkers they found homes on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

In 1960, Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who helped organize the Holocaust, was captured in Buenos Aires by an Israeli commando team and tried in Israel where he was executed.

Among other Nazis who sought refuge in Argentina were Josef Mengele, Walter Kutschmann, Josef Schwammberger, Eduard Roschmann, Wilfred von Oven, and Alois Brunner.

Reports from the CIA Chief in Buenos Aires in February 1948 describe the following:

There was another sighting of Hitler, again in Argentina and once more from the chief CIA station in Buenos Aires:

Whilst Hitler is often said to have been in Argentina, it seems he also developed a presence in Rio Grande, Brazil, a city once described to have a ‘100% German population’. A Former OSS officer writes to J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI:

We can say that if Hitler did make it to South America on a U-Boat, evidence would suggest he was much more elusive and active than he had been in Spain.  With the FBI knowing of other Nazis being in South America, perhaps it was more out of necessity than desire that he had to remain hot-footed. It is after 1947, when we believe Hitler could have reached South America that information becomes slightly more disfigured, thus his presence could have spanned over Colombia, Argentina and Brazil and consequently it is harder to develop one single strand of events, especially because reports of him being there continue into the 1980s, although FBI pursuits of Hitler ceased much earlier. Nonetheless, when we examine sources that are exclusively from reliable sources [notably the CIA] there is still credibility in the suggestion he could have made a South American bound escape.

What about his body?

Since the attempt on his life in July 1944, Hitler was known to use Doppelgängers. He vetted at least four of these doubles, including Julius Schreck, First Commander of the Schutzstaffel [SS] to increase his security and draw attention away from the actual Führer. However, most importantly, when the Russians thought they had discovered the unburned corpse of Adolf Hitler, it eventually transpired it was that of a decoy, Gustav Weler.

Julius Schreck, remained on the SS payroll and worked as Hitler’s private chauffeur and political decoy.  "Time Magazine" reported that Julius Schreck developed meningitis and died on 16 May 1936.  Schreck was probably the highest ranking Doppelgänger within the Third Reich. 

An almost forgotten intelligence submission alleged that Adolf Hitler’s double and political decoy was Heinrich Berger, who was killed by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg on 20 Juy 1944, in an assassination attempt on Hitler at the Wolf’s Lair when a bomb exploded under Hitler’s table   According to established war records, Hitler’s stenographer, Heinrich Berger had both legs blown off and died a few hours later.  Consistent with "Chronology of Notable Deaths", Heinrich Berger was similarly characterized as "Hitler’s double".

At the end of WWII, the official Soviet news agency "Tass", passed on the word of a Russian general that the body of a man identified as Adolf Hitler had been found in the ruins of the Bunker in Berlin.  It soon became known however, that the "problematical corpse" was a double mistakenly believed to be Hitler, because of his identical mustache and haircut.

In line with limited details that have surfaced, Gustav Weler lived in Munich in the 1930’s until the Nazis, who thought that he was "making fun" of Adolf Hitler during a rally, detained him because of his physical appearance and resemblance to Hitler. Martin Bormann introduced Weler to Hitler at the Berghof,  who was enraged and ordered that he never wanted to see the Doppelgänger again and that he was to be imprisoned in a concentration camp.  Bormann, sensing that Weler could prove useful, disobeyed Hitler’s order and hid Weller away in Munich.  

Some reports said Weler was executed by a gunshot to the forehead in an attempt to confuse the Allied troops when Berlin was taken. The corpse was photographed and filmed by the Soviets. However, the British surgeon W. Hugh Thomas reported that Weler was indeed a Hitler lookalike, but that Allied troops found him alive after the war and interviewed him following Hitler’s death.

Dr. Thomas' theories in "Doppelgängers: The Truth about the Bodies in the Berlin Bunker," were finally investigated by Scotland Yard and the final report now remains hidden from the public.

A hundred-year ban has been imposed on key facts concerning the so-called deaths of certain Reich leaders.

The story tells us nonetheless that the Germans did burn Hitler’s body; however a skull, taken by the Russians from the Bunker, attributed to Hitler and kept secretly preserved by Soviet Intelligence until 2000 has since been revealed to have been from that of a woman, no older than forty years old. In April of 1945, Hitler had turned 56. But could it have been Eva Braun, Hitler’s lover?  If so, how could the skull, with a bullet wound belong to a woman who was never reported to have shot herself? There is a pattern here of more questions arising than answers. Even Stalin had not been satisfied with what the Soviets had found of Hitler, imposing secrecy on all matters related to Hitler’s death until Stalin himself died and having the supposed body kept with Soviet Intelligence until long after his death. The explanation history gives us of Hitler’s death clearly leaves much to be desired and the fact an identifiable corpse of Hitler or Eva Braun has not been discovered is a palpable indicator of some sort of cover up. .

Conclusion - this couldn't really be true...

History is not based on imagination or conspiracy, rather fact and evidence. So if we are to re-write history to tell the story of how Hitler fled to Spain following the war, eventually settling in South America, we require irrefutable evidence and on this account, perhaps not everything we have explored is this way. Such colossal events in history always attract the most imaginative of stories [one thinks of conspiracies of the 9/11 attacks] but the "Death of Hitler" prompted Dwight D. Eisenhower to say in 1952 "we are unable to unearth one piece of tangible evidence that Hitler is dead", Stalin to refute his death, and a ten-year FBI international pursuit of Hitler.

And just to be clear

The reality is that it remains a crazy conspiracy that Hitler escaped; you can cite countless sources that credibly argue that Hitler died in the Bunker in 1945 and there is no reliable and clear evidence that he escaped – indeed this article has had to be put together with very weak threads. An article could of course have been written that shows that Hitler did die in the Bunker, but part of the purpose of this article is to demonstrate how unlikely this is – through the lack of true evidence.

If you believe this conspiracy, you're going against all but the fringes.

Although escape by airplane as late into the Battle of Berlin as 30 April was possible, Hitler stayed.

Why not an escape conspiracy that locates Hitler's escape after his "death" thus explaining why years of interrogation failed to shake witnesses' testimonies?

Top Nazi officials including Göbbels and Bormann escorted Hitler's body, wrapped in a blanket, outside for burning. What if the body was Hitler's double, someone who had received identical dental work? The real Hitler disguised, and shielded by the same senior Nazis, could have left that night when most Bunker personnel were distracted with orgies and alcohol. Next a flight out in a "Storch" the airplane with the short take-off distance. The German air force could, even at this late stage, have protected Hitler's escape flight-route — Adolf Galland, for example, commanded 70 jet fighters.  ["The First and the Last", 1970]. After that, either a Junkers Ju-390 or a submarine — and off to Argentina. Bunker survivors, no matter how long interrogated, would sincerely describe what they seemingly saw — that Hitler was dead.

In "Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler" by Simon Dun­stan and Ger­rard Williams, the authors posit that the key play­ers in the real­iza­tion of Aktion Feuerland –the code-name for the oper­a­tion facilitat­ing Hitler’s escape– were Allen Dulles on the Allied side and Mar­tin Bor­mann for the Third Reich. Cen­tered on a quid pro quo arrange­ment, the authors hypoth­e­size that Aktion Feuer­land involved the trans­fer of Nazi tech­nol­ogy to the U.S. and the West (known as Project Paper­clip) and the sav­ing of price­less works of art from destruction.

"In that con­text, we note that thou­sands of doc­u­ments on both sides of the Atlantic deal­ing with Hitler’s post­war where­abouts are still clas­si­fied!

". . . . Dur­ing this period [the late 1940’s], the FBI was tak­ing reports of Hitler being in Latin Amer­ica very seri­ously. Thou­sands of doc­u­ments per­tain­ing to Hitler from these years are  still clas­si­fied as Top Secret on both sides of the Atlantic; nev­er­the­less, and despite the very heavy cen­sor­ship of the few files released into the pub­lic domain, some infor­ma­tion can be gleaned. . . ."

The offi­cial ver­sion of Hitler’s death is "The Last Days of Hitler by Hugh Trevor-Roper". Trevor-Roper was an agent for MI6 [British intel­li­gence] at the time and the writ­ing and pub­li­ca­tion of his book was, in and of itself, an intel­li­gence operation–a “psy-op” called Oper­a­tion Nursery.

It was crafted to coun­ter­act Soviet charges that Hitler was alive and had gone over to the West [the pos­si­bil­ity that Soviet intel­li­gence may have known of Aktion Feuer­land is some­thing to be contemplated].

Excerpts from "Rat­line: Soviet Spies, Nazi Priests and the Dis­ap­pear­ance of Adolf Hitler" by Peter Levenda [Ibis Press, 2012]:

"A British intel­li­gence offi­cer, Hugh Trevor-Roper crafted the nar­ra­tive con­cern­ing Hitler’s ulti­mate fate, begin­ning in Sep­tem­ber 1945 on a mission –called Oper­a­tion Nursery– from the Secret Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, or MI6. This intel­li­gence oper­a­tion is the source of the story we have all been told since then. It is the author­i­ta­tive ver­sion. It is based on a hand­ful of inter­views with for­mer mem­bers of Hitler’s per­sonal stuff, only some of whom served in the Bunker up until the fall of Berlin in May, 1945. This even­tu­ally became Trevor-Roper’s best-welling book enti­tled "The Last Days of Hitler".

It stands today as the defin­i­tive account of Hitler’s alleged sui­cide, even though there are barely thirty-five pages in the orig­i­nal edi­tion that deal directly with the death itself. The rea­son for this is sim­ple: there was no foren­sic evi­dence to work from. There were only state­ments of eye­wit­nesses, all of whom were Nazis and most of whom were in the SS....

. . . . If one were to take all the tes­ti­mony of all of the wit­nesses who have since writ­ten books or who have left behind tran­scripts of their inter­ro­ga­tions by British, Amer­i­can and Russ­ian intelligence offi­cers, and com­pared them to each other we would soon begin to real­ize that there is vir­tu­ally no con­sen­sus on crit­i­cal points of the story....

. . . . Whom to believe? Which version is really authoritative?

That depends on the agenda you wish to pro­mote. His­tory was being writ­ten by the vic­tors to satisfy intel­li­gence objec­tives and not to illu­mi­nate this dark mat­ter of defeat and vio­lent death. This was war, and the Allied forces were them­selves about to dis­cover that their respec­tive agen­das did not match. The Soviets had one set of goals in mind at the end of the con­flict, and the Amer­i­cans another. And the British another still. . . .

. . . . The choice of Trevor-Roper for the politically-sensitive task of deter­min­ing Hitler’s fate would seem curi­ous if not for the fact that his supe­rior, Brigadier Dick White [later to become direc­tor of MI6], intended that a nar­ra­tive be crafted that would counter the effects of Soviet insis­tence that Hitler was still alive.

What was required was not the ser­vices of a lawyer or a sci­en­tist build­ing a legal case from evi­dence but the ser­vices of some­one who could build a his­tor­i­cal text from odd bits of doc­u­ments and dubi­ous tes­ti­mony, hob­bled together with an eye towards pre­sent­ing a sin­gle point of view. In other words, the mis­sion objec­tive of Trevor-Roper in 'Oper­a­tion Nurs­ery 'was a fore­gone one: to dis­prove Soviet state­ments that Hitler was still alive.

Thus, it had to begin with the premise [pre­sented as fact] that Hitler was dead and had com­mit­ted sui­cide in the Bunker on 30 April 1945, and then be worked back­ward from there. No other interpre­ta­tion or pre­sen­ta­tion was accept­able. All he had to do was to col­lect enough “eye­wit­ness” testimony–in Ger­man, a lan­guage he did not understand–that sup­ported (or at least did not con­tra­dict) this ver­sion of evens, and com­pile them into a neat story that tied together all the loose ends that then would stand as the offi­cial ver­sion. The offi­cial British ver­sion....

Trevor-Roper only had access to two witnesses - Erich Kempka, Hitler's chauffeur, and Else Krüger, Bormann's secretary. When he wrote "The Last Days of Hitler" the following year, he only had access to two more witnesses - Hitler secretary Gerda Christian and Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann.

The vast majority of the major witnesses were captured by the Soviets and, without being charged with any crimes, spent the next ten years in Russian captivity, and were thus unavailable for many of the initial accounts of Hitler's death.

Because the Soviets kept denying that Hitler was really dead, they refused to release their interrogation notes to the other Allies.

Among these prisoners were:

Dr. Ernst-Günther Schenck, physician and operator of a casualty station in the Reich Chancellery
Hans Baur, Hitler's personal pilot
Johannes Hentschel, mechanic in charge of Bunker's electricity and water supply
Wilhelm Mohnke, Waffen SS general
Otto Günsche, Hitler's personal SS adjutant
Rochus Misch, the Führerbunker telephone/radio operator
Heinz Linge , chief valet for Hitler

Surprisingly, Trevor-Roper seems not to have interviewed any witnesses who had fallen into American hands, which means the better part of those to be found outside Soviet prisons.

It appears that instead of allowing him to meet with them, American intelligence operatives interviewed them and passed copies of their reports to him.

Some witnesses died in Soviet captivity, such as Dr. Werner Haase, the last physician to attend Hitler, who had already been gravely ill with tuberculosis in April 1945 and Helmuth Weidling who died on 17 November 1955, apparently in the custody of the KGB in Vladimir.Johann 'Hans' Rattenhuber, was released from Soviet prison on 10 October 1955 and handed over to the German Democratic Republic authorities, who allowed him to go to West Germany. He died in Munich in 1957.

The only witnesses who saw Hitler’s face were Göbbels and Axmann. It is extremely possible that all other witnesses who saw Hitler's body could have been mistaken, since his clothes were covered and only his boots and uniform legs were showing. Doubt must also be considered possible with regard to Eva Braun’s body, since both Linge and Kempka reported seeing two bodies carried out wrapped in blankets.

The fact that the British Intelligence report is so emphatic on ruling out these quite obvious details suggests a whitewash. It seems like British Intelligence were about the only ones believing Hitler died in the Bunker. which is interesting given all the links between the Royal Family and the Nazis.

Perhaps they just believed what they wanted to believe, because it suited their Propaganda narrative.

"War’s over, we’re the winners, time to go home. Hitler died a miserable, broken, wretched loser".

The Nazis exploited “Ratlines“ tied to the Vatican, which has had a huge presence in South America since the New World was discovered, to smuggle people and valuables out of Europe. More than 9000 high-level Nazis relocated to South America this way. In fact South America was described as a "Haven" for Nazis. America got its share, more than 1500 through Paperclip which became the guts of NASA and the US aerospace industry. Russia also took a large number of Nazi scientists.

There are about 50 U-Boats still unaccounted for, which lends credence to the theory that Nazis used them to flee to the ends of the earth. At least two of the U-Boats showed up in South America.

If Hitler was to escape to anywhere, it would make sense that he would go to where the largest number of his people were; and if the Nazis were to escape to anywhere, it would make sense for them to follow the Führer.

Some reports say Hitler went from Argentina to Paraguay.
 

In Paraguay, a Quaint Inn with a Dark Nazi Past
Paolo Manzo/La Stampa  
Thursday, 3 November 2011
 
SAN BERNARDINO — Experiencing the Nazi legacy in South America costs just $40. This is the rate to spend a night in the best room of the Hotel del Lago, founded in 1888 on the shores of the Ypacaraí Lake, in Paraguay, in the small town of San Bernardino, 50 kilometers east of the country's capital, Asuncion.

Given that Paraguay does not have access to the sea, the lake is the trendiest destination for a vacation. San Bernardino, however, is notorious as the place that sheltered Josef Mengele, the Angel of the Death, a German SS officer and physician in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

After Germany's defeat in World War II, Mengele fled to South America where he hid for decades.

According to unproven theories, Mengele, one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals, died in San Bernardino, not in Brazil, as usually reported. Regardless, there are plenty of other phantoms from the past in this small town, which was founded in 1881 by five German families, and still hosts a German Mennonite colony.

The hotel is still very popular and has a cultural center that promotes local craftsmanship. But behind its quiet façade and tropical setting, this village hides a long string of connections with Nazism.

Passing a 19th century Teutonic-style hall, a smiling waitress walks the visitor to the best suite of the hotel, and reveals other old stories.

The German architect Wilhelm Weiler designed Hotel del Lago. In one of its rooms, Bernhard Förster — husband of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, and brother-in-law of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, a brave explorer but also a theoretician of anti-Semitism — committed suicide. After the failure of his project to fund an Aryan colony in Paraguay, named Nueva Germania, Bernhard chose death before dishonor.

In the 1930s, Nazism became popular in Paraguay, and Förster was considered a hero to some. Adolph Hitler would later order German soil spread over his grave. Moving from the hall of the hotel to the suite, the visitor has to walk in front of Förster's room, number 19.

La Tigresa and Hitler

In one of the building's small towers, there is the favorite room of one of the most powerful women in San Bernardino, the French-German Hilda Ingenohl, known as "la Tigresa," due to her passion for hunting large felines.

"She was a Nazi supporter, worshiped Hitler's ideas and claimed to be his friend," says a woman from San Bernardino, who didn't want to give her name. Ingenohl's life had many chapters. She was born in Paris in 1874, and was a nurse in Europe during World War I. Flying was another passion of hers. Some say she was actually a pilot during the war, and that she was one of the first women who attempted, unsuccessfully, an uninterrupted aerial circumnavigation of the world.

After the end of the war in 1918, Ingenohl moved to South America. First, she went to Uruguay, upon the invitation of Grete Götsch, wife of the German ambassador, then, to Argentina, where she directed the German Hospital in Rosario, and finally to San Bernardino, which she fell in love with. She bought 200 hectares of land, but she spent most of the time in the room in the tower of Hotel del Lago.

Today, that same room still features a king-size-bed, a closet with a mirror, and large balcony which looks over the entrance of the hotel. This was Ingenohl's small kingdom, where she planned her frequent trips to Europe. She loved classical music and founded a youth orchestra. She had even met the famous Paraguayan musician Florentín Giménez. In 1953, she got cancer and moved back to Bonn, in Germany.

The hotel claims other notable —non-Nazi  guests from the past, including the French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Swedish writer Ida Bäckmann. Still, it is the link to Nazism that remains a major skeleton for both this town, and the country as a whole. Even well before Mengele's soujorn after the war, it was in Paraguay, in 1927, that the first Nazi party outside of Germany was established.

 

Ordinarily one would have suspected that Germany would have had little interest in Latin America, on the other side of the world for practical purposes, yet modern Venezuela had been turned over to the German banking family of the Welsers by Charles V in the 16th century as collateral for his loans and immigration from the German mainland to Latin America had been slow and steady. By 1896, there were at least half a million Latin Americans of German descent and the German Empire’s investments in the region were in excess of four hundred million dollars – a considerable sum a hundred years ago – while international trade reached the amount of one hundred forty-six million.

However, political interest in the Spanish-speaking Americas had been slim until the very late 19th century, when the Kaiser’s navy began to draw up a military strategy that would alarm the United States, a budding hegemonic power at the time. Both countries, lacking any apparent animus, had come to loggerheads in Manila Bay in 1898 and had almost gone to war over Samoa and the Caroline Islands as well in 1889. When the German High Command witnessed the collapse of the Spanish Empire’s last few remaining possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific, and the sudden windfall earned by a United States bent on expansion, the decision was reached to increase the size and power of the Imperial Navy, and aplan to wrest these possessions from the Americans.

It was Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz who saw the need for acquiring coaling stations and bases in the Caribbean in order to project imperial power. The islands of Curacao and St. Thomas – modern tourists destinations that hardly evoke strategic value – were eyed as possibilities. Admiral Eduard von Knorr took this interest a step further by stating that trade from the Gulf of Mexico and the Panama Canal, which was under construction at the time, could be readily intercepted from either of these Dutch or Danish possessions, which were ripe for the taking, whether by purchase or by force. The pretext for any intervention [for military action always requires a pretext] would be the need to protect the considerable German investment in the Caribbean coffee-growing regions and the steamship lines that handled the traffic between northern Europe and the Caribbean. In any event, the Imperial Navy had already intervened quite handily in two incidents, once in Haiti [1897] and once in Guatemala [1902].

From any of these dreamed-of Caribbean bases, speculated the war planners, it would be possible to launch an attack on the American mainland. Vice-Admiral August von Thomsen suggested that one of the islands – Puerto Rico – would be of great value as a staging ground for any such operations.

In the 1800s, two emerging industrial powers began to build large modern fleets: the United States and Germany. Perhaps inevitably, tensions rose between them. Each entered the imperialist race very late and had to content itself with the leftovers, which the British and French had passed by. When the United States seized Spain’s colonial empire in 1898, German jealousy raged hotly. Some German business leaders lusted for the Philippines and Puerto Rico, urging the Kaiser to purchase them from the Spanish before the war ended, or from the Americans afterwards.

German and American squadrons did not, as legend has it, almost come to blows in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War — the British spread that story, eager to cultivate American public opinion. But the German and American admirals on the scene did cultivate an intense dislike for one another, and the feelings spread to the top on both sides.

A century later, it’s difficult to say how seriously each nation’s leaders considered war with the other. On either side of the Atlantic, naval planning staffs wrote elaborate scenarios for a possible German-American naval war.

Though there’s no evidence that either nation’s Intelligence services penetrated the other’s naval staff, the two plans oddly mirror one another. Both discounted intervention by other nations. The German "Operations Plan III" posited a trans-Atlantic strike by the German High Seas Fleet to capture Puerto Rico as a base in the first phase of the war, followed by an invasion of the American mainland if the United States refused to negotiate. This second wave would attack a major U.S. port, probably New York but perhaps Savannah.

The U.S. Navy’s "Plan Black" accurately anticipated these notions, though the Americans discounted the lengths to which the Germans prepared to go. For example, the German command planned to tow its shorter-ranged ships across the Atlantic, something the Americans never considered.

Plan Black is one of the famous "Rainbow Plans", color-coded by nation. The most advanced war plans, known as Plan Orange, covered possible war with Japan. Plan Red addressed war with Great Britain. Plan Black received much less attention than Orange from the American staff, but somewhat more than Red.

María Eugenia Estades, author of "La presencia militar de Estados Unidos en Puerto Rico, 1898-1918 [The U.S. Military Presence in Puerto Rico, 1898-1918], describes one of these war plans as follows:

"Based on this initial work, the German Admiralty formulated the first 'advance plan' in 1899 for use in a possible war against the United States. The attack route envisioned a stop in the Azores to collect coal prior to proceeding the journey toward the Puerto Rico, if the attack took place in winter, or directly toward the final goal –he United States- if the invasion occurred during the summer".

German battleships shelling Boston? Infantry battalions storming the streets of New York? These events might read like something from science fiction, but new research suggests that Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was considering an attack on the United States.

The German newspaper "Die Zeit "has published a set of newly discovered documents, dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; they were found in a military archive at Freiburg, south Germany. The files relate to the Kaiser's famous desire to conquer an empire, and archivists have found a series of stunning material: plans for the invasion of the mainland United States.

Two of the most sensational strategies were created, at the behest of the Kaiser, by a naval officer called Eberhard von Mantey and then probably refined by Admiral Tirpitz. One, dating from 1897, planned a sea-borne invasion of Norfolk, Hampton and the Newport News, areas of America that were considered particularly vulnerable. The plan was changed in 1898 when American victories over Spain left the U.S. in control of Cuba, a region which Wilhem II coveted: the files show his desire to build a military base there. The revised plan called, not for a naval blockade or sea battle to aid in the capture of Cuba, but for a huge invasion of New York and the surrounding region.

Without seeing the documents it is difficult to say exactly what the plan would have been - whether the German military was aiming simply for a show of strength or whether it intended to occupy New York permanently - but some details are certain. A massive flotilla of ships would be dispatched, carrying around 100,000 troops and a terrific strength in artillery. The ships would then shell New York, Boston and other targets - the German military believed this would cause significant panic - before troops disembarked and began to plunder.

The English language media has reacted to this discovery with its traditional reactionary journalism and poor academic standards, calling the Kaiser a megalomaniac and the plans those for world domination. These descriptions may be true, but they present a gross simplification of the late nineteenth century. Historians have known for many years, just as contemporary politicians did, that the newly created Germany [or Kaiserreich] wanted an empire of foreign land, just like those of Britain, Spain and, to a lesser extent, France and Portugal. One obvious target was South America, and the new material reveals debates between the German high command, regarding bases on Puerto Rico and plans to capture the Panama Canal.

Crucially, the seizure of these lands would have brought Germany into conflict with the United States, a relatively new world power at the start of its swift rise to Superpower status. U.S. politicians were aware of the Kaiser's territorial hunger, and in 1917 the U.S. ambassador to Germany argued in favour of American intervention in the Great War because of it:

"I believe that we are not only justly in this war, but prudently in this war. If we had stayed out and the war had been drawn or won by Germany we should have been attacked, and that while Europe stood grinning by; not directly at first, but through an attack on some Central or South American State...and what if this powerful nation, vowed to war, were once firmly established in South or Central America? What of our boasted isolation then?"

-- James W. Gerard, 'My Four Years in Germany', cited from "Voices from the Great War", ed. P. Vansittart, Pimlico, 1998.

The plans for attacking the U.S. fit seamlessly into the broader desire of the Kaiserreich for an empire and a swift and shocking invasion would have demonstrated German might, possibly preventing the US from acting against German expansion; of course, that's only if the plan succeeded. Even allowing for the 1890's radically different military climate, the whole scheme is still slightly fantastical. This might be one reason why the plans were never implemented, remaining dormant until being dropped in 1906. By then, the state of world politics had changed: America's strength had continued growing while events in Europe suggested that a war might soon be fought on the continent.

Overall, the documents have a two-fold importance. For historians, they cast further light on the Kaiserreich, enabling greater insight into imperial policy and -for better or worse- allowing a few academics to draw greater comparisons with the Nazi period. For everyone else, especially the citizens of New York, the archive is a quirky, and possibly ghoulish, insight into the route history could have taken. Even if German forces had failed to subdue America, their invasion would have changed U.S. policy, and our own history.

But reality has a way of tampering with the best-laid war plans. Kaiser Wilhelm II was the first to realize that his high command had conjured up a pipe dream: at least fifty thousand men would be required to seize either Cuba or Puerto Rico, and another hundred thousand would be required for the attack on Boston and New York. Even this human steamroller would be unable to penetrate very deep into the American heartland by more than a few miles. In 1903, Vice-Admiral Wilhelm Büchsel, the new commander-in-chief of the Admiralty, came to the Kaiser with a new plan: the main goal of German strategy should consist in drawing the U.S. fleet into a battle far from its home waters, again, by occupying Puerto Rico. German interest would soon shift from the Caribbean islands — stepping-stones toward the Spanish-speaking mainland – to a number of countries including Mexico, Brazil and Argentina: an interest that would continue halfway into the 20th century

 

Hitler died in Bariloche, you know…

On 11 July 2004, a Chilean newspaper, "Las Ultimas Noticias", published a brief interview with an author whose recent book created a stir throughout South America. Abel Basti’s "Bariloche Nazi" openly suggested that the Führer had not only not died in a Berlin Bunker, but had managed to follow the escape route to South America in the company of his mistress Eva Braun. Both spent their last days in the Argentinean mountain resort of San Carlos de Bariloche in the Andes. Hitler died in 1960; no date for Braun’s death has been put forth. One of the locations singled out as "hideaways" for Hitler on his sojourn in Argentina is the San Ramón estancia or ranch, owned by the German principality of Schaumburg-Lippe; another is the Inalco Mansion on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. The San Ramón ranch, Hitler’s first home away from home, had a rather illustrious past, having been the place where Admiral Canaris, the head of German Intelligence, had been sheltered in 1915 after escaping from Chile and braving the Andes on foot to reach neutral Argentina.  Hitler’s days in Argentina were apparently uneventful, as he went for long hikes along the shores of Nahuel Huapi and took in the clean Andean air. His trademark mustache gone and his hair gone gray, the architect of the death of millions had settled down as a householder.

Bsti states that in the late summer of 1945, two former crewmen of the battleship 'Graf Spee' – scuttled in the city of Montevideo to keep it from being captured by the British Navy – had gone to an undisclosed location in Patagonia, possibly the gulfs of San Matías or San Jorge, to rendezvous with a submarine carrying some very important exiles from the shattered Third Reich. It must be remembered that the British Admiralty had issued a command to all German submarines in the high seas, after the fall of Germany, advising them to hoist a black flag or emblem after surfacing and in order to turn themselves in at the nearest port. This directly countermanded coded message 0953/4, the Nazi fleet’s last official communication, which advised U-Boat commanders of the surrender and directed that their vessels be scuttled before falling into enemy hands. 

As of 29 May 1945, the seas were believed to have been cleared of the dreaded "Wolfpacks" of Nazi subs, until one of them pulled into the Portuguese port of Leixoes, causing the Allied Command to believe that Hitler had in fact made good his escape aboard one of his subs. A few weeks later, the U.S Navy reported that four or five U-Boats remained unaccounted for.

Hunted and running out of fuel, it was a matter of time before the "dead-enders" turned up. But where? On 19 July, the Argentinean submarine base at Mar del Plata was surprised by the arrival of the U-530, commanded by lieutenant commander Otto Wermuth. A month later, the U-977, under the command of Heinz Schäffer, surfaced off the Argentinean coast and surrendered to two coastal patrol vessels engaged in exercises. Could there be more rogue submarines somewhere in the South Atlantic Ocean?

But back to Basti and his story: "The sailors," he writes, "say that they slept in a Patagonian ranch and in the early morning hours were on hand to receive the submarines. They brought trucks and loaded baggage and people onto them. One researcher spoke with the sailors —now deceased– and they confirmed the story. On the other hand, we have the proof of the evacuation and on the other, the discovery of the sunken subs". 

The convoy of Kriegsmarine U-Boats consisted of 10 vessels carrying at least sixty passengers each – Adolf Hitler among them. According to the author, the sailors went public with their story in 1950.

Allied forces managed to reconstruct the trajectory of the U-977 from its departure from Norway on 2 May, 1945 to its arrival in Argentinean territorial waters in August of that year thanks to the U-Boat’s log. Captain Schäffer and his crew had sailed underwater from Bergen to the South Atlantic without surfacing. Had the submarine formed part of the 10-ship convoy that the nameless sailors of the 'Graf Spee' had received in Patagonia?

U-977

Soon to become somewhat famous [or infamous] and the cause of wild speculation in the tabloids, the U-977, commanded by a new skipper, Heinz Schäffer, age twenty-four, sailed from Kristiansand on 2 May 1945 to patrol in the English Channel. Commissioned on 31 March 1943, in Kiel by Hans Leilich, age twenty-five, she had not previously made a war patrol. During workup in the Baltic, according to Allied intelligence documents, U-977 rammed [or was rammed by] other vessels three times. In the last incident, she incurred so much damage to the pressure hull that German authorities relegated her to school boat status.

In early 1945, Heinz Schäffer, assumed command of the boat in Hamburg, where on 20 February 20 she entered the yards to be fitted with a snort [Schnorchel]. Schäffer had made four war patrols, including one in the Gulf of Guinea, as a watch officer on the U-445, based in France. From December 1943 to December 1944, he had commanded the Type IID  training vessel U-148.

Schäffer said later that he regarded his new command as a "means of escape" from the Allies, rather than a combat vehicle. When Germany surrendered, the U-977 was outbound in Norwegian waters. Schäffer thereupon decided to cruise to Argentina and surrender to what he believed might be more hospitable authorities.

"One of my main reasons in deciding to proceed to the Argentine," he later said in an official statement to the Allies, "was based on German propaganda, which claimed that the American and British newspapers advocated that all German men be enslaved and sterilized. It was absolutely my intention to deliver the boat undamaged into Allied hands, while doing the best I could for my crew. I felt the ship’s engines might be a valuable adjunct to the reconstruction of Europe".

Having reached the decision to flee, Schäffer said, he then gave the married crewmen a choice of going ashore or going to Argentina. About a third of the crew -sixteen men- voted to go ashore. On 10 May, Schäffer ran in close to the Norwegian coast at the island of Holsenoy, unintentionally grounded the boat on some rocks, and put over the sixteen men in dinghies. He then sallied the boat off the rocks and set off for Argentina, about seven thousand miles away. All three of his officers, Watch officers Karl Reiser and Albert Kahn, engineer Dietrich Wiese and twenty-eight enlisted men remained on board. The sixteen men who left the boat were subsequently taken into custody by the British.

The voyage to Argentina was hideous. Schäffer remained completely submerged for a record sixty-six days-from 10 May to 14 July - snorting for about four hours a day. The boat crawled southward into ever greater summer heat and many men, Schäffer remembered, were on the edge of nervous breakdowns. He stopped for four hours in the Cape Verdes for a swim call and then proceeded on the surface using one Diesel to St. Paul’s Rocks, making good about 150 miles a day. When the boat crossed the equator [23 July] Schäffer authorized the customary initiation ceremony. Finally, on 17 August, after a patrol of 108 days and 7,644 nautical miles, Schäffer put into Mar del Plata.

Latin American newspapers soon published stories stating that U-977 had secretly brought Adolf Hitler to Latin America to live out his life incognito. That false story spread to the tabloids worldwide, provoking a good deal of speculation as to whether or not it could be true.

It is improbable that Hitler -or any other high Nazi official- chose to escape on U -977. Given the high rate of loss of U-Boats in the spring of 1945 [50 percent plus], the chances of survival on a fleeing submarine were extremely dim. Even if Hitler or some other high Nazi had chosen this risky means of escape, in all likelihood he would have demanded a bigger Type IX snort boat or an IXD2 U-cruiser snort boat, rather than a cramped VIIC.

Moreover, young Heinz Schäffer was an unlikely choice of skipper for such an exalted mission. He had never made a war patrol in command of a U-Boat and had not served in the Atlantic since October 1943. Furthermore, neither Schäffer nor his crew had any snort experience; U-977 had only recently been fitted with one.

Even if Hitler, notoriously prone to seasickness, chose to flee in a Type VII and to endure the hideous voyage that entailed, he would not have picked this particular VII, which had been thrice rammed in the Baltic and, because of pressure-hull damage, reduced to school-boat status. Moreover, while the U-977 was in the Hamburg shipyard to be fitted with a snort, Schäffer wrote later, the batteries "were only running at 70 percent efficiency". He had requested new batteries, but "for want of material" his requests "had been rejected". None of the thirty-two men on U-977 has come forward to confirm that Hitler [or his ashes], Martin Bormann, or other high-ranking Nazis traveled to Argentina in U-977. In the journalistic climate of the 1990s, an authentic story of that type would be worth millions.

After undergoing close interrogation by the Americans and British, in 1950 Schäffer returned to live in Argentina.

In part, Schäffer said, he published his book, "U-Boat 977" [1952], to refute the many newspaper stories and a book published in Argentina ["Hitler Is Alive"] alleging that U-977 had brought Hitler to Argentina. The rumors continued. In the fictional "Adolf Hitler and the Secrets of tile Holy Lance" [1988], Buechner and Bernhart state that U-977 carried a "funeral urn" containing the ashes of Hitler and Eva Braun and other Nazi treasures to a prearranged site in an ice cave in Antarctica, which one of Dönitz’s U-Boat crews had built in 1943.

A book written in 1956 by Jochen Brennecke, another crewman of the 'Graf Spee', described having loaded half a dozen trucks with a series of boxes stamped "Geheime Reichssache", which had been unloaded from submarines off the Argentine coast, and later taken to an Estancia or ranch deep in Patagonia. Other authors have suggested that these boxes contained the nearly ninety kilos of platinum and two thousand kilos of gold and precious jewels that formed part of the Waffen-S.S. treasure – enough to finance a war of resistance from a hidden location.

Stories like this one, or their variants, have been told for the past fifty years. The Führer and his closest advisors board a submarine [the Baltic port of Kiel is often mentioned as the point of departure] and take off for parts unknown, usually Antarctica or some South American location – Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina or perhaps even Chile – from which the Reich could reorganize and strike back at the world. Some versions posit that advanced technology in the form of "flying saucers" was brought along during the escape.

But what Abel Basti probably doesn’t know –and what many Nazi history buffs have probably overlooked– is that Hitler had cast a predatory eye on Latin America long before the rise of the thousand-year Reich. According to an article by William F. Wertz, Jr. appearing in "Executive Intelligence Review" and titled 'The Nazi-Instigated National Synarchist Union of Mexico', the Führer’s greater geopolitical strategy for the planet Earth included Latin America as a fertile and very enticing part of the world to be brought to heel.  According to Wertz, Hitler believed that the Mexican Republic was "the best and richest country in the world, with the laziest and most dissipated population under the sun…a country that cries for a capable master. With the treasure of Mexican soil, Germany could be rich and great!"

The source of this quote is none other than Hermann Rauschning, "Hitler Speaks", the governor of Danzig who left the Nazi cause in 1936 and who is better known in conspiracy and paranormal circles as the source of Hitler’s contacts with extrahuman forces that would leave him quaking in terror.

Rauschning's Phony 'Conversations With Hitler'

The supposed memoir of Hermann Rauschning, the National Socialist President of the Danzig Senate in 1933-1934 who was ousted from the Hitler movement a short time later and then made a new life for himself as a professional anti-Nazi, is one of the most widely quoted sources of information about Hitler's personality and secret intentions.

In the book known in German as "Gespräche mit Hitler"; and first published in the U.S. in 1940 as "The Voice of Destruction" translated in "The Occult and the Third Reich", by  French scholars Michel Bertrand and Jean Angelini writing under the name of Jean-Michel Angebert, Rauschning presents page after page of what are purported to be Hitler's most intimate views and plans for the future, allegedly based on dozens of private conversations between 1932 and 1934. After the war the memoir was introduced as Allied prosecution exhibit USSR-378 at the main Nuremberg "war crimes" trial, although it was explicitly mentioned and dismissed in OSS documents because of its unreliable nature.

Among the damning quotations attributed to Hitler by Rauschning is this memorable statement:

"We must be brutal. We must regain a clear conscience about brutality. Only then can we drive out the tenderness from our people ... Do I propose to exterminate entire nationalities? Yes, it will add up to that ... I naturally have the right to destroy millions of men of inferior races who increase like vermin ... Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians. It is an honorable title".

Hitler is also supposed to have confided to Rauschning, an almost unknown provincial official, fantastic plans for a German world empire that would include Africa, South America, Mexico and, eventually, the United States.

Many prestigious historians, inculding Leon Poliakov, Gerhard Weinberg, Alan Bullock, Joachim Fest, Nora Levin and Robert Payne, used choice quotations from Rauschning's memoir in their works of history. Poliakov, one of the most prominent Holocaust writers, specifically praised Rauschning for his "exceptional accuracy", while Levin, another widely-read Holocaust historian, called him "one of the most penetrating analysts of the Nazi period".

But not everyone has been so credulous. In May 1983, Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel, after five years diligently investigating the memoir, formally gathered together all of the criticisms of Rauschning's book and resoundingly debunked it at a presentation at the annual conference of the Ingolstadt Contemporary History Research Center, showing  [among other things] that Hitler was not physically present at the times and places indicated, and that the financially desperate Rauschning was paid a staggering sum of money to produce the book by French and American sources who wished to use it as propaganda.

The renowned "Conversations with Hitler", Haenel declared are a total fraud. The book has no value "except as a document of Allied war propaganda".

Haenel was able to conclusively establish that Rausching's claim to have met with Hitler "more than a hundred times" is a lie; the two actually met only four times, and never alone. The words attributed to Hitler, he showed, were simply invented or lifted from many different sources, including writings by Jünger and Friedrich Nietzsche.

An account of Hitler hearing voices, waking at night with convulsive shrieks and pointing in terror at an empty corner while shouting "There, there, in the corner!" was taken from a short story by French writer Guy de Maupassant.

The phony memoir was designed to incite public opinion in democratic countries, especially in the United States, in favor of war against Germany. The project was the brainchild of the Hungarian-born journalist Imre Revesz [Emery Reeves], who ran an influential anti-German press and propaganda agency in Paris during the 1930s published the book in 1940. It led to furious secret investigations by the top Nazis who established that Rauschning had spoken with Hitler but once, and briefly, at a diplomatic cocktail party.

Haenel has also found evidence that a prominent British journalist named Henry Wickham-Steele helped to produce the memoir. Wickham-Steele was a right-hand man of Sir Robert Vansittart, perhaps the most vehemently anti-German figure in Britain.

Germany's most influential weekly periodicals, Die Zeit" and "Der Spiegel" on 7 September 1985, have run lengthy articles about historical hoax. "Der Spiegel" concluded that Rauschning's Conversations with Hitler" are a falsification, an "historical distortion from the first to the last page ... Haenel not only proves the falsification, he also shows how the impressive surrogate was quickly compiled and which ingredients were mixed together".

There are some valuable lessons to be learned from the story of this sordid hoax, which took more than 40 years to finally unmask: It shows that even the most brazen historical fraud can have a tremendous impact if it serves important interests, that it's easier to invent a great historical lie than to expose one and finally, that everyone should be extremely wary of even the "authoritative" portrayals of the emotionally-charged Hitler era.

Readers interested in an authentic record of Hitler's personality and private views should look into the fascinating and wide-ranging memoir of Otto Wagener, published in August 1985 by Yale University Press under the title " Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant". Wagener was the first Chief of Staff of the SA ["Stormtroopers"] and Director of the Economic-Political Department of the National Socialist Party. He spent hundreds of hours with Hitler between 1929 and 1932, many of them alone.

"Hitler's Secret Conversations" is also a discredited source; at the very best, it is disputed, and no serious historian relies on this information. After WW2, there was much embarrassment over Hitler being a Christian and supported by the Christians and the Catholic and Protestant Churches. Lo and behold, we have this book, of "secret" conversations, which is where we get all the these anti-Christian quotes.

It is usually published as "Hitler's Table Talk", and is an exclusively hearsay compilation of "private" conversations in which Hitler was supposedly warned beforehand that everything he said would be recorded for posterity, yet he lowered his guard and supposedly revealed his true feelings anyway. Naturally, these feelings contrast violently with other public and private speeches or conversations, and mysteriously enough, no original documents or recordings can be found.

Yet unlike Kaiser Wilhelm II, Hitler did not envision hundreds of thousands of infantrymen and mechanized divisions crossing the Atlantic to win this prize. His plan was to make use of the German nationals living in Latin American countries as forces already on the ground, subverting the local political process with the assistance of the German industrial and economic presence in Latin America. It is not clear, though, if he ever saw himself having to take refuge in the lands he once saw as ripe for the taking.

Hitler's Secret Fortune in Argentina
Examiner [Launceston, Tas]
18 August  1941

LONDON, Sunday. - The secret German broadcasting station yesterday revealed particulars of secret sums which Hitler has deposited abroad for his personal use, says the "Exchange Telegraph" news agency. It stated that Hitler had ordered 56,000,000 Marks [approximately £3,000,000 Australian before the war], which is entered on the books of the Krupps Fund for "reserves and commissions," to be transferred via Italy, Spain and Portugal to Buenos Aires, where the money is deposited in a bank which is already holding funds for Himmler, Göbbels and Ley.

In the Shadow of the Swastika

Politically, Argentina had remained neutral throughout World War II, although it was no secret that there was a strong pro-Axis sentiment in the country. The Secretary of War at the time was Juan Domingo Perón –the legendary strongman immortalized by a Broadway musical– countermanded an initial order given to the Argentinean Navy to intercept the Kriegsmarine elements attempting to round Cape Horn and escape into the Pacific Ocean, presumably toward Axis Japan. The Argentinean fleet was instructed to return to its base at Port Belgrano; that very spring, Peron’s wife, the glamorous María Eva ["Evita"] Duarte, had received considerable deposits in her name from the Transatlantic German Bank, the Banco Germánico and the Tornquist Bank. A year later, Evita Perón visited Genoa to play an instrumental role in getting Martin Bormann into Argentina.

The long, hot summer of 1945 had been a busy one indeed: Gestapo chief Heinrich Müler had emerged from a submarine at Orense Beach in southern Buenos Aires province while other U-Boats were reportedly seen at Claromecó and Reta.

Writing in his book "ODESSA al Sur" [The Southern Odessa], Jorge Camarasa states:

"Someone had told me that Heinrich Müller had come ashore at Orense in 1945, and that the trawler 'Ottolenghi' had transferred him to Necochea, from where he headed to [the town of] Coronel Pringles to organize the escape of sailors from the 'Graf Spee 'who were interned in the old Sierra de la Ventana hotel".

Could some of these sailors have formed part of Hitler’s welcoming committee, as described in "Bariloche Nazi"?

Camarasa has worked closely with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Buenos Aires on the extradition of Nazi war criminals and his research has turned up some fascinating information, such as obtaining over fifty documents from Argentina’s naval authorities regarding a dozen reports of Kriegsmarine U-Boats on the Patagonian littoral in a forty-day period, such as landing in Quequén, and multiple sightings off the coastal tows of Comodoro Rivadavia, Ingeniero White and San Antonio Oeste. Camarasa believes that another landing occurred near the current location of Villa Gesell, where small numbers of personnel debarked bringing along boxes of unknown content. It is believed that they remained at this location for a certain time before leaving to other destinations, perhaps elsewhere in South America.

In the 1990’s the World Jewish Congress pressured then-president Carlos Menem to declassify all information regarding the presence of Nazi war criminals in Argentina, but it would not be until May 2003 that President Néstor Kirchner ordered this Ministry of the Interior to look into the "dark migration" of war criminals to his country, a task which started with the opening of that department’s files. Entry cards for one Helmut Gregor [an alias employed by "Doctor Death" Josef Mengele], for example, report his arrival in Buenos Aires in 1949 aboard a Panamanian freighter, describing him as a 38 year-old Catholic lathe operator from Germany. No further remarks are evident.

Another investigative journalist, Uki Goñi, unearthed more leads on the Nazi migration southward and the complicity of government functionaries in allowing the entry not only of former Gestapo, SS and military personnel, but also members of the Croatian Ustasche [at least fifteen war criminals among a total of seven thousand immigrants].  Two to four years after the U-Boat landings, "superstars" like Adolf Eichmann and Erich Priebke began to arrive in Argentina, allegedly aided by members of the Catholic clergy, particularly an Italian bishop who facilitated their escape through the port city of Genoa.

In his book "Historias de la Aeronàutica que Nos Hicieron Creer en OVNIS" [Aeronautical Stories that Made Us Believe in UFOs], Spain: Tetragrammaton, 2000, Spanish author Francisco Mañez reports that a number former Luftwaffe pilots, such as Adolf Galland and Hans-Ulrich Rudel, had formed part of the military migration from the fallen Third Reich to Argentina. Nor were engineers in short supply: Reimar Horten, designer of the flying wing, and Kurt Tank, a well-known aviator and director of Focke-Wolfe Aviation, soon found a dictator willing to employ their services: the charismatic and ambitious Juan Domingo Perón, the former Minister of War who had ordered his Navy not to intercept the German submarines.

But something more interesting than advanced technology aircraft was taking place at Isla Huemul. In 1952, one of Argentina’s foremost physicists, Jose Antonio Balseiro, teamed up with Ronald Richter, a scientist who had offered his skills to the Reich and had later sought refuge in the Southern Cone, to carry out the "Huemul Project", an effort at obtaining nuclear reactions through fusion rather than fission. The German scientist had convinced President Perón that his country could beat both the Americans and the Soviets to unlocking the wonders of fusion.

Peron’s ego was gratified no end by this offer, and money began to flow from the government’s coffers. The project was installed in the island of Huemul on Lake Nahuel Huapi, famous for its lake monster. It was José Balseiro’s hard-nosed report on the futility of achieving nuclear fusion that ultimately brought the project to an end, and he went on to head a nuclear physics institute that has played a vital role in training his country’s nuclear engineers

"The winds of silence," writes Máñez, "still blow over Huemul. One can play the tourist and visit the facilities which sheltered the Axis scientists and their mysterious work, but we cannot even cast a glance at the classified papers of Richter or his collaborators–Beck, Haffke, Ehrenberg, Seelman-Eggebert, Greinel, Abele and Pinardi…"

Children of the Reich

According to Chilean historian Victor Farías, "Los nazis en Chile" [Spain: Seix Barral, 2000]  the first National Socialist organization in Chile was established in the town of Osorno in April 1931, becoming instrumental in promoting the spread of Nazism throughout the country thanks to a military man, General Wilhelm von Faupel. In eight years, the Chilean Nazi Party had over a thousand card-carrying members, most of them influential figures from the spheres of business and politic

Chile is also the home of one of the most notorious proponent of what has been described as esoteric Hitlerism, former diplomat and author Miguel Serrano, whose career brought him into contact with Indian traditions while he served as his country’s ambassador to India in the 1950’s, also soaking in the same Tibetan lore and wisdom that had so fascinated European nazis. He later went on to hold a number of prestigious positions with the United Nations.

Serrano’s works on occult fascism have appeared as a trilogy whose first book bears the title "Adolfo Hitler, el último avatara", 1984 [Hitler, the last Avatar] and tries to establish a link between Nazism and the Germanic mystical tradition, the Knights Templar, the ancient Aryans and the belief in underground civilizations of supermen like Aghartha. In Serrano’s viewpoint, his ideology seeks to perform the holy task of keeping the world safe from a Zionist-Masonic plot for world domination and enshrine the sacred teachings handed down from the hidden realm presided by the "King of the World".

-- Excerpt from Scott Corrales, 'Dark Migration: Nazis in South America'

Hitler's Argentine Connection
-- Police Gazette, 1951

The Nazi underground had infiltrated the South American country so completely it became an oversea suburb of the Third Reich. When it came time for Hitler's aides to flee Berlin, they knew just where to go.

More than 100,000 Nazis fled to Argentina after the war. It was the official haven for the Third Reich fugitives and still remains a sympathetic refuge for many of the "wanted war criminals" still being sought. In 1940, five years before World War II ended, the Nazi high command chose Argentina as a prospective haven in case of defeat. Argentina was already a virtual ally of Germany. German officers were in high positions in the Army and German industrialists controlled a role in handling the "M" funds,  secret reserves, of the German Reich.

Spruille Braden, who was American Ambassador to the Argentine, and later Assistant Secretary of State stated : 

"We have never been able to ascertain fully the complete scope of Nazi infiltration into the Argentine. Our Intelligence and economic officers traced $400 million of Nazi funds into that country".

The blueprint of asylum in the Argentine had been drawn up by Martin Bormann, Hitler's most trusted aide.

Ludwig  Freude was a German-Argentine entrepreneur. In the 1940s, as the director of Banco Alemán Transatlántico [a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank] he was one of the ten richest businessmen in Latin America. He was president of the German Club in Buenos Aires from 1941 to 1945 and was one of the most important National Socialists in Argentina.

According to Uki Goñi there were rumors that Freude managed a "Nazi espionage fund". He "was already involved in financial transactions before the end of the war, which should save Nazi wealth from  Allied seizure".

His son, Rodolfo Freude, was the personal secretary of President Juan Domingo Peron, and became director of the Division of Information of his government, which functioned as the headquarters for Nazi aid in Argentina.

The Nazi agent, Carlos Horst Fuldner, an Argentine of German descent, was commissioned to investigate escape possibilities for Nazi criminals in Argentina by the head of the SD foreign minister, Walter Schellenberg.

Juan Domingo  Perón had been an admirer of the European fascist regimes and Argentina – with its large population descended mostly from Spaniards, Italians and Germans – was a natural friend of the Axis powers. Perón thought the Nuremberg Trials were a disgrace and also believed that former Nazis could come in handy in what he saw as the inevitable upcoming conflict between the USA and the USSR.  Fuldner was put in contact with Perón, who was looking for agents to help smuggle wanted Nazis out of Europe, was quickly put on the payroll, and after 1945,  assigned as an immigration official of Argentina in Genoa. He was also secretly working for Argentina’s Information Bureau and the Argentine Air Force.

The Nazis still had many friends in neutral Switzerland, and many wanted war criminals made their way there. Fuldner’s job was to smuggle as many of them out as possible. He worked closely with Swiss chief of police Heinrich Rothmund, himself a dedicated anti-Semite. Fuldner remained in Italy, with occasional visits to Switzerland, for about a year, during which time he facilitated the exile to Argentina of some 300 former Nazis and wanted criminals, including Adolf Eichmann. He returned to Argentina in September of 1948, travelling there in the company of Hubert von Blücher, who had been connected to the removal of a fortune from Germany’s banks at the end of the war.

By the early 1950’s, all of the Nazis and collaborators who wanted to get out of Europe had done so, and Fuldner didn’t need to arrange for their transportation any longer. He helped those who had settled in Argentina and remained a friend to the Nazis there, establishing a company called CAPRI which employed many former Nazis: the company supposedly worked on hydroelectric projects.

The Argentine government flatly refused to cooperate with us in developing further information of Ludwig Freude's Nazi activities and took every precaution to cover him up and protect him from our intelligence investigation. In 1945, Peron halted an investigation into Freude's activities by the Argentine Committee for Vigilance and Liquidation of Enemy Property. Perón personally vouched for Freude's integrity and ordered Committee Secretary Dr. Carlos Adroque to cease his investigations of this shady Nazi agent, who was a devoted follower of Martin Bormann. The Nazi infiltration into the Argentine government even before the collapse of the Third Reich, made the South American country a Nazi annex.

Besides Peron's personal secretary being the son of Hitler's top agent, here are some key positions top Nazis had: Dr. Johann Theiss, a former Gestapo organizer and official, became special adviser to the Argentine Federal Police and immediately appointed three other Germans as his aides. They were Dr. F. Adam, Dr. Hans Richner and J. Pächt. This connection gave Nazis control over Argentine police. Dr. Hans Koch, a notorious Nazi, the behind-the-scenes boss of the Institute de Promocion de Intercambia, which held a monopoly over all imports and exports, was another leading Nazi put into power by Martin Bormann through his friend Peron. Still others were Colonel Hans Ulrich Rudel, of the Nazi wartime air force, who became a technical adviser to the Argentine government's military aviation industry; and Otto Skorzeny, the German S.S. Commando who snatched Mussolini from his mountain prison and brought him to Germany. In the Argentine capital itself, a Nazi newspaper, the "Freie Presse", extolled the merits of fascism. A prime mover on this paper was Robert Kessler, of  the Gestapo. On his staff was Herr Freisler, notorious Hitler agent who worked for some time in Franco's Foreign Ministry before going to the Argentine.

The full story of the Nazi influence in Argentina was not known to the Allies until after the end of the war. The facts started to emerge years later. It wasn't until 1947 that U.S. Intelligence learned that in October, 1944, Hitler ordered Willie Köhn, chief of the Latin American section of the German foreign office, to travel to Argentina by U-Boat. Köhn slipped through the Allied blockade with 40 large crates. The boxes contained the Führer's personal valuables, as well as millions of dollars worth of jewels, paintings and other items which the Nazis had seized in occupied countries. The submarine surfaced off the coast of the Mar Del Plata. A tugboat operated by Buenos Aires' Defino Line ¡X then Axis-controlled ¡X brought the crates ashore. Allied intelligence agents verified this information by questioning Köhn.

More details came from seized foreign office documents. In tracing the flight of the top Nazis, Allied intelligence has established that $750 million in Nazi wealth was transferred from Germany to the Argentine in the war's waning days.

Many members of the inner circle of Adolf Hitler transferred much of their personal fortunes to Buenos Aires via Switzerland, carried in Swiss diplomatic bags by bankers to Geneva. The document proving these facts was released on 4 December 1996 by US Senator Alphonse D'Amato.

The revelation is in a newly declassified State Department, dated 16 December 1946, by an official from the US Embassy in Vienna, makes a detailed account of transfers of money from the Nazis, including their connections with front men and companies Argentina, and was released by the head of Banking Committee United States Senate, to D'Amato.

The confidential dispatch notes that the Nazis were shielded in the neutrality of the Swiss diplomats to seek sanctuary for the money they had accumulated in power, even though the German Army controlled much of Europe.  It seems that  they were not convinced of the eternity of the Third Reich.

The active participation of Swiss banks in the flight of gold and money of the most prominent members of the regime, could make them accomplices to the crimes of World War II, according to Senator D'Amato, who is a Republican from upstate New York.

"My big fear is that these bankers have facilitated the transfer of Nazi loot to Argentina and neighboring countries. If this is the case, is another sign of the complicity of Swiss banks with Nazi crimes, which should be investigated , " he says in a letter to the Swiss ambassador to the United States, Carlo Jagmetti.

"I request that an urgent answers to these questions are sought to get to the bottom of this explosive issue," says the letter from D'Amato, who is conducting an investigation in the US Senate to determine the fate of the stolen by the Nazis property during the Second World War.

Hermann Göring shipped out $25 million in cash, through the Dresdener Bank of Berlin and the Schweizer Bankverein, Geneva. His representative in Argentina, was Dietrich Bochart, a German with Argentina nationality. 

It is said that some of that money was invested in the plant Electro Metalurgica Sema Weapons in Buenos Aires, which Göring later sold to the Argentine government for 5 million pesos".

Admiral Karl Dönitz, named by Hitler as his successor, sent a fortune to a relative, Edmundo Wagenknecht, owner of a big import-export firm in Buenos Aires. Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's Foreign Minister, sent $500,000 to the Argentine firm "Securitas" in the name of his cousin, Martin, a Buenos Aires businessman, who received money from a "Swiss bank, through the account of a Nazi Diplomat". Von Ribbentrop also had $10 million deposited in Argentina in the name of Pedro Rodriguez Panchino. Robert Ley, who was the head of the Nazi labor front, invested the money that came to Argentina to buy a huge property in Bahia Blanca.

Nazi Funds in Argentina
The Argus [Melbourne, Vic] 
27 November 1944 

Alejandro Shaw, Argentine delegate to the Rye International Business conference, has been handling the funds of leading Nazis, according to "Espejo Diario", the Montevideo newspaper published by Argentine exiles. The newspaper says that one of Shaw's partners is Dietrich Bochart, representative of Göring's sister-in-law, and that she has deposited $25,000,000 in Argentina in the last three years. Göring is said to have ordered a Berlin bank to deposit in 1943-44 large sums in Argentina without Hitler's permission.

But the most vital currency transfer came when $200 million was forwarded to top Hitler aides in the German embassy. This money, believed earmarked for Hitler and his personal entourage, was used to buy a tremendous slice of Patagonia. Allied intelligence agents learned that all the currency transfers went from the Dresdener Bank of Berlin to the Schweizerischer Bankverein in Switzerland. From Switzerland the money went to the Argentine. Once the funds arrived in Argentina, they were shifted around with typical German efficiency. Some agents, reached South America this way.

Claim on Nazi Escape Route
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld]
9 September 1944

NEW YORK— Senator Kilgore has re quested the Justice Department to investigate reports that German technologists and Nazi war criminals are already arriving in the Argentine, says the New York "Herald Tribune's Washington correspondent. The Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, told a Press conference that the Argentine must make clearer her attitude towards Nazi refugees before he could comment on the Argentine's assurances that she would not give refuge to escaped German leaders.

Mr. Kilgore said that immediately after Germany's collapse a general exodus of the Fascist groups would begin from Europe to Argentina. He added that directors of German cartels, who were war criminals and equally guilty with Hitler and his gang, were sending a research staff and materials to Argentina so that the German war plans may not be entirely sacrificed in the impending Nazi collapse. Mr. Hull said that the United States Government was hopeful that Portugal and Switzerland would prevent war criminals from seeking refuge in their countries. He added that the system of hemisphere co-operation was threatened by the Argentine Fascist movement.
 

"Hitler Will Not Escape"
Northern Star [Lismore, NSW]
30 September 1944

WASHINGTON -The Soviet Embassy in a statement to the press declared that Russia's participation in the war settlement would provide the best guarantee that Hitler would not escape punishment as Kaiser Wilhelm did. The Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, said neutral nations had been warned they would lose American friendship for years to come if sanctuary was given to Hitler or other Axis leaders after the war. The Washington correspondent of the "New York Times" says Mr. Hull's warning was apparently directed against Argentina and Portugal, who have not yet given an assurance regarding the Nazi leaders.

The Argentina Foreign Office has announced that Argentina has informed Britain that war criminals would be barred entry and prohibited from depositing funds or acquiring property in Argentina.  

In 1944 General Arturo Rawson, a powerful Argentine political leader, told a U.S. embassy official confidentially that many top Nazi technicians and party bigwigs were already in his country.

On 22 January 1945, on the letterhead of the German Ministry of War, Heinrich Himmler notified Nazi cash was used to acquire control of blue chip industrial firms in various Latin American republics. Gauleiters in Germany were advised that certain party leaders would be sent abroad on a top secret mission, and during the next month 340 Nazi stalwarts received orders to leave.

Hitler Gangsters Announce 'Deaths' - Flee Germany
The Coshocton Tribune
23 March 1945

LONDON - Report of a fresh Nazi peace offensive, inspired by German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, reached London today, accompanied by a dispatch asserting that many of Hitler's key men are being spirited out of the Reich under cover of sham funerals. Underground reports seeping out of Denmark declared that Ribbentrop and other German leaders plan to use the Kalundborg radio station in that occupied country to spark a peace offensive directed to Britain and the United States. Present plans call for the radio talks to begin early next month, these reports said. Despite the planned peace drive, aimed at winning the best possible surrender terms, high-ranking Nazi officials realize that there is no hope for them in the coming months, a Bern dispatch to the "London Express" indicated.

"Die Weltwoche" of Zürich has reported that many prominent Nazis and German officers are disappearing under cover of fake funerals, turning up later with assumed names in such nations as Spain and Argentina. Among those identified as leaving the Reich in this manner were SS Colonel Olaf Fickert, who four weeks after his obituary appeared in a German newspaperman, stating he had been killed in an accident, was seen four weeks later "promenading on the Rambla in Barcelona, Spain," under the name of Wilhelm Kleinert. 

Others were identified as: Hitler Youth Chief of Staff Helmuth Möckel, who allegedly met with "a fatal accident"; however, he did not go to the great beyond but straight to his good friend Alvarez Serrano, leader of the Spanish University Militia, and Labor Service General Robert Leitner, who was given a pompous funeral at Prague last 26 January, which was attended by all prominent party, state and army officials attended by party leaders and Wehrmacht officers, and had long obituaries on the fruitful work of the deceased published by the press - but now with brand new identification papers and a brand new moustache, is travelling about the countryside under the name of "George Hanauer".

Then there are SS Leader Karl Dufais, Major General Hans Steudemann, and Ernest Frick.  As the Russians neared Berlin Soviet artillery nearly disrupted the sorrowful  "funeral" processions of these three. Nevertheless, their "bodies" were cremated, and Berlin news papers reported how they had died "heroically defending the Fatherland". They are now living in Buenos Aires.

Nazis Send Loot to Argentina 
Paving Way For Flight From Germany
The Argus [Melbourne, Vic] 
9 November 1944

From Our Own Correspondent in New York

The Nazi rulers are preparing to take refuge in Argentina after Ger- many's collapse, says the Monte Video, Uruguay, publication "Pueblo Argentino". High-ranking Nazi functionaries have arrived in Argentina on forged passports, to make arrangements for the leaders, according to the story. Among recent arrivals, it said, was Major-Gen Hans Steudmann, formerly of the German Luftwaffe staff. He entered the country on an Argentine passport bearing the name of Pedro Gassmann. He is reported to have been given the job of strengthening Argentina's anti-aircraft defences.

At Cordoba where Gestapo Müller is said to have settled after the war, Maj General Steudmann built an airfield to accept direct Ju-290 flights from Spain in 1945.

Another arrival, said to be Colonel Walther Osterkamp, was former head of the Fighter Aviation School at Werneuchen. He was admitted on an Argentine passport issued in the name of Thodore Schmidt, and today is reported to be employed in the Argentine Fighter School at Cordoba. In addition, says "Pueblo Argentino", there has been a steady influx of German engineers and technicians into Argentina, most of them arriving via Spain. These Nazis are reported to be encountering no diffi culty in obtaining advisory military jobs, or positions with local Argentine industries.

"Washington Post" columnist, Barnet Nover, commenting on the Pueblo Argentino story, says: "Those German engineers and technicians will be able to carry on in Argentina activities which will be prohibited in defeated Germany". Nover adds: "Meantime, in addition to the flow of technical personnel from Germany to Argentina, there has been a steady movement in the same direction of dollar securities, and US currency, looted by the Nazis in occupied Europe.

The Germans have approximately $750 million cached or invested in Argentina, says an "Overseas News Agency" despatch from Santiago, Chile. Göbbels has $1,850,000 in US dollars in a safe deposit box in a German-controlled bank in Buenos Aires. Von Ribbentrop has a huge account in the name of a cousin who recently received $500,000 from a Swiss bank. Admiral Dönitz and Robert Ley are other Nazi leaders who, allegedly, have cached vast sums in Argentina as insurance against Germany losing the war.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center asked the Argentine government if Adolf Hitler made bank transfers from Germany or Switzerland as part of an investigation into hierarchies and companies linked to the Third Reich. At the time, the Jewish entity presented to the authorities of Argentina a list of three hundred hierarchs, businessmen, industrialists and women of the Nazi regime, including the names of Hitler and Eva Braun. The same request - made in February 1997 and whose answer is unknown to this day - was made to the government of Switzerland.

In the letter addressed to then-President Carlos Menem and also to the head of the Central Bank, Pedro Pou, he was "formally requested to the Argentine government to initiate an investigation in the archives and corresponding registers to establish if any of the 334 persons whose Names in an attached list opened or operated any bank account in the country from 1938 onwards".

Although this list was not released publicly, Argentine journalists had access to the letter confirming that Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Erich Priebke [captain of the SS], Max Amann [financial adviser to the Führer], Helmut Gregor [false name of Dr. Mengele], Martin Bormann [personal secretary of Hitler], and Heinrich Müller, head of the Gestapo, among others were mentioned [according to "La Nación" newspaper, 19 February  2007].
 
The order - brought to Menem by Sergio Widder, representative of the Wiesenthal Center for Latin America - also included the names of entrepreneurs of German firms, such as I.G Farben, who during the war used Jewish labor.

In reference to the individuals included in the list, the document states:

"These people not only had power to decide on the life and death of human beings, but also had the means to make a personal fortune;
They could move freely, had friendships at high social and political levels, contacts with foreign countries and the possibility of opening bank accounts abroad. Moreover, these leaders knew perfectly the business of Nazi Germany with neutral countries".

It was also explained that "this list has been carefully prepared and contains the names of leaders of the Nazi party, the SS, leading businessmen and industrialists, bankers who supported and financed Hitler's plans, concentration camp commanders, men and women who stole priceless works of art and some important Reich women who were able to open such bank accounts". 

Finally, it was requested to know the current status of these accounts, if they existed and then were closed, the money withdrawn, when and by whom the deposit and withdrawal were made, and if there was transfer of funds to another country; In that case, which country and which bank.

-- "The Exile of Hitler", Abel Basti, Editorial Sudamericana. 

"Die Weltwoche" wryly concluded: "It is quite amazing how many dead are suddenly traveling around".

All other millions were diverted to the Nazi underground transportation network. This secret network were traced to Argentina. Six weeks after Germany collapsed, a number of Nazi submarines sought refuge in  Argentina,  enabling thousands of Nazis to flee Germany. By circuitous routes they traveled from Germany to Spain, then to Argentina. The Argentine government acknowledged that some had arrived, but tried to play down their importance.

Are Hitler's Men Running A Nazi Underground?
News [Adelaide, SA] 
4 March 1946

From Stanley Ross, who recently toured South America.

NEW YORK - The evidence is mounting that high-ranking Nazis, including perhaps Martin Bormann, Hitler's missing Deputy, are directing from Argentina a world wide Nazi underground. In the past three months the tremendous spearhead of Nazi power in the Argentine has been supplemented by dozens of German leaders, scientists, financiers, technicians, and military experts.

Officially these men are listed by the Allies as dead or missing, but, disguised as diplomats, doctors, entertainers, sailors, or Spanish priests, they have reached South American hide-outs by U-Boats, Spanish ships, and even Allied vessels. 

A few weeks after Berlin surrendered a German sub marine surfaced near a small boat off the coast of Patagonia one dark night. From the submarine, which Argentine underground leaders say was U-530, three persons were transferred by a small boat to a German-owned sheep ranch, where elaborate preparations had long been made to receive them. At the time, unconfirmed news reports from Buenos Aires said that U-530's passengers were Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, and Deputy Führer Martin Bormann. Whether this is true or whether the three perished in the ruins of Berlin, as Allied investigators believe, the U-530 must certainly have been on a mission of great importance. For when the submarine surrendered shortly afterwards to Argentine authorities it was discovered that  the U-530 was manned by a crew of 54 and two Captains.

Leaders of Patria Libre, the anti-Nazi Argentine underground, knew a year ago that Germany had prepared 450 to 500 hiding places in Argentina for Nazi leaders. Some officials of Patria Libre believe that the Argentine Army coup of June, 1943, was engineered by Germans to ensure protection for their hide outs in Argentina. All of them say that the Peron regime declared war on the Axis only to protect vast German interests there. Today the Nazi underground is believed to combine assets, personnel, and technical knowledge far more dangerous than most people could be persuaded to believe. In 1938, when most of us refused to recognise that a war was brewing, Nazis in South America had already made plans to disappear underground if they lost the coming war. Nazi commercial espionage directors in Latin America had arranged with German companies like Hugh Ferrostaal, of Peru, and Union Industrial, of Colombia, to secrete German assets.

Patria Libre says the Nazi organisation in Argentina has scale models, blueprints, and formulae for the terrible weapons of destruction Germany was about to produce when her armies collapsed. These are said to be in the hands of General Basilio Pertine, former Argentine War Minister, and president or a director of five blacklisted Nazi firms, including Hermann Göring's Sema Arms Factory, near Buenos Aires. In late August one of Pertines friends returned to Argentina by submarine. He is Willie Köhn, chief of the Latin-American division of the Nazi Foreign Office. One of his first contacts was Karl Friedrich Bormann, son of Martin Bormann, who had arrived in Buenos Aires six months before to arrange for the flight of his father and other prominent war criminals. At least two Nazi submarines recently have been reported off the Patagonian coast near the German owned Establicimientos Rurales del Rio Negro, which stretches many miles along the Argentine coast, and where none but Nazis have been permitted to tread for a decade. 

This giant estate and other German ranches in Argentina are now being used as receiving centres for Nazi officials and loot. In Argentina alone there is still a German army of 8,000 regulars and 50,000 S.S. troops, divided into infantry, tank corps, and cavalry. In Brazil 1,000,000 Germans operate a powerful private army, which the Uruguayan Government says plotted to invade Uruguay in 1940 and create a Nazi State. This story -never published before- is doubly important today, because the vast Nazi organisation, including 10,000 agents who plotted wholesale American sabotage in 1941, is intact, and stronger and richer than ever. In Latin America the eyes, ears, and pocketbooks of the Nazi underground are huge German commercial organisations, which control business and agriculture in many Latin American countries.

These are Nazi Germany's principal agents in Latin America today, the most dangerous men in the world: Count Karl von Luxburg, an aged Junkers diplomat, who was the Kaiser's Ambassador to Argentina during the First World War, and is now an Argentine citizen; Fritz Mandl, former Austrian munitions magnate, who created the Heimwehr Fascist Army, and is a leading member of the gang of international bankers and arms makers who have aided the escape of Nazi power to Latin America; Richard Staudt, who was Hitler's personal representative in Buenos Aires. Hans von Mellinthin; commander of the U-Boat which sank the 'Lusitania' in World War I, who is believed to be directing the clandestine U-Boat traffic in the Atlantic; and Otto Vogt von Sickeingin, a major in the Kaiser's secret service in Russia during World War I, who has been interned in Panama, but his organisation on the Amazon is still intact.

These men, and dozens like them, are part of Germany's plan to preserve her military skill, even though she has no armies. After World War I, Germany was never properly disarmed. When the Allies closed her arms plants, Germany sent her technicians abroad to carry on experiments at their hosts' expense until Germany was ready for them. German officers unable to train at home were lent to armies through out the world. While developing new techniques in mass killing, they also established political links between the Junkers and the armies of the nations they trained. Today these men have vast political power, and have at their disposition the huge arms and steel industries of Argentina, controlled by Krupps, Fritz Thyssen, Mandl, and Göring.

Hitler had a number of luxury equipped U-Boats at his disposal. Strangely, they disappeared at the same time the Führer vanished and they didn't reappear until three months after the war had ended....

Another Hitler Escape Story
Amy News [Darwin, NT]
23 June 1945 

NEW  YORK - A  "United Press" report  from Berchtesgaden says that a Nazi who escaped from Berlin on 26 April, claimed that Hitler moved from the Reichschancellery  to a command post beneath the Tiergarten Zoo in the last days of Berlin's defence. As this part of the city was the last taken by the Russians, Hitler would have had time to escape by plane.

Hitler, just before the end, had his forelock and moustache trimmed up by his personal barber, whom he told "Everything is going to be all right".  

Did Hitler Escape?
The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder [NSW]
6 July 1945 

The charred body found by Russian officers in a shelter under the Reich Chancellery was not that of Hitler, a member of Marshal Zhukov's staff told a "Daily Telegraph" correspondent in Berlin as he showed him round the Chancellery. 

"It was the body of a double and rather a poor one at that", he added. "We were so convinced that it wasn't Hitler's body that experts who examined it immediately ordered its reinterment. In the garden".

The officer added that no trace had been found of a body resembling Eva Braun, who was reported to have died with Hitler.

Mystery Body Found With Hitler May Not Be Eva Braun's
UPI Archives
8 November 1981

LONDON: The charred remains of a woman found in a Berlin Bunker with Adolf Hitler were not those of his mistress Eva Braun as had been believed for more than three decades, the "British Medical Association News Review" reported.

Citing evidence gathered by a team of University of California scientists over a 10-year period, the journal reported that Braun's dental records did not match those of the woman whose body was found with Hitler's as the Russians advanced across Germany in 1945.

Official accounts said Hitler shot himself, and Eva Braun poisoned herself in the Bunker on 30 April 1945. The bodies were than carried up to the Chancellery garden cremated together in a funeral pyre in the Reich Chancellery garden as shellfire rained down around them.

The Soviets, who carried out an autopsy on what was assumed to be Eva Braun's  body —it was burnt beyond recognition— found six teeth and a gold bridge of four artificial teeth. A team of forensic experts led by Norwegian-born Dr. Reider F. Sognnaes, emeritus professor of oral biology and anatomy at the University of California, has spent the past 10 years unearthing. Eva Braun's dental records. They found that she did not have a gold bridge, but did have two false porcelain teeth, which would almost certainly have survived a fire.

"The Russian evidence would never stand up in court," said Dr. Sognnaes, who led the research team that studied dental records and other evidence for its conclusion.

Sognnaes says the plastic parts of the bridge would in any case have exploded in the fire. He has produced evidence from Mrs Heusermann, now in her 50s, who said the bridge, had been made for Eva Braun in the dental laboratory where she worked in 1945, but was never fitted. She says the Soviets, found it in the basement dental office in the Reichchancellery, not in Eva Braun's body.  

There were other unanswered questions besides the dental evidence, the scientists concluded. For example, there were extensive shrapnel wounds to the body, but Hitler's body, which lay next to her, was unscathed.

"It is possible that Eva Braun escaped," Sognnaes said.

"After all, there were a number of men in the Bunker unaccounted for who could have helped her. No one actually witnessed her death, and there are inconsistencies in the accounts of those who took her body out of the Bunker".

But Sognnaes said there was no doubt Hitler died in the Bunker.

A report from Berlin states that few German civilians believe that Hitler is dead. They take it for granted he escaped in a plane, at least one day, perhaps more, before his death was announced. The correspondent said he questioned scores of civilians about Hitler's death. Invariably they smiled, as if wondering now I could be so credulous as to believe he is dead.

Hitler isn't dead', is the reply I have heard from people of all ages and classes", said the correspondent.

What Really Happened to Hitler?

There has been a long debate regarding the exact fate of Hitler at the end of World War Two.

His alleged physical remains amount to a few charred bones. We are left with the nagging suspicion there may indeed be more to the ending of his horrific story. The perennial question surrounding the ability of his twisted but undoubted evil genius to come up with a way out of his downfall may perhaps never go away.

Arranging the elimination of two persons so that Hitler [and Eva] could step into the vacuum of their Doppelgängers deceased lives would be the next logical step. To do so in the most unexpected environment would also be desirable. With many prominent Nazis fleeing to South America, and stories of huge stolen gold reserves, many historians have theorized about the exact fate or whereabouts of Hitler. Perhaps South America would have been the too obvious choice as there was already a knowledge of this desperate migration precedent. To become anonymous in an unexpected environment may have been a far more ingenious scheme.

Do the Russians really have his few remains? Many doubt it. His alleged successful escape becomes all the more feasible when we realize that plastic surgery was already a fine art in Germany by World War Two. The possibility of changing the shape of the nose, adding on a few pounds, getting rid of the odd idiosyncratic moustache, and adopting a very different haircut, is quite feasible.

Added to this is the fact that Hitler used many body doubles during his reign in order to dodge assassinations. Driving past in motorcades with the constant threat of a stray bullet would certainly have been a worry. What better way to be safe than to get a Doppelgänger to take his place? In that way even if there was a successful "hit" on Hitler he could stage manage a miraculous recovery to prove his "god like" status. There was in fact a mythology built up around Hitler stating he was incapable of being killed, and that he had a lucky star when it came to escapes from death. Having body doubles would have certainly added to this successful myth. Perhaps a body double was in fact killed at the Wolf's Lair attempt by Claus von Stauffenberg.

Many body doubles may have undergone plastic surgery to enhance the resemblance.

This practice of misdirection is only a small step away from the other alternative: altering Hitler's own appearance to escape anonymously.

By publicly presenting only body doubles during the last year or two of his life it would be entirely possible to privately change his own appearance.

Hitler may have altered his facial features and undergone cosmetic rhinoplasty while serving as Chancellor of Germany. As reported by Time Magazine in 1942, Frederick Oechsner, longtime United Press Central European manager, recounted in his biography of the German leader that Hitler had his nose "streamlined by a plastic surgeon," a report that was also confirmed in an official press dispatch released by the SS.

When some journalists began to notice a strange alteration in Adolf Hitler’s physical appearance, especially his nose, the SS immediately released an official press dispatch stating that Hitler had his fat nose streamlined by a plastic surgeon.

That did not, however, explain why the originally thin, straight nose of Corporal Hitler gave way to the large, exaggerated nostrils of the Führer.

According to Oechsner, Hitler’s nose had been "a little bulbous at the end and fatty on the bridge" and Hitler, after having been referred by a physician in Berlin, had his nasal shape corrected by a "well-known Munich plastic surgeon".

References

Schmölders, C. "Hitler’s Face: The Biography of an Image". Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
Cited Here...

'Inside Hitler'. Time Magazine 22 June 1942.
Cited Here...

Langer, W. C. "The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report" [Office of Strategic Services’ Hitler Source Book]. New York: Basic Books, 1972.

Oechsner, F. "This Is the Enemy". Boston: Little, Brown, 1942.


The Nazi Graveyard of Brazil

An enduring air of mystery surrounds a nine-foot high wooden cross emblazoned with a Swastika in a cemetery near the remote Brazilian jungle outpost of Laranjal do Jary. An inscription on the cross, in German, reads: "Joseph Greiner died here of fever on 2 January 1936, in the service of German research",  which was three years before WWII officially started in 1939 [a year before the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, sometimes considered the start of the war] and a decade before Nazis began making their way to Brazil, in hopes of hiding out in the South American country.

Why is there a Nazi grave in the far reaches of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest?

Researchers have meticulously documented how Nazi war criminals fled to South America in the aftermath of World War II, but much less is known about a plot that took root before and during the war: The Nazis hoped to establish a German bridgehead in South America by conquering a swath of the Amazon River Basin.

The secret plan, called the "Guyana Project", had its origins in the Deutsche Amazon-Jary-Expedition [1935-1937], supported by both Brazilian and German governments and the Nazi party's Foreign Organization [NSDAP/AO],  led by Dr. Otto Schulz-Kampfhenkel, a Berlin geographer, zoologist, explorer, writer and documentary film producer,

To assist in the operation and make it less uncomfortable to stay in the  hostile environment, full of snakes, predators, mosquitoes and other agents of tropical diseases, around of 30 experienced jungle guides of the Aparai tribe and - even - were recruited. Two of members of the expedition came from Germany,  Gerd Kahle and Gerhard Krause. The fourth team member, Joseph Greiner, though German, was a Auslandsdeutscher [a German educated abroad] and - because he spoke a good Portuguese, was recruited in Brazil.

For 17 months, the explorers under the guidance of Schulz-Kampfhenkel hacked through the forests around Brazil’s border with French Guiana.

They collected animal skulls and indigenous jewelry, and they studied the topography along the Jary River, a 491-mile tributary of the Amazon, and sending back to Berlin details of how a German soldiers should live in Brazil.

"The expedition started out with the usual scientific pretensions", writes Jens Glüsing, a longtime correspondent in Brazil for the German magazine "Der Spiegel" in his book "The Guayana-Projekt: A German Adventure on the Amazon", based on material he found in the archives of the Brazilian State Department and the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

The Germans were enfeebled by malaria and other illnesses.  Schulz-Kampfhenkel endured severe diphtheria, and an unspecified fever killed Greiner. His grave stands to this day as a testament to the star-crossed Nazi foray into the Amazon.

The expedition returned to Europe in 1937 taking hundreds of boxes containing furs, skulls, bones, teeth, feathers and bodies preserved in alcohol, materials destined for the museums of natural sciences in Germany.    

Otto Schulz-Kampfhenkel presented his plan, the "Guayana Project",  in 1940 to Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS and the Gestapo, who was in charge of approving the plan.

"The two largest  scantly populated, but rich in resources, areas on earth are in Siberia and South America", he wrote to Himmler.  "They alone offer spacious immigration and settlement possibilities for the Nordic peoples".

As Siberia semed likely to fall at that time to China, he recommended colonizing Amazonia for "people without living space".

He added: "For the more advanced white race it offers outstanding possibilities for exploitation".  The people who lived there "cannot be measured in civilized terms as we known them in Germany".

With one million German settlers in Brazil already, he argued the seed was already there for the expansion of the Third Reich and that they could secure a "bridgehead" against American influence in the region, by seizing control of French Guiana and the neighboring Dutch and British colonies [now the independent nations of Suriname and Guyana].

"Given time, the plan may be submitted again", Himmler wrote to his jungle emissary, but Glüsing found evidence, however, that Himmler had "scant interest" in his grandiose settlement plans, and French Guiana had also already fallen into the friendly hands of the collaborationist Vichy regime.

Schulz-Kampfhenkel relates about this expedition in his book "Rätsel der Urwaldhölle" [Riddle of the Jungle Hell) and produced an eponymous film, as well, but no mention made of the "Guayana Project": it remained classified by S.S. Intelligence.

In 1943 Schulz-Kampfhenkel he was promoted to Special Commissioner of geographical questions in the Reichsforschungsrat after he had been a Luftwaffe Lieutenant and SS-Untersturmführer, becoming Nazi Germany’s leading expert in aerial photo-reconnaissance interpretation.

After the war the Americans arrested him and he was placed in a POW camp in Salzburg, Austria.  Released, he died in 1989, still dreaming of a German colony amid the rain forests.


 

To Hitler, President Roosevelt’s death on 12 April 1945, seemed like a salvation reminiscent of the death of Empress Elizabeth of Russia in 1762, which had saved Hitler’s hero Frederick the Great of Prussia during the Seven Years’ War. In his order of the day to the Wehrmacht on 13 April, Hitler predicted that the fortunes of war had changed "now that destiny has removed the greatest war criminal in the world from the Earth".

Bormann was equally exultant; immediately contacting all his Gauleiters by telex, he prophesied "a total reversal in the attitude of the Western powers toward the Soviet offensive in Europe".


Stalin’s ultimate fear of a separate peace between the Western Allies and Germany, and Hitler’s ultimate hope of an accommodation with the Allies, now appeared feasible, since the champion of unconditional surrender was dead and Nazi Germany was still not defeated..

Bormann concluded his telex message with the claim that this was "the best news we have had in years.… Tell all the men, the most dangerous man of this war is dead". 

 

an excerpt from William Shirer's, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" - 'Götterdämmerung: The Last Days of the Third Reich'

One fine evening early in April Göbbels had sat up reading to Hitler from one of the Führer’s favorite books, Carlyle’s "History of Frederick the Great". The chapter he was reading told of the darkest days of the Seven Years’ War, when the great King felt himself at the end of his rope and told his ministers that if by February 15 no change for the better in his fortunes occurred he would give up and take poison. This portion of history certainly had its appropriateness and no doubt Göbbels read it in his most dramatic fashion. "Brave King! [Göbbels read on] Wait yet a little while, and the days of your suffering will be over. Already the sun of your good fortune stands behind the clouds and soon will rise upon you". On 12 February the Czarina died, the 'Miracle of the House of Brandenburg' had come to pass. The Führer’s eyes, Göbbels told Krosigk, to whose diary we owe this touching scene, "were filled with tears". With such encouragement—and from a British source—they sent for two horoscopes, which were kept in the files of one of Himmler’s multitudinous "research" offices. One was the horoscope of the Führer drawn up on 30 January 1933, the day he took office; the other was the horoscope of the Weimar Republic, composed by some unknown astrologer on 9 November 1918, the day of the Republic’s birth. Göbbels communicated the results of the re-examination of these two remarkable documents to Krosigk. An amazing fact has become evident, both horoscopes predicting the outbreak of the war in 1939, the victories until 1941, and the subsequent series of reversals, with the hardest blows during the first months of 1945, particularly during the first half of April. In the second half of April we were to experience a temporary success. Then there would be stagnation until August and peace that same month. For the following three years Germany would have a hard time, but starting in 1948 she would rise again.

...[Roosevelt dies]...

"Bring out our best champagne!" Göbbels cried. "And get me the Führer on the telephone!" Hitler was in his deep Bunker across the way sitting out the bombing. He picked up the telephone. “My Führer," Göbbels said. “I congratulate you! Roosevelt is dead! It is written in the stars that the second half of April will be the turning point for us. This is Friday, April the thirteenth. [It was already after midnight.] It is the turning point!" Hitler’s reaction to the news was not recorded, though it may be imagined in view of the encouragement he had been receiving from Carlyle and the stars.

But that of Göbbels was. "He was," says his secretary, "in ecstasy".” The fatuous Count Schwerin von Krosigk too. When Göbbels’ State Secretary phoned him that Roosevelt was dead he exclaimed—at least in his faithful diary: "This was the Angel of History! We felt its wings flutter through the room. Was that not the turn of fortune we awaited so anxiously?"

The next morning Krosigk telephoned Göbbels with his “congratulations”—he affirms it proudly in his diary—and, as if this were not enough, followed it with a letter in which he hailed Roosevelt’s death, he says, as “a divine judgment… a gift from God".

The Last Time The Germans Took Berlin
By Dr. Sergei Yakobson
Voice [Hobart, Tas]
30 June 1945

"I have no more authority over the army. In these days of despair they will do well in Berlin to think of their safety. It is a cruel misfortune. . . I have no resources left; and to teli the truth, I count everything lost". These were not the words of Hitler, watching the oncoming Russians in 1945. They were written by another German conqueror, Frederick the Great, as he watched the advance of another Russian army nearly 200 years ago.

It is not generally known that the keys of the city of Berlin, surrendered to the Russians in October, 1760, are still safely kept in Moscow's Kremlin. They were handed to General Gottlieb Heinrich Totleben, the Russian commander, on October 9th of that year, when Berlin, in a heavy equinoctial rain, opened its gates to the troops of Empress Elizabeth, indomitable daughter of Peter the Great. Terms of surrender. were imposed on Frederick on behalf of the Allies - the Allies of that Seven Years' War period being Russia, Austria, France, Poland and Saxony. Had Elizabeth remained at the helm, there might have been no such quick recovery as Frederick of Prussia made after this debacle, and the whole course of European history might have been different.

The Russian retreat gave Frederick the opportunity to resume his conquering and furnished the late Dr. Göbbels with the opportunity to tell his deluded people and the world at large that the Russians, in spite of their occupation of Berlin in 1760, were unable to hold the capital.

It so happens that the full story of events around 1760 has just come to light through the official publication last year in Moscow of secret documents bearing on the period. The documents, which disclose some remarkable resemblances between the war of 1760 and the war just concluded in Europe, do little to support Dr. Göbbels' contention. They show that the Prussians were outnumbered, outgunned and outwitted. Frederick by 1761 was at the end of his resources. The Russians, on the other hand, had excellent artillery, with guns newly designed by Count Shuvalov. Had Elizabeth's able leadership continued, German aggression might have been checked in its infancy.

The Prussian population showed no sign of opposition to the Russians; they quickly took Tilsit and Königsberg in East Prussia in 1758. The ringing of bells greeted the troops entering Königsberg. The philosopher Kant asked the Empress for the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics at Königsberg University, but was refused.    

It took the Russians two years of hard fighting before Berlin was in danger through a German defeat at Kunersdorf, near Frankfurt on the Oder. Then panic overtook the capital. Frederick moved his Court to Magdeburg. With the Russians only 15 miles away, everyone who could afford it was leaving the city. The Berlin garrison received orders to retreat as soon as large enemy formations should approach the city, and the civil authorities were to surrender the capital. On 26 September, Count Tolteben was ordered to attack, with five cavalry regiments, two Cossack regiments, four infantry battalions, and 19 guns of various calibre. This small force was to be covered by a complete army corps following at a short distance under Count Chernyshev. Its task was to seize the arsenal and other key points, and then join Chernyshev. The Russian troops were instructed to observe strict discipline, to avoid drunkenness, and to treat the Berlin population with courtesy. They appeared before Berlin practically unhindered.

An ultimatum for surrender was sent in, but rejected by Berlin's commanding officer. Efforts to subdue the city by incendiary bombs were also of no avail. Berlin seems to have had quite an efficient fire protection system. The first attack on the city gates was met by strong artillery fire. The Berlin garrison, which consisted partly of Russian, Saxon and French war prisoners, sustained heavy losses. Shortage of supplies delayed the Russian attack. However, after a few days, Russian reinforcements, with some Austrian formations, came and the attack was renewed. Counterattacks by the Prussians were repulsed, and after a terrific bombardment of the city by heavy artillery, the gates were opened. The Prussian troops withdrew in the darkness, without having given the Russians a real battle, and fled, hotly pursued by the Cossacks.

Totleben's terms were surprisingly generous. The administration of the city and its economic, religious, social and cultural life were to rernain practically unchanged, its inhabitants unmolested. The sum provided for support of Allied forces was limited to 200,000 Talers. Reparations to be paid by the townspeople were set at 1,500,000 Talers, though left open for later revision. Russian occupation of the capital was planned to last only a short time. The main object of the campaign was the de struction of Frederick's war machine. This goal achieved, the plan was to withdraw. Berlin ceased to be for the immediate fu ture an armament centre. The population decreased from 126,000 in 1754 to 103,000 in 1763. Its gun foundry was so thoroughly demolished that, according to Totleben's report, not a single gun could be produced in Berlin for two years. The Berlin powder mills were blown up. Munitions factories at Potsdam and Spandau were destroyed. Two of Frederick's lead ing gunsmiths, were arrested and removed to Russia — a serious blow to the King's war effort. Ammunition and equipment sufficient to supply the campaign for a whole Prussian army, as well as food reserves, were distributed among the Russian and Austrian troops. Hundreds of horses were appropriated by the Russians. As to the 1,500,000 Talers reparation money, one third of the sum was secured in money, a bill of exchange being given for the rest. Three of the most respectable town elders were taken to Russia as hostages until payment was completed.

Russia had no desire for German territory. She had only entered Prussia to stop Frederick's career of conquest, which had begun by carving Silesia out of Austria and was starting a new adventure in Saxony, headed for Bohemia. Frederick was ready and like Hitler, depended on a Blitzkrieg to catch the Allies unprepared. Russia, after much difficulty in holding her Allies together, succeeded in stopping Frederick. She ended, however, by discovering, as the Allies discovered after World War I, that destruction of the Prussian military machine is no guarantee of security unless proper measures are taken to prevent its revival.

Bormann commenced carrying out  the other objective of  'Aktion Feuerland' [Operation Fireland],  named for the far southern reaches of Argentina -the region known as Tierra del Fuego, or Land of Fire, at Patagonia's southernmost point- to create a secret, self-contained refuge for Hitler in the heart of a sympathetic German community, at a chosen site near the town of San Carlos de Bariloche in the far west of Argentina's Rio Negro province.


San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche, is a city in the province of Río Negro, Argentina, situated in the foothills of the Andes
on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake. It is located within the Nahuel Huapi National Park. After development of extensive public works and Alpine-styled architecture, the city emerged in the 1930s and 1940s as a major tourism centre with skiing, trekking and mountaineering facilities. In addition, it has numerous restaurants, cafés, and chocolate shops.

The name Bariloche comes from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning "people from behind the mountain" [vuri = behind, che = people].
The Poya people used the Vuriloche pass to cross the Andes, keeping it secret from the Spanish priests for a long time.

The area had stronger connections to Chile than to the distant city of Buenos Aires during most of the 19th century, but the explorations of Francisco Moreno and the Argentine campaigns of the Conquest of the Desert established the claims of the Argentine government.
It thought the area was a natural expansion of the Viedma colony, and the Andes were the natural frontier to Chile.
In the 1881 border treaty between Chile and Argentina, the Nahuel Huapi area was recognised as Argentine.

The modern settlement of Bariloche developed from a shop established by Carlos Wiederhold. The German immigrant had first settled in
the area of Lake Llanquihue in Chile. Wiederhold crossed the Andes and established a little shop called 'La Alemana' [The German].
A small settlement developed around the shop, and its former site is the city center. By 1895 the settlement was primarily made up of
German-speaking immigrants: Austrians, Germans, and Slovenians, as well as Italians from the city of Belluno, and Chileans.
A local legend says that the name came from a letter erroneously addressed to Wiederhold as San Carlos instead of Don Carlos.
Most of the commerce in Bariloche related to goods imported and exported at the seaport of Puerto Montt in Chile. In 1896 Perito Moreno wrote that it took three days to reach Puerto Montt from Bariloche, but traveling to Viedma
on the Atlantic coast of Argentina took "one month or more.

In the 1930s the center of the city was redesigned to have the appearance of a traditional European central alpine town
(it was called "Little Switzerland.") Many buildings were made of wood and stone.
In 1909 there were 1,250 inhabitants; a telegraph, post office, and a road connected the city with Neuquén.
Commerce continued to depend on Chile until the arrival of the railroad in 1934, which connected the city with Argentine markets.

Between 1935 and 1940, the Argentine Directorate of National Parks carried out a number of urban public works,
giving the city a distinctive architectural   perhaps the best-known is the Civic Centre.

Bariloche grew from being a centre of cattle trade that relied on commerce with Chile, to becoming a tourism centre for the Argentine elite.
It took on a cosmopolitan architectural and urban profile. Growth in the city's tourist trade began in the 1930s, when local hotel occupancy
grew from 1550 tourists in 1934 to 4000 in 1940. In 1934 Ezequiel Bustillo, then director of the National Parks Direction, contracted his brother Alejandro Bustillo to build several buildings in Iguazú and Nahuel Huapi National Park
(Bariloche was the main settlement inside the park).

In contrast to subtropical Iguazú National Park, planners and developers thought that Nahuel Huapi National Park,
because of its temperate climate, could compete with the tourism of Europe.
Together with Bariloche, it was established for priority projects by national tourism development planners.

Alejandro Bustillo designed the Edificio Movilidad, Plaza Perito Moreno, the Neo-Gothic San Carlos de Bariloche Cathedral,
and the Llao Llao Hotel. Architect Ernesto de Estrada designed the Civic Centre of Barloche, which opened in 1940.

During the 1950s, on the small island of Huemul, not far into lake Nahuel Huapi, former president Juan Domingo Perón tried to have
the world's first fusion reactor built secretly. The project cost the equivalent of about $300 million modern US dollars, and it was never
finished, due to the lack of the highly advanced technology that was needed. The Austrian Ronald Richter was in charge of the project.

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

In his 2004 book "Bariloche nazi-guía turística", Argentine author Abel Basti claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun lived in the surroundings
of Bariloche for many years after World War II. Basti said that the Argentine Nazis chose the estate of Inalco as Hitler's refuge.

"Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler", a 2011 book by British authors Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams proposed that
Hitler and Eva Braun escaped from Berlin in 1945 and hid at Hacienda San Ramon, six miles east of Bariloche, until the early 1960s.

These accounts are disputed by most historians, who generally believe that Hitler and Braun committed suicide on 30 April 1945I.

In Bern, the OSS Station Chief Allen Dulles had continued to cultivate his own web of contacts, despite the frustration of his hopes to support the German resistance movement prior to the July bomb plot. Both Britain and America still discouraged contact with any envoys extending peace feelers from the Nazi hierarchy, for fear of offending Josef Stalin and compromising the agreement to demand unconditional surrender. However, with the death of Roosevelt and the very heavy casualties suffered by the Western Allies during the winter of 1944–45, opinion was beginning to soften slightly in some quarters. Similarly, perceptions of "Uncle Joe’s Russia" as simply a stalwart ally against Nazi Germany were changing rapidly.

To Dulles, the advance westward of the Red Army presented a clear and present danger to Europe and to American interests in the future. Now that Allied forces had opened the Swiss borders from the west, communications with the outside world were much easier. Dulles was able to travel to Paris or London for conferences with his director, Gen. William ["Wild Bill"] Donovan, and others in the intelligence community. At the same time, Dulles enjoyed far closer liaison with the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps and the G-2 staffs at SHAEF and the U.S. 6th and 12th Army Groups, as well as with the U.S. Seventh Army as they advanced into Germany. In the winter of 1944–45, Dulles reached an agreement with General Roger Masson, head of the Swiss Secret Service, to allow the American legation in Bern to install a secure radio-teleprinter transmitter for direct communications with London, Paris, and Washington.

On 1 September 1939, the invasion of Poland marked the commencement of World War II. Fritz Thyssen sent Hermann Göring a telegram saying he was opposed to the war.

In the summer of 1940, an astonishing and sensational book by Thyssen, "Confession", was made public by a German industrialist. With Poland conquered and France in its last throes, the German General Staff was again ready for peace in the West, so that it could prepare the next stage of the war: the invasion of Soviet Russia. "Confession" denounced Hitler, and stated that German industry was prepared to sacrifice Hitler in return for a favorable peace with the nations of the West.

Fritz Thyssen was reported to be a fugitive from the Gestapo, hiding somewhere as a miserable refugee in southern France.

Thyssen was actually living in a luxurious private villa at Cannes. On one side of his villa was the home of Pierre Etienne Flandin, the notorious French pro-Nazi politician and advocate of a Franco-German alliance against Soviet Russia. Flanking Thyssen's villa on the other side was the prewar residence of Sir Neville Henderson, former British Ambassador to Berlin, one-time friend of Goering and Ribbentrop, and ardent member of the British Cliveden Set.

After the Nazi occupation of France, Fritz Thyssen continued to live in his luxurious villa at Cannes surrounded on all sides by Nazi officials and high-ranking Nazi generals.

In 1943, as Hitler's armies faced disaster in Russia, Fritz Thyssen returned to Germany. He was last seen by a Swedish correspondent early in 1944 residing at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, still ready to make peace with Britain and America "to save Europe from Bolshevism".

In January 1945, when the Red Army smashed through the crucial German defenses east of Berlin, German peace emissaries rushed frantically into Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal. Edmund Hugo Stinnes showed up in Stockholm. Franz von Papen appeared in Madrid. Dr. Hjalmar Schacht was in Switzerland. The Vatican was besieged by German couriers. In every case the reported peace offers were identical: Germany would get rid of Hitler; Germany would repay what she had stolen; Germany would disarm; Germany would disband the Nazi organizations and abolish the Nazi laws; Germany would transform herself, just as Thyssen had promised in 1940, into a "Christian state". So long as Germany could keep her economic power intact, Germany's rulers were ready to come to almost any terms with their enemies.
    
But precautionary steps had already been taken by the German General Staff and its Nazi and industrialist representatives to build hidden reserves of capital, cash, and investments in foreign countries.

-- excerpts of the book "The Plot Against The Peace" [1945] by Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn

When in early 1945, Allen Dulles from Office of Strategic Services [OSS], was commencing with ceasefire negotiations with the German forces stationed in Italy, Edmund Stinnes made his house on Lake Maggiore available.

The local negotiations were conducted on the American side by Gero von Schulze-Gävernitz, a crucial assistant of Dulles in Europe, who was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1945 for his skillful negotiations in Ascona, Switzerland, for the surrender of a million Nazi forces in World War II, with specific reference to Italy [Operation Sunrise]. He was also the brother-in-law of Stinnes.

By 1944, hairline cracks began appearing in the enemy alliance. In October 1944, Stalin had given British and American military delegations twenty-four hours to get out of Bulgaria. His invasion of Romania and Bulgaria flagrantly violated the Teheran agreements of 1941. Stalin’s annexation of eastern Poland was causing uproar in London and Washington. On 10 October, Himmler had shown Hitler a strong clue that Stalin was again putting out oblique feelers to him. At about this time Franz von Sonnleithner followed Hitler into his Bunker bedroom one evening and asked if Ribbentrop might now take up the feelers that the masseur of Madame Kollontay, the Soviet ambassador in Stockholm, was putting out. A German-Soviet rapprochement, even at this late date, was Ribbentrop’s dream. Hitler wearily threw himself onto his bed, dangling his legs over the edge, and argued against giving any sign that could be interpreted as weakness. Franz von Sonnleithner used every logical argument at his disposal. Finally Hitler agreed to the request – but added cynical words that sent a chill down the diplomat’s spine:

"If this does lead to peace with the Soviets, we shall have to fight them all over again on some more propitious occasion. Communism is never going to abandon its aim of Bolshevik world domination. Nobody else will be able to fight this battle. I myself shall have to win it for the German people".

In Britain, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden admitted in Parliament that relations with Stalin were strained.
 

Meanwhile the OKW instructed German military attachés not to discuss the coming East–West conflict at all.

Hitler Admits Peace Hopes
The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Qld.]
20 October 1944

LONDON, 19 October [A.A.P.]— Hitler has admitted his hope for a stalemate on the Western Front and an "escape" peace for Germany.

He said in decree broadcast from Berlin last night, in which he announced the formation of a German home guard:

"We must and shall succeed, as we succeeded in 1939-41, not only in breaking the enemy's determination to destroy us, but also in driving back hostile forces, keep ing them clear of the Reich until a peace which guarantees the future of Germany and her allies, and thereby is a safeguard to Europe".

Meanwhile, General Eisenhower's headquarters has announced that all Germans guilty of major offences against the Allied Military Government will be punished by death. Hitler's decree for the formation of a home guard — "Deutscher Volkssturm" — places authority to execute the plan in the hands of Himmler. All males from 16 to 60 will be trained and organised for the defence of Germany.

Himmler, the Gestapo chief, has broken his seven years' radio silence to warn the German nation that 'the enemy must pay for every mile of German soil with a river of blood". In a broadcast, he said: "Every farmstead, every tenement block will be defended by men who don't fear death; and if they fall, by women and girls".  Himmler, who was addressing a mass meeting of the home guard companies in East Prussia, admitted that there were people in Germany who were asking if the home guard call-up was really necessary.

"Days of our successes and happiness were followed by times of misfortune," he said, "but the war now has become very difficult for our enemies. They want to finish it quickly. They want to, and must, break through to Germany very quickly, or they will overstrain their forces. Contrary to British and American expectations, we have formed a new west front some 540 miles long. We have fortified it strongly for defence".

"Offences against the Allied military government that will be punishable by death will include espionage, conduct supporting the enemy or the Nazi Party, unlawful possession of firearms and other war material, including wireless transmitters, looting, sabotage, destruction of public or private records, theft of Allied war material, and misleading the Allies".

This was announced by General Eisenhower's deputy chief of staff for civil affairs [Brigadier General Julius Holmes].

Detailing Allied policy for the occupation of the Reich, he said that the Allied military government, under General Eisenhower, would be the supreme authority, and would control all communications and services.

"The German people would be treated fairly, but opposition to the Allies would be strictly dealt with. Ordinary democratic standards of justice will prevail," he said. "'English will be the official language until Germany's affairs have been straightened out. Financial deals within Germany will be strictly controlled.  A special occupation currency will be introduced; Germans refusing to accept it as legal tender will incur serious penalties. Newspapers will be suspended until licensed for publication. People who have been imprisoned for purely political crimes will be released, and cared for".

Hitler once had said that he would fight on until "a peace that is honourable, acceptable to Germany, and will safeguard the life of her coming generations becomes possible". Faced now with this Soviet invasion, Hitler sceptically authorised Ribbentrop’s first cautious feelers to the western powers. These might yet drive a wedge into the enemy alliance: sources strongly suggested that it was falling apart. Both Roosevelt and Churchill refused to accept Stalin’s "Lublin Committee" puppet government and his proposed frontiers for Poland; after all, Britain had gone to war over Poland’s integrity in 1939.  "There must be people in Britain who can see what it is they are demolishing!" Hitler exclaimed in exasperation to his adjutants.

By this time, it was clear to almost everyone that the war in Europe was entering its last stage, but whatever sensibility Hitler had was disappearing. The rational strategy for the Germans would have been to hold the line as well as they could in the East and simply wait for the British and Americans to roll up from the West, sparing Germany a degrading occupation by the loathsome Bolsheviks.

In fact, for the moment the situation in the East was stable and such a strategy was practical. Hitler hardly considered it. He intended to hold out to the bitter end, hoping for the chance that some miracle, above all a falling out between the Soviets and the Western Allies, would save the day. In hopes of such miracles, on 16 December 1944, he threw 300,000 troops against the Americans in the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and Luxembourg. The offensive achieved tactical surprise and, with Allied air power neutralized by nasty winter weather, made good progress at first. However, American resistance solidified and the offensive began to grind down, failing to reach critical objectives.

Stalin was planning on moving very soon, having decided to jump off on 12 January 1945. His decision to move up the date from 20 January was due to a message sent him by Winston Churchill dated 6 January 1945, in which Churchill asked Stalin to move against the Germans to help relieve the pressure in the Ardennes.

The German offensive in the Ardennes had been broken by Christmas 1944, with Hitler ordering the withdrawal of his forces on 7 January. The fighting in the West wouldn't die down until late in January, but by the time the Red Army jumped off on 12 January, the Wehrmacht was trying to escape back to Germany, and no rescue was really needed. The Soviet action was still all for the good, since it made perfect strategic sense for the Red Army to attack while German forces were under pressure and in disarray. The Western Allies actually did Stalin more of a favor than he did them, by effectively destroying the last substantial German combat reserves, making the job of the Red Army substantially easier.

On 16 September 1944,  Hitler attended his regular war conference, and listened somewhat apathetically to the routine details of the latest situation on the Eastern Front. When the situation report was over, Hitler asked certain senior officers to remain behind. Among them was a relatively unknown Luftwaffe general, General Werner Kreipe, who represented "Fat Hermann" as the Luftwaffe head, Hermann Göring, was known behind his back.

Kreipe, who knew that both the Luftwaffe and its commander had fallen into disfavor at Hitler’s court, did something that day which could have cost him his life if he had been discovered. He kept a diary record of the proceedings, something which was totally illegal. He recorded in that diary that Jodl explained there were currently 55 German divisions on the Western Front confronting 96 enemy divisions. Almost in passing, Jodl mentioned that the Germans were presently enjoying a breathing spell in the Eifel and Ardennes Forest sector, where 80 miles of front were being held by a mere four U.S. divisions.

Suddenly, at the mention of the Ardennes, Hitler came to life. He raised his hand dramatically and, as Kreipe’s diary states:

"The Führer interrupts Jodl. He had resolved to mount a counterattack from the Ardennes, with Antwerp as the target . . . the present front can easily be held. Our own attacking force will consist of thirty new Volksgrenadier divisions and new Panzer divisions, plus Panzer divisions from the Eastern Front. Split the British and American armies at their seam, then a new Dunkirk! . . . Our offensive will begin in a bad-weather period when the enemy air force is grounded . . . [Field Marshal Gerd] von Rundstedt will take command".

Finally a new and seemingly invigorated Hitler ordered the select few senior officers present to keep this secret plan to themselves "on pain of death".

On the same day Hitler announced to his generals what would be known to them as the Rundstedt Offensive, though the aged, cognac-drinking field marshal always scornfully disclaimed any responsibility for it, and to the Allies as the Battle of the Bulge.

What then do we make of Hitler’s decision to attack in the West under such circumstances? His Reich was already under intense pressure from East and West. His people were weary, and 70 percent of Germany’s great cities had suffered tremendous damage due to years of Allied bombing.

In this context, it might be noted that all great men often have seemed to their critics to have done things that were not quite normal or even abnormal, they listen to their inner voices and not those of their advisers. They go their own way, regardless of the consequences. This may explain Hitler’s decision to launch the last great German counterattack of the war against the American forces in the Ardennes. All his generals were against his decision.

In the event, all of them were wrong. Hitler’s attack shattered two American divisions within days. The Germans took 25,000 U.S. prisoners in the first week and were well on their way to the River Meuse, the last natural barrier between their armored spearheads and Brussels, the Belgian capital, and the great Allied supply port of Antwerp.

Hitler had correctly interpreted the Allied situation in the West during those early days of September. He had realized that General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s broad front strategy, which entailed bringing up all the Allied armies to the German frontier before attacking, had meant the enemy forces were too thinly spread. According to the traditional German strategy of "'klotzen und nicht kleckern" [mass not spread], any German army massing at one particular spot where the enemy was thinly spread, such as in the area defended by General Troy Middleton’s VIII Corps in the Eifel-Ardennes, would inevitably ensure a breakthrough. This it did in the Bulge.

Hitler had seen, too, that there was little real cooperation between the Anglo-American armies, especially when General Bernard Montgomery, the British commander, had proved such a thorn in Eisenhower’s side. A successful breakthrough at the seam between those two armies might well knock Britain out of the battle, especially since the British were scraping the barrel for manpower. Churchill purportedly was carefully husbanding his resources to protect the future interests of the British Empire and perceived Roosevelt as intent on doing away with it—something which Hitler had also believed.

What Hitler had not considered when he had started on Germany’s last great military adventure in the West were the imponderables. The foremost of these was the stubbornness of some of the American troops. The Führer thought the Americans would break and allow the whole front to be shattered as his Central European and Italian allies had done at Stalingrad. They did not.

Then, there was the weather. He had hoped for bad weather for the whole of the battle so that the Allies would not be able to use the massive superiority of their air forces. But, the weather obeys no one, not even military geniuses. It broke, giving clear blue skies in which Allied fighter bombers could fly and create havoc among the defenseless German troops below.

Finally, there was the inability of the attacking Germans, relying on a quick dash to the great Allied port of Antwerp in the style of the 1940 Blitzkrieg, to find fuel necessary for the armor to complete such a lightning stroke. The tanks ran out of the "juice," as the Germans called it. It was something else that Hitler apparently had not taken into consideration. If he had, he had not given it the importance it needed. However, military geniuses, mad or sane, mainly believe what they want to believe, blind to factors that do not fit into their plans.

In the final analysis, Hitler failed in the Ardennes. His armies did not reach their objectives. The Battle of the Bulge was a German defeat. In retrospect, however, one cannot truly say that it was an Allied victory. Not only did it postpone the end of the war for another two months and cost the valuable lives of many thousands of Allied servicemen, but it also enabled the Soviets to win a great political victory. Due to Allied entanglements and shortcomings in the West during the winter of 1944–45, the Red Army was allowed to penetrate deep into the heart of Central Europe.

Within months of the end of the war, General George S. Patton, Jr., was already telling one of Eisenhower’s deputies:

"I really believe that we are going to fight them [the Soviets], and if this country does not do it now, it will be taking them on years later when the Russians are ready for it and we will have an awful time whipping them".

The Cold War was on its way, and one might say that this 40-year struggle, which involved the Korean and Vietnam wars, was in a fashion, Hitler’s revenge. Crazy or not, the Führer had, on that day in September dreamed up a long-term scenario of death and destruction in his Bunker in that remote East Prussian forest.

With his Ardennes offensive still causing acute embarrassment to the Allies, Hitler had authorised Ribbentrop – probably on 2 January 1945 –  to draw up proposals for the western governments. By the nineteenth, when Ribbentrop brought the document to him, the political climate seemed even more propitious; London and Washington could surely find little comfort in the Red Army’s immense offensive. The document proposed that Germany retain her national frontiers and renounce both her economic autarky and her ambitions to a hegemony over Europe; that freedom of religion would be restored, and the Jews resettled somewhere in an international community. The proposal was stated to reflect the views of ‘authoritative sources in Berlin including the foreign minister.’ Hitler approved it. Ribbentrop signed it and sent Dr. Werner von Schmieden, who had a distinguished League of Nations record, to Switzerland to make contact with  Allen Dulles and an equivalent British official. Now they could only wait for a reply. 

One belief consoled Hitler: the consternation that this Soviet avalanche must be causing in London and Washington. He instructed Ribbentrop to feed to the British Intelligence networks a phoney report that Stalin was raising an army of two hundred thousand German Communists; under General Paulus and other captured German officers, this "army" was to march westward and set up a puppet government, for example in Königsberg.

"That’ll shake them – like being jabbed with a cobbler’s awl!"

In a further recorded dialogue with Jodl and Göring on January  Hitler mused, "I don’t know – do you think the British can still be watching this entire Russian development with a thrill of excitement?" "No, definitely not", replied Jodl. "Their plans were quite different". "They certainly never bargained," seconded Göring, "for us standing firm in the west and letting the Russians conquer all Germany meanwhile. If it goes on like this we’ll be getting a telegram in a few days’ time. . . They went to war to stop us moving east – not to have the east coming right up to the Atlantic!" It was in this mood of Schadenfreude that Hitler conducted two lengthy conferences with Ribbentrop early in February, and then on the seventh with SS General Karl Wolff –now chief police representative in occupied Italy– as well. Wolff described the western Allies’ "increasingly concrete peace feelers extended via Switzerland". Hitler took note of his remarks, and, thus encouraged, Wolff began secret talks with the same Allen Dulles whom von Schmieden had been sent to contact in Switzerland.

Hitler’s authority was crumbling; one instance was his ministers’ unauthorised peace feelers to the enemy. Ribbentrop sent his English affairs expert, Fritz Hesse, to Stockholm, and when the Swedish press exposed Hesse’s mission on 15 March 1945 –earning for Ribbentrop a thunderous rebuke from Hitler – a few days later the foreign minister again sent von Schmieden to Switzerland and Consul Eitel Friedrich Möllhausen to Madrid, to seek terms for a halt to the "frightful bombing and carnage". Hitler halted all such feelers, causing Reichsmarschall Göring to refer to his stubbornness in a private conversation late in March.

In his diary General Karl Koller noted that when he complained about the lack of clear directives from Hitler, "The Reichsmarschall agreed – he is just as much in the dark. F[ührer] tells him nothing. Nor is it permissible to make the slightest political move, for example, the attempt of a British diplomat in Sweden to contact us was strictly rebuffed by F.  The Führer flatly forbids Reichsmarschall to make any use of his own comprehensive contacts abroad. . . Again and again the foreign minister [Ribbentrop] submits fresh possibilities to F., but he just turns them down".

The Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer identified a certain rare character whom Fate has raised from total obscurity to eminence and who ever afterward believes that the same forces will never wholly desert him in his hour of misfortune – that no abyss is really bottomless, but that when he has plumbed its depths he will once again be lifted to the heights. Such a man was Hitler. The "race" between East and West to reach Berlin had convinced him that the two world hemispheres must within months be at war with each other, a war from which Germany would emerge as the "tertius gaudens," the "third who benefits".  Had his war lasted the full seven years, he might indeed have reaped the Cold War’s rewards. Until the very last days of his life his Intelligence experts would nourish his beliefs with evidence of the coming conflict.

For Hitler the springtime had brought encouraging signs for the future, which blinded him to the remorseless approach of the enemy armies. His jet reconnaissance planes had reopened the skies over England and Scotland. in March the first XXI submarine had set forth, bound for the east coast of the United States. In February, Stalin had lost 4,600 tanks, against a monthly output of only 2,300; in the first twenty-two days of March no fewer than 5452 Soviet tanks were claimed destroyed. "The enemy’s reserves will shortly be exhausted," the General Staff assured the Führer. In the beleaguered fortresses of Breslau and Königsberg German garrisons were still holding out.

A group of Soviet agents parachuted into Berlin on the night of 7-8 April, admitted under interrogation that their mission had been to find out what plans the Allies had made for attacking the Russians; if even Stalin expected such a clash, then Hitler intended to keep his Reich in existence – however battered and however diminished – until then.

Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk also noted in his diary a talk with Göbbels on 9 April, in which Göbbels described how Germany had put out cautious peace feelers. The Russians and Americans had reacted positively, but the British had rejected them out of hand.

On 12 April, American President Roosevelt died of a brain hemorrhage, Vice-President Harry Truman taking his place. The Führer got the news next day and was ecstatic, seeing it as the turning point of his fortunes. Soon, Hitler predicted, the Soviets and the Western Allies would fall out and be at each other's throats

On 16 April a mighty Russian artillery barrage began all along the Oder and Neisse rivers. Nearly half a million shells thundered down on the –now virtually abandoned– German forward  positions.

Hitler's secretary Christa Schröder asked timidly whether they would now be leaving Berlin. Hitler answered almost resentfully, "No. Calm down – Berlin will always be German!" The secretary replied that she regarded her life as spent already. "But I can’t quite see how it’s all going to end, with the Americans coming closer every day on one side and the Russians on the other". "Time!" explained Hitler. "We’ve just got to gain time!"

There are clues in the documents as to how long Hitler believed he could postpone the end: for example, he had ordered the General Staff to provision the Berlin area with logistics sufficient to hold out for twenty days, should the city be surrounded. If open conflict had not broken out between Stalin and the Americans by then, Hitler realized, his gamble had failed; it would be his "Eclipse," to use the code name assigned by his victorious enemies to the post-war carve-up of the Reich. By 15 April, the document outlining this plan – captured from the British in the west – was in his hands; its maps revealed that Berlin was to be an enclave far inside the Russian occupation zone, divided like Germany itself into British, American, and Russian sectors. What encouraged Hitler, studying these maps, was the fact that the American spearheads, in reaching the Elbe, had already encroached on Stalin’s zone, while the Russians had duly halted at the demarcation line on reaching Saint-Pölten in Austria late on 15 April. Foreign Armies East reported that Russian officers were apprehensive that the Americans were preparing an attack ["We must drench the Americans 'accidentally' with our artillery fire," Russians had said, "to let them taste the lash of the Red Army"].

Over and over during the next two weeks Hitler restated the belief that sustained him: "Perhaps the others" –meaning Britain and the United States– "can be convinced, after all, that there is only one man capable of halting the Bolshevik colossus, and that is me".  This was the point of fighting an otherwise hopeless battle for Berlin. So far the British had been blinded by their hatreds, but the Americans suddenly proved more amenable. On the night of 17 April, SS General Hermann Fegelein –Himmler’s representative– informed Hitler that the secret talks between SS General Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles in Switzerland had resulted in draft terms for a separate armistice on the Italian front. The enemy alliance could thereby be torn asunder. At three a.m. the Führer sent for Wolff and congratulated him. He asked the general not to leave Berlin until the next evening, to give him time to think it over. "I am grateful that you’ve succeeded in opening the first doorway to the West," he said. "Of course, the terms are very bad". But by five p.m. his mood had hardened again. Strolling with Wolff, Kaltenbrunner, and Fegelein in the Chancellery garden, he enlarged on his own hopeful theories. "I want the front to hold for eight more weeks. I am waiting for East and West to fall out. We are going to hold the Italian fortress at all costs, and Berlin too".

Hitler’s malevolently brilliant brain was still functioning logically and flexibly. His doctors were later unanimous in agreeing that his sanity remained intact until the end, even though his bloodshot eyes had now became so poor that he had to put on spectacles to read even the documents typed on the special big-face typewriters. 

The Bunker conferences devolved only on the defences of Berlin. Hitler’s last stratagem began unfolding. Göbbels’s ministry released the news.:

"The Führer is in Berlin. . . Our leadership has resolved to remain in Berlin and defend the Reich capital to the end".

The realist in Hitler whispered that defeat was inevitable. Eva Braun wrote to her sister that 23 April:

"The Führer himself has lost all hope of a happy ending".

Later that day, however, she added:

"At present things are said to be looking up. General Burgdorf who gave us only a 10 percent chance yesterday has raised the odds to 50-50 today. Perhaps things may turn out well after all!"

Before Keitel returned to Wenck’s headquarters, he came in to see Hitler and quietly inquired whether any talks at all were proceeding with the enemy. Hitler replied that he must win "one more" victory – the Battle for Berlin. He disclosed that he had asked Ribbentrop to discuss further steps with him that evening. Ribbentrop’s only proposal however was to have top Czech industrialists flown that night to France, where they would attempt to persuade the Americans to protect Bohemia and Moravia from the Bolsheviks. "The Führer has agreed to this," Ribbentrop informed Karl-Hermann Frank by letter. For the first time Hitler now admitted to Ribbentrop that the war was lost. He dictated to Ribbentrop four secret negotiation points to put to the British if he got the chance. "If the Continent was to survive in a world dominated by Bolshevism, then somehow London and Berlin must bury the hatchet". He instructed Ribbentrop to write secretly to Churchill in this sense. "You will see," Hitler predicted. "My spirit will arise from the grave. One day people will see that I was right".

The Swiss authorities were far more amenable to the clandestine activities of the Allies now that defeat was looming for Nazi Germany. Nevertheless, in February 1945, the military situation both on the German border and in Italy remained problematic.

The campaign in the Rhineland had become a protracted battle of attrition as the Allies fought their way up to the Rhine, the last physical barrier to Germany’s industrial heartland in the Ruhr. In Italy, the Allies were stalled below the Gothic Line, which stretched from coast to coast across the Apennine Mountains. On both fronts, Allied casualties were depressingly high and German resistance remained dogged. The whole Italian campaign had been a grinding series of costly attacks against successive German hilltop defense lines, and now there was a prospect of the Wehrmacht’s retreating in good order into the mountain reaches of the Alps. In SHAEF there were growing concerns about the existence of a "National Redoubt" in that region, where the last remnants of the Nazi regime and its diehard defenders could congregate for a final stand that might last for months or even years.


The "National Redoubt" 1945

 adapted from a map included in Seventh Army's
"Report of Operations, France and Germany, 1944-1945" Vol. III

  

The able German commander in chief of Army Group Southwest, Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, still had more than a million troops under arms in northern Italy and the Alpine regions. Worse still, the Soviet Union was now claiming hegemony over Austria and Yugoslavia. The latter would give the Soviets possession of warm-water ports on the Adriatic and immediate access to the Mediterranean Sea—a strategic nightmare for the West.

As the fall of Germany approached, the Nazi Leaders reverted to an ambitious project created by Gauleiter Franz Hofer who had become high commissioner for the Italian Tyrol and the Southern Alps. The project foresaw setting up an incredible fortress in the mountains, including parts of Italy, Austria and Bavaria. Hofer submitted his plan to Hitler's aide, Martin Bormann in November 1944, but he had prepared for this moment back in 1938 when Nazi agents carefully mapped all mountain passes, caves, bridges, highways, and located sights for underground factories, munitions dumps, arms and food caches. To complete work on this fortress, Hofer demanded a slave labor force of a quarter of a million, 70% Austrian workers and 30% men of the Tyrolese home guard. So-called U-Plants were to be set up underground as gigantic workshops and launching pads for the secret weapons which were to turn the tide of the war in favor of the Nazis. Among these were some 74 tunnels along Lake Garda, in Northern Italy, which were to be adapted and transformed into a vast assembly plant by FIAT of Turin in close collaboration with the department of Minister Albert Speer. Seven other tunnels along Lake Garda, near Limone, were to produce several weapons tested at the Hermann Göring Institute of Riva del Garda.

According to the archives of the German High Command and of the Allied Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee, other plants in vital areas of Central Germany, code named M-Werke, were to produce powerful missiles such as the giant A.9/A.10 destined to destroy New York and Washington.

But most important was the Alpine area, for it was from there that the supreme weapons were to come.

While we know that one of Hitler's Doppelgängers died in the Berlin Chancellery Bunker, an elaborate suicide cover-up would have been required for an important reason: To hide the true whereabouts of the Southern Redoubt, which was never found by the Allies and which, according to some observers, was the secret site of Nazi nuclear weapons research. To conceal its location, it would have been necessary to spread a new propaganda  myth that there never was a hidden Mountain Redoubt, no Nazi nuclear weapons site, and the Führer directed the war from his Berlin Bunker, where he finally committed suicide.

Franz W. Seidler, the author of "Phantom Alpenfestung? Die geheimen Baupläne der Organisation Todt" discovered plans and maps from the Organization Todt, for a real Alpenfestung, the National Redoubt that many of the Allies feared, but was more hype than real.

The author shows that, given six months or a year more, this Alpenfestung would surely have been a reality. There were plans for tunnel installations, including FHQs and HQs for all the armed forces, all over the place in the Berchtesgaden/Salzburg areas [and elsewhere]. Many of these were started, but got little beyond the initial excavation phase.

If the war had gone on, almost all the critical German industry and command/control centers would have been in underground bomb-proof facilities ... facilties made by slave laborers from concentration camps.

As it was, by 1945, Thüringen already had a massive underground installation making V-1s, V-2s, and jet engines [Mittelwerk/Mittelbau/Dora site, near Nordhausen]. Another underground site near Jena made Me-262 jets. Work had started on what was apparently a secret underground Führer HQ and command/control center in the Jonas Valley, near Erfurt.

Another underground site east of Salzburg had a functioning petroleum refinery. Underground installations in the Berchtesgaden area were equipped with enough supplies to last several months, if not years. These underground facilties were certainly no myth, but the war ended before most of them amounted to much.

History has it that not only were the Germans at war, which required much in the way of manpower, but they took on incredible projects such as constructing huge underground complexes at Nordhausen in the Harz mountains, Pennemünde and others.

During the summer of 1943, the Peenemünde research centre was seized by the SS. Brigadeführer Hans Kammler was Himmler's most trusted aide.  He had a reputation of being the man who could get things done. 
     
The Reichsführer-SS wanted underground  factories for the production of war materials in natural caves and underground tunnels "completely impervious to Allied bombs",  and Kammler succeeded in creating underground workshops and living quarters from a cave system in the Hartz mountains in central Germany in what Albert Speer, writing to congratulate him, called "an almost impossibly short period of two months" a feat, he continued, "unsurpassable even by American standards".

In March and April of 1945, General George S. Patton and his Third Army were not racing towards Berlin, but across southern Bavaria.

They were, claims author Joseph P. Farrell, in his book, "Reich of the Black Sun", making haste towards

(1) the huge Skoda munitions works at Pilsen;
(2) Prague; and
(3) a region of the Harz Mountains in Thuringia

One is informed by countless history books that this maneuver was thought to be necessary by the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force [SHEAF] because of reports that the Nazis were planning to make a last stand in the 'Alpine National Redoubt' a network of fortified mountains stretching from the Alps to the Harz Mountains. The Third Army's movements, so the story goes, were designed to cut off the "escape route" of Nazis fleeing the carnage of Berlin. Maps are produced in old history books, accompanied in some cases by de-classified German plans - some dating from the Weimar Republic - for just such a Redoubt. Case settled.

However, there is a problem with that explanation. Allied aerial reconnaissance would likely have told Eisenhower and SHAEF that there were precious few fortified strong points in the "National Redoubt". Indeed, it would have told them that the "Redoubt" was no redoubt at all. General Patton and his divisional commanders would most certainly have been privy to at least some of this information. So why the extraordinary and almost reckless speed of his advance, an advance the post-war Allied Legend would have us believe was to cut off the escape route of Nazis fleeing Berlin, who it turns out weren't fleeing, to a Redoubt that didn't exist?

Hitler, during a conference with his generals in the Bunker in 1945, made the wild pronouncement, when questioned by one of them as to why the strongest and best formations left to the Wehrmacht were deployed, not in defence of Berlin, but of Prague, that Prague was the key to winning the war. Allied military intelligence also confirmed that the strongest SS Panzer formations were deployed in the vicinity of Prague, an order of battle that, on the plain face of things, made no military sense to them, other than, as the Allies' own estimates of the situation concluded, that Berlin had ceased to be an important economic and military target.

Located near Ohrdruf, Thuringia was located the S-III Führer Headquarters. Constructed by approximately 15 - to 18,000 inmates of the nearby Ohrdruf, Espenfeld and Crawinkel concentration camps, from autumn 1944 to spring 1945, was a tunnel system over 1,5 miles in length.

Ohrdruf was reached by General Patton and his Third Army about 11 April 1945. Colonel R. Allen accompanying him described the installations extensively in his book:

"The underground installations were amazing. They were literally subterranean towns....others were reported in near-by villages. None were natural caves or mines. All were man-made military installations. The only communication shelter, which is known, is a two floor deep shelter, with the code "AMT 10".

"Over 50 feet underground, the installations consisted of two and three stories several miles in length and extending like the spokes of a wheel. The entire hull structure was of massive reinforced concrete. Purpose of the installations was to house the High Command after it was bombed out of Berlin. This places also had paneled and carpeted offices, scores of large work and store rooms, tiled bathrooms with bath tubs and showers, flush toilets, electrically equipped kitchens, decorated dining rooms and mess halls, giant refrigerators, extensive sleeping quarters, recreation rooms, separate bars for officers and enlisted personnel, a moving picture theatre, and air-conditioning and sewage systems".

--"Lucky Forward: The History of Patton's 3rd US Army", Col. Robert S. Allen, published by Vanguard Press, New York, 1947

The Führer headquarters at Ohrdruf is not admitted by academic historians. The evidence for it, however, is strong:

a. S-III was an SS military factory complex below Jonastal near Ohrdruf where 1,000 Buchenwald inmates began digging in June 1944. No decision had been taken to build a Führer headquarters in Thuringia before 24 August 1944.

b. In September 1944, a geologist consulted by SS-WVHA regarding the suitability of Jonastal for a Führer headquarters suggested the Ohrdruf Truppenübungsplatz instead.

c. In October 1944, General von Gockl, Ohrdruf Truppenübungsplatz commandant, evacuated all Wehrmacht personnel from the plain. Within a fortnight the notorious Ohrdruf-KZ had been set up while SS-Führungsstab S-III, in charge of the Führer headquarters project, occupied a school at nearby Luisenthal. Firms working on building projects in Poland were ordered immediately to Ohrdruf.

d. At the end of 1944, Hauptsturmführer Karl Sommer, the deputy chief of the Prisoner Labor Allocation Department of the SS Economics and Administration Main Office [SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt - SS-WVHA], assembled a workforce at Buchenwald to build a secret Führer headquarters named S-III at Ohrdruf. S-III had a fully-equipped telephone-telex exchange before work started, thus identifying it as around Amt 10.

e. Hitler's Luftwaffe adjutant Nikolaus von Below stated in his memoirs that in early 1945 he visited the location of the new Thuringian Führer headquarters and it was at the Ohrdruf Truppenübungsplatz.

f. In late January 1945, Hitler spoke openly of evacuating Ministry staff from Berlin "perhaps to Oberhof in Thuringia".

g. In compliance with order 71/45 and the communique from Führer headquarters Berlin issued by Wehrmacht ADC General Burgdorf on 9 March 1945, General Krebs of the Army General Staff reported that between 12 February and 29 March 1945 a substantial proportion of OKW Staff had transferred to the Ohrdruf area.

h. On the nights of 4 and 12 March 1945, "a small explosive of terrific destructive power" was tested on the Ohrdruf Truppenübungsplatz. 200 KZ inmates and 20 SS guards were scorched to death on the first test due to a miscalculation of the extent of the effect. The bodies were immolated on a common pyre, the ashes being scattered across central-Germany from aircraft. In mid-March, a 30-metre long rocket was reported test fired into the night sky from a weapons site within five miles of the Truppenübungsplatz.

In early March 1945, Organization Todt began work on the Brandleite railway tunnel at Oberhof to accommodate the special trains of Hitler and Göring, installed a telephone exchange in the station-master's house and positioned flak batteries on surrounding peaks.

It is known that Hitler did personally visit and address the officers of the German Ninth Army, operating in that precise area, on 13 March 1945:

"We have invisible aircraft, submarines, colossal tanks and cannon, unbelievably powerful rockets, and a bomb with a working that will astonish the whole world. The enemy knows this, and besieges and attempts to destroy us. But we will answer this destruction with a storm and that without unleashing a bacteriological war, for which we are also prepared.... All my words are the purest truth. That you will see. We still have things that need to be finished, and when they are finished, they will turn the tide". 

On 17 April 1945, the United States Atomic Energy Commission inspected various underground workings at Ohrdruf, and removed technical equipment before dynamiting surface entrances. The US authorities have classified all 1945 documents relating to Ohrdruf for a minimum period of 100 years.

Fortunately for researchers, in 1962 a quasi-judicial tribunal sat at Arnstadt in the then DDR, to take depositions from local residents for an enquiry entitled 'Befragung von Bürgern zu Ereignissen zur örtlichen Geschichte'. The enquiry was principally interested in what went on at the Ohrdruf Truppenübungsplatz [TÜP] in the latter years of the war. The depositions became common property in 1989 upon the reunification of Germany and may be viewed at Arnstadt town hall.

Despite the stern injunctions from London and Washington, Dulles did not ignore the increasing number of approaches he received from various parties and individuals representing members of the Nazi hierarchy—notably Heinrich Himmler—in search of a separate peace agreement with the West. The first came in November 1944 through the German consul in Lugano, Alexander von Neurath. He was followed in December by SS and Police General Wilhelm Harster, the immediate subordinate to SS and Waffen-SS General Karl Wolff, the supreme SS and police leader and de facto military governor of northern Italy. In January 1945, an emissary from Wolff reaffirmed the possibility of a separate agreement for the surrender of all German forces in Italy. To Dulles this seemed too good an offer to refuse out of hand, so he initiated negotiations with Wolff under the designation of Operation Sunrise [also subsequently known as Operation Crossword]. The first face-to-face meeting between representatives of Dulles and Wolff took place on 3 March 1945, at Lugano. Paul Blum, the X-2 counterespionage chief for the Bern station, acted for the OSS, and SS General Eugen Dollmann represented Wolff. As a gesture of good will, the Germans agreed to release two prominent Italian partisan leaders—one was Ferruccio Parri, who became prime minister of Italy in June. Five days later, Dulles and Wolff met in person at a safe house in Zürich. With Kesselring’s departure for the Western Front on 10 March 10, the negotiations faltered, but they resumed on 19 March  when Wolff actually agreed to permit an OSS radio operator dressed in German uniform to be stationed in his own headquarters at Bolzano for better communications. This agent was a Czech known as “Little Wally,” who had escaped from Dachau concentration camp.

Significantly, Wolff also submitted a list of art treasures from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence that he was willing to return intact if the surrender talks prospered. Throughout these delicate negotiations, Dulles kept Washington informed via Gen. Bill Donovan at OSS headquarters, but from there, news of the contacts was quickly passed to the suspicious Soviets. There were several Soviet spies in the OSS. including Maj. Duncan Chaplin Lee, a counterintelligence officer and legal adviser to Donovan, and Maurice Halperin, head of research and analysis in the Latin America division.

Fearing a separate peace, an  incensed Stalin cabled Roosevelt and Churchill:

"The Germans have on the Eastern Front 147 divisions. They could without harm to their cause take from the Eastern Front 15–20 divisions and shift them to the aid of their troops on the Western Front. However, the Germans did not do it and are not doing it. They continue to fight savagely for some unknown junction, Zemlianitsa in Czechoslovakia, which they need as much as a dead man needs poultices—but they surrender without resistance such important towns in Central Germany as Osnabrück, Mannheim, and Kassel. Don’t you agree that such behavior by the Germans is more than strange, [it is] incomprehensible?"

Both Roosevelt and Churchill angrily rejected the Soviet leader’s implications, but the damage was done. Roosevelt finally recognized the threat posed by Stalin and the Soviet Union just two days before his death. This episode was, essentially, the beginning of the Cold War. Stalin now refused to endorse the agreed separation pact of Austria and Germany to allow the former to become once again an independent state. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff expressly forbade the continuation of the talks with Wolff. Intelligence about these contacts had reached Bormann, and SS and Police Gen. Ernst Kaltenbrunner also ordered that such negotiations cease immediately—he and Bormann did not wish to jeopardize their own agenda.

A fellow Austrian, Kaltenbrunner had joined Hitler’s inner circle following the July bomb attempt, when as chief of the Reich Main Security Office he took charge of the investigations leading to the arrest and execution of the plotters and the imprisonment of their families. The fearful retribution exacted by the tall, cadaverous, scar-faced Kaltenbrunner earned him much favor with the Führer. In December 1944, he was granted the parallel rank of General of the Waffen-SS [important in that it gave him military as well as police authority] and the Gold Party Badge. On 18 April 1945, he was appointed commander in chief of the German forces in southern Europe. Europe. Kaltenbrunner’s adjutant, the former SD intelligence officer Maj. Wilhelm Höttl, had already passed information to Allen Dulles concerning the creation of the National Redoubt. Höttl renewed the connection with the OSS in February 1945 through an Austrian friend of his, Friedrich Westen—a dubious businessman who had profited from expropriations of Jewish property and from slave labor. Both wished to ingratiate themselves with the Americans [though not at the expense of offending Kaltenbrunner and, by extension, Martin Bormann], and the stories they told soon became even more misleading and devious.

During early 1944, when Höttl was in Budapest organizing the transportation of Hungary’s Jewish population to the extermination camps, he had become friendly with Col. Árpád Toldi, Hungary’s commissioner for Jewish affairs. Now, a year later, Toldi was in charge of the “Gold Train.” This was laden with Hungary’s national treasures, including the crown jewels, precious metals, gems, paintings, and large quantities of currency, much of it stolen from Hungary’s Jews. The train— whose value was put at $350 million [approximately $6 billion today]—was destined for Berlin and was moving westward to escape the advance of the Red Army. As it passed through Austria, Höttl advised Kaltenbrunner of its presence, whereupon the train was stopped near Schnann in the Tyrol and many especially valuable crates were offloaded onto trucks. The contents and the whereabouts of those crates remain unknown to this day. Ostensibly, Höttl was instructed to use the Gold Train as a bargaining chip with the OSS in an attempt to arrange a separate truce for Austria like the deal that was under discussion in Italy. Yet again, Dulles sent an intermediary—this time a senior OSS officer named Edgeworth M. Leslie—for the first meetings with Höttl on the Swiss-Austrian border.

In his debrief to Dulles, Leslie reported that Höttl "is of course dangerous": "He is a fanatical anti-Russian and for this reason we cannot very well collaborate with him … without informing the Russians.… But I see no reason why we should not use him in the furtherance of [common] interests … namely the hastening of the end of the resistance in Austria by the disruption of the [Redoubt].… To avoid any accusation that we are working with a Nazi reactionary … I believe that we should keep our contact with him as indirect as possible". Believing that Höttl was a conduit to Kaltenbrunner, Dulles agreed: "This type requires utmost caution". Concurring, Gen. Donovan advised, "I am convinced [that Höttl] is the right hand of Kaltenbrunner and a key contact to develop". During these early meetings, Höttl revealed more details about the National Redoubt. He also stated that a Nazi guerrilla movement known as 'Wehrwolf' [Werewolf] had been organized over the past two years, with access to hidden arms dumps, explosives, and ample funds. They could muster some 100,000 committed SS soldiers and fanatical Hitler Youth under the command of another Austrian, SS Lt. Col. Otto Skorzeny—an old friend of Kaltenbrunner’s and Hitler’s favorite leader of Special Forces, whose impressive reputation was well known to the Allies.

These "details" were actually disinformation, but they succeeded admirably in causing consternation at SHAEF, particularly to Gen. Eisenhower. As his chief of staff, Gen. Bedell Smith, stated, "We had every reason to believe the Nazis intended to make their last stand among the crags".

Since the Breakout from Normandy, Gen. Eisenhower had pursued a measured strategy whereby the disparate Allied armies, under their often fractious and competitive commanders, advanced on a broad front. Although ponderous, this plan was politically astute and in tune with the moderate capabilities of conscript armies. Massed firepower, inexhaustible logistics, and overwhelming air support were the answer to superior German tactical performance on the battlefield. Only once did Eisenhower deviate from this strategy, when a failure of Allied logistics halted the broad advance and he accepted the bold plan for Operation Market Garden—the attempted airborne thrust deep into Holland. If it had succeeded, then a rapid advance eastward across the north German plains would have brought Berlin within reach. The capture of the enemy’s capital city and the triumphal parade through its streets following victory has always been the ultimate ambition of all great commanders. But Eisenhower’s ambitions were maturing and he had every reason—both humanitarian and pragmatic—to shrink from the prospect of losing 100,000 GIs during a prolonged and bitter street battle for Berlin.

Over days of brooding, Eisenhower revised his strategy for the campaign in Europe. On the afternoon of 28 March 1945, he declared his intentions in three cables. One was a personal message to Josefh Stalin—the only occasion during the war when Eisenhower communicated directly with the Soviet leader. The second was to Gen. Marshall in Washington, and the third was to Field Marshal Montgomery, commander in chief of the British-Canadian 21st Army Group in northern Germany. Against vehement protests from some of his generals—particularly Patton and Montgomery, who each wished to lead an assault on Berlin—Eisenhower stated that the main thrust of his armies was to be southeastward toward Bavaria, Austria, and the supposed National Redoubt. Berlin was to be left to the Red Army. Eisenhower was seeking valuable military plunder, not empty glory. The German Army crumbled before the might of the Allies, who rushed to take not just the territory of the former Reich but its art, industrial secrets, and scientists.

By now the Swiss Authorities were becoming increasingly disconcerted by the number of Nazi emissaries and fugitives trying to cross into Switzerland, many of whom were being held by Swiss border guards. The Swiss indicated to Allen Dulles that it would be desirable if his talks could be conducted more discreetly and preferably not on their territory. They were not trying to be obstructive but they wished to maintain the facade of neutrality to the last. Their greatest fear remained a flood of refugees descending on Switzerland, so an early resolution to the war was their chief priority. As always, Dulles had an elegant solution. Due to a historical anomaly on the maps dating back to 1798, the Italian enclave of Campione d’Italia on the shore of Lake Lugano was totally surrounded by Swiss territory, with only water access from Italy. During the dark night of 28 January 1945, about twenty OSS agents invaded Campione—at that date the sovereign territory of Mussolini’s rump Italian Socialist Republic—and claimed it for the Allies. The six Carabinieri policemen defending the enclave offered no resistance. Thereafter, the Swiss authorities could turn a blind eye to OSS activities in Campione, so long as they were discreet. From the enclave OSS agents were infiltrated into Italy and, in March and April 1945, Campione became the venue for feverish negotiations during Operation Sunrise.

Meanwhile, other members of the Nazi hierarchy were trying to save their own skins by opening negotiations with the Western Allies. It remained the dearest dream of Heinrich Himmler to construct an anti-Soviet coalition or, at the least, a truce in the West that would allow the Nazis to continue the struggle against the Bolshevik hordes. This baffling delusion was shared by Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and by Himmler’s trusted subordinate, SS Gen. Walter Schellenberg, the chief of the SD foreign intelligence department. All three tried to seek peace through contacts in both Switzerland and Sweden.

In January 1945, Schellenberg was in Switzerland trying to cut a deal with the former federal president of Switzerland, Jean-Marie Musy. While there, he passed word through Gen. Henri Guisan, chief of staff of the Swiss army, that he wished to contact Allen Dulles, but this came to nothing. In March, Ribbentrop was seeking a separate peace with the British through the Swedish banker Marcus Wallenberg, whose business interests had prospered so greatly through trading with the Nazis. Himmler sought a similar agreement through the Swedish diplomat Count Folke Bernadotte. As an inducement, some 17,000 mainly Scandinavian prisoners in Germany’s concentration camps were returned to their homelands in convoys of "White Buses" in a Red Cross humanitarian mission. In return for a prompt peace in the West, Himmler was willing to spare and release the 400,000 Jews remaining in Germany and to this end he ordered the evacuation and destruction of the extermination camps in the east; in the aftermath, however, an estimated quarter million camp survivors lost their lives while being herded westward on freezing death marches.

There were conditions to Himmler’s proposals, not the least of which was a demand for an assurance that no black occupation troops would be allowed to enter Germany, in the interests of "racial hygiene". The Western Allies were not interested in the deluded Himmler’s grisly deals or in a separate peace. They wanted unconditional surrender and the spoils of war. In particular, they wanted Nazi weapons technology, gold, and loot. [It was Allied policy to restore gold to its rightful owners as well as looted art, but in fact this restitution took many years and some spoliated art has still not been returned to its rightful owners to this day; many museums across the world have artifacts of dubious origin from the Nazi era that do not bear too close a scrutiny as to their provenance]. Martin Bormann was willing to give the Western Allies what they wanted—in exchange for the survival of Adolf Hitler, himself, and a small coterie of the "mountain people".

The Hungarian Gold Train arrived on 8 April 1945, within the confines of the so-called National Redoubt at Werfen in the Salzach valley, where it was hidden from Allied aircraft in a tunnel. Höttl, now code-named "Alperg" by the OSS, revealed the existence of the train during further discussions with Edgeworth M. Leslie. He also imparted information concerning the whereabouts of other repositories of Nazi treasure hidden across Germany and, just as importantly, reinforced the proposal of SS Gen. Wolff to return the treasures of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence—looted artworks were now an inducement in any deal.

A radio-telephone link was established between the OSS in Bern and the Austrian SS faction under Gen. Kaltenbrunner centered on the Villa Kerry, his home at Altaussee in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. Bormann now had a direct line of communication to Allen Dulles via Ernst Kaltenbrunner and Operation Crossword. During the second half of April 1945, events in this shadowy endgame of the European war accelerated day by day. On the fourteenth, Allen Dulles met Gen. Donovan at the Ritz Hotel in Paris to explain his conduct over the peace overtures from the Nazi hierarchy. Gen. Donovan was anxious to return to Washington in the wake of Roosevelt’s death, to befriend the new president and cement the position of the OSS. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were furious with Dulles and the OSS following the acrimonious exchange of cables between Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill concerning Operation Sunrise/Crossword. William J. Casey [later director of the CIA from 1981 to 1987] was present at the Ritz meeting and observed that "Dulles fidgeted in his chair, alternately outraged and embarrassed.… Bluntly put, all hell broke loose".

Dulles protested that as yet nothing concrete had emerged from his discussions with SS Gen. Wolff and that everything could still be plausibly denied as far as the Soviets were concerned. Even so, Donovan closed down Sunrise/Crossword negotiations for the time being, but allowed the negotiations with Ernst Kaltenbrunner to continue since the White House was not yet aware of them. As Dulles ruefully commented about the situation: "It is easy to start a war but difficult to stop one". Donovan and Dulles decided to keep knowledge of the Kaltenbrunner talks between themselves, as security had become inexcusably lax. Too many interested parties were aware of the various putative peace plans emanating from the Nazi hierarchy via Switzerland or Sweden—including the Soviet spy Kim Philby, who later recalled, "The air was opaque with mutual suspicions of separate peace feelers".

On 20 April 1945, Hitler's birthday, was hardly an auspicious occasion. Himmler and Göring were present at the Führerbunker in Berlin to mark the event, but both quickly left the capital, never to return. Göring departed for Berchtesgaden in Bavaria to supervise the arrival of his art collection in eight railroad cars from Carinhall, though there were few suitable places left to hide it. The Western Allies were now racing eastward across Germany toward their rendezvous with the Red Army on the Elbe and Mulde rivers. Montgomery’s 21st Army Group had turned north-eastward and was advancing toward Oldenburg, Bremen, and Hamburg. On their right, William H. Simpson’s U.S. Ninth Army and Courtney Hodges’s First Army had reached the Elbe at Magdeburg and the Mulde beyond Leipzig. Patton’s Third Army had swung southeastward, forging ahead for the Czech border. Any defended village that surrendered promptly was spared; those that did not were utterly destroyed, to become "Third Army Memorials"—stark reminders that Patton’s men had passed this way.

To Patton’s south and inside his wheeling movement, Alexander Patch’s Seventh Army had just reached Nuremberg. To the south again, Jean de Lattre’s French First Army had reached the outskirts of Stuttgart and was heading for the Danube and Austria. The Obersalzberg, the top Nazis’ retreat in the Bavarian Alps, would soon be cut off from northern Germany and from Berlin in particular. For Bormann the situation was becoming critical, since the Soviets were about to surround Berlin, with Red Army troops extending pincers forward from the north and south. As yet, the Führer was refusing to leave the capital. Aircraft of the Fliegerstaffel [flying squadron] des Führers—Hitler’s personal air transport unit—were standing by at the Berlin airports of Gatow and Tempelhof to fly him to Bavaria, Spain, or elsewhere, but they would soon be within range of Soviet artillery guns. Similarly, long-range flying boats of Kampfgeschwader 200—the Luftwaffe’s special missions wing—were ready to fly the Führer even further, from a base at Travemünde on the Baltic coast. Seaplanes were even stationed by night on Lake Havel, ready to fly the Nazi hierarchy out of Berlin at a moment’s notice. The Ost-West-Asche (East-West-Axis boulevard)—between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Monument, in the heart of the city—had been cleared as a makeshift runway.

On 20 April, Bormann instituted Operation Seraglio, whereby many government staff and records, including Hitler’s private papers, were dispatched to Bavaria. That night ten transport aircraft were assembled at Gatow for evacuation to Munich. Nine arrived safely but the tenth crashed into the Heidenholz Forest while flying at treetop level and disintegrated. Many of Hitler’s personal papers were consumed in the burning wreckage. At that stage it was intended that the Führer and his entourage would fly south two days later, on 22 April. Meanwhile Allen Dulles resumed the Operation Sunrise negotiations with SS Gen. Wolff, despite Donovan’s recent orders to cease the mission. On 23 April, Karl Wolff indicated to Dulles that he now had full powers to order the surrender of all German troops in Italy after discussions in Berlin with Hitler and Bormann on 18-19. On 24 April, both Kaltenbrunner and SS Lt. Col. Hans Helmut von Hummel flew south to Austria to take over the negotiations of Crossword from Höttl. Helmut von Hummel was Bormann’s adjutant responsible for maintaining the records of all the Führer’s looted art holdings and the locations where they were hidden. The most important of these repositories was at Altaussee, close to Kaltenbrunner’s home, where an old salt mine now contained the vast majority of Hitler’s art collection; this hoard was to be a major factor in any deal with Dulles.

Events were now moving at such speed that the two originally separate sets of negotiations under Sunrise/Crossword—with Wolff and with Kaltenbrunner—were inextricably linked. On 26 April, Höttl reported to Kaltenbrunner on the results of another visit to Switzerland, at which he had agreed with the OSS officer Edgeworth M. Leslie to arrange a personal meeting between Dulles and Kaltenbrunner at Feldkirch in Austria, close to the Swiss border. Dulles realized that Höttl was purely a stooge and that much of his information concerning the National Redoubt was highly suspect. Dulles knew that Austria could not surrender in the same manner as Italy had in September 1943. Despite the formation of a provisional government that month, the country remained an integral part of the German Reich. Whatever emerged from these talks, the sands were running out for Austria, since the Red Army tanks of the 3rd Ukrainian Front were advancing rapidly westward after the capture of Vienna. There had to be an ulterior motive for Kaltenbrunner to be negotiating—and that was explained by Martin Bormann’s proposals.

In Bormann’s characteristic style—the carrot and the stick—Kaltenbrunner and Hummel indicated to Dulles that Bormann was willing to provide the Allies, as an inducement or "carrot", with information as to the whereabouts of all the Nazis’ looted art. It would be handed over intact, together with the remainder of the national treasure of Germany, including its gold deposits, currency reserves, bearer bonds, and industrial patents—except, of course, for the substantial part of this treasure that Bormann had already secreted abroad. An additional and supremely attractive carrot was Bormann’s undertaking to deliver to the Allies examples of the most modern weapons technology together with the whereabouts of the designers, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 team, and the nuclear scientists of the Uranium Club. Furthermore, the ceasefire in Italy would be ratified immediately. But what was the desired price for such treasures? A blind eye turned to the escape of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Martin Bormann, Heinrich “Gestapo” Müller, Hermann Fegelein, and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. The rest of the Nazi hierarchy were to be abandoned to their fate. The "stick" was simple. Germany now claimed to be capable of bombarding the eastern seaboard of the United States with weapons of mass destruction; considerable effort had been invested in selling this disinformation to U.S. intelligence agencies, with some success. These weapons incorporated warheads armed with the most toxic nerve agents ever devised, Sarin and Tabun. In addition, many repositories of artworks hidden in deep mine shafts would be destroyed with explosives and buried forever. A high proportion of the greatest works of art produced during centuries of Western civilization was now held hostage, and this threat was entirely credible following Hitler’s "Nero Decree" of 19 March. Officially titled “Demolitions on Reich Territory,” this decree ordered the utter destruction of all German industrial infrastructure and technology; although not included in the official order, it also implied the destruction of cultural assets and the elimination of any key personnel who might be useful to the Allied powers. The decision lay with the Allies, but the clock was ticking.

On 25 April  the city of Berlin was surrounded by the Red Army, and troops from Gen. Ivan Konev’s army group had made contact with GIs from Hodges’s U.S. First Army on the Elbe River. Germany was cut in half by a broad belt of Allied-occupied territory, with only the extreme north and south still under Nazi control. The largest daylight raid on Berlin so far had been launched on 3 February 1945. In total, 937 Flying Fortresses dropped 2,298 tons of bombs, killing thousands of people and inflicting massive damage on the city, including the government quarter. Among the other government buildings hit that day were the Reich Chancellery on the corner of Wilhelmstrasse and Voss-Strasse, where Bormann’s office was badly damaged; the Gestapo headquarters on Prinz Albrechtstrasse and the Reichsbank on Hausvogteiplatz were virtually demolished by a string of bombs. 

The president of the Reichsbank, Dr. Walter Funk, decided to transfer the bulk of the bank’s cash and gold reserves to safety outside of Berlin. The treasure was shipped to Merkers in Thuringia, two hundred miles southwest of the capital. There, bullion and currency with a value of about $238 million were deposited deep underground in the Kaiseroda potassium mine, alongside a huge cache of artworks. This was but one of 134 repositories dotted across the Third Reich under the control of Martin Bormann. In accordance with Hitler’s Nero Decree of 19 March, many of them were now rigged with high explosives to prevent their falling into the hands of the Allies. In the salt mines at Altaussee were the most valuable pieces in Hitler’s collection, including Michelangelo’s 'Bruges Madonna', Jan van Eyck’s 'Adoration of the Mystic Lamb' or Ghent Altarpiece, and many other priceless treasures. Among the innumerable crates were eight that were marked 'Vorsicht—Marmor —nicht stürtzen' [Attention—Marble—Do Not Drop]. Placed underground between 10 and 13 April, these contained not statues but half-ton Luftwaffe aerial bombs. Also primed for destruction was the accumulation of most of the artworks looted from France and the Low Countries, now stored in the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. Nothing was intended to survive the coming Götterdämmerung of the Third Reich.

Among the Allied Troops poised to deny the Nazis the chance to destroy their secrets were Cdr. Fleming’s Red Indians of 30 Advance Unit. Intelligence on where to search was now flooding in from the OSS office in Bern, thanks to the dialogue between Dulles and Bormann. The unit’s Team 4, under Lt. Cdr. Patrick Dalzel-Job, began now flooding in from the OSS office in Bern, thanks to the dialogue between Dulles and Bormann. The unit’s Team 4, under Lt. Cdr. Patrick Dalzel-Job, began driving northward between Bremen on the Weser River and Hamburg on the Elbe. Their task was to capture the latest U-Boat technology. Surging ahead of 21st Army Group, Team 4 of 30 AU was the first Allied unit to enter the major port of Bremen. They accepted the surrender of the city by the mayor some twenty-four hours before the arrival of conventional forces, and a small detachment of Royal Marines captured sixteen U-boats. Further south, Lt. Cdr. Jim Glanville’s Team 55 set off on 14 April for Schloss Tambach near Bad Sulza in Thuringia, where they captured the complete records of the Kriegsmarine from 1850 up to the end of 1944, including all the logs of U-Boats and surface ships. These archives were of immense value to Allied naval authorities and were judged to be one of the most important intelligence hauls of the entire war.

Meanwhile, after their success locating the uranium ore for the Alsos Mission, Team 5 under the command of Lt. James Lambie was searching the Harz Mountains for the underground V-2 assembly facility at Nordhausen, following instructions from SHAEF to capture documentation and personnel connected with the ballistic missile program. The Monuments Men were also hard on the heels of the combat troops, on their way to safeguard the major caches of artworks hidden across Germany, including the castle of Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, which was saved from destruction on 4 May 1945, and with it the treasures of France and the Low Countries. 

In the detached netherworld of the Führerbunker—dubbed the "cement submarine" by many of the staff working there—Hitler was living the claustrophobic life of a U-boat captain on the ocean floor, with little sense of time or reality of actual events in the world above. The Führer had always been subject to mood swings, but his rages became more frequent as the military situation deteriorated inexorably and he was confronted with the self-deluding futility of the orders he had been issuing.

At a military situation conference on 22 April, the Führer exploded in a fit of unrestrained fury. For the first time he declared openly that the war was lost and announced repeatedly that he would die in Berlin. Bormann insisted that this was the time to fly south to the Obersalzberg to finalize the Führer’s personal affairs before fleeing in accordance with the preparations made for Aktion Feuerland, but Josef Göbbels persuaded Hitler otherwise; Göbbels saw it as their duty to die among the ruins of their city. Gen. Jodl pointed out that Germany still had armies in the field theoretically within reach of Berlin—Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner’s remnant of Army Group Center and Gen. Walther Wenck’s Twelfth Army. The Führer became vague about the military steps to be taken, but repeated that he was determined to remain in Berlin to the last.

Frustrated, Bormann nevertheless continued juggling the possilities that remained open to him.

On 26 December 1944, Göring’s stock had plummeted further, when he suggested that it was time to negotiate an armistice with the Allies, only to receive the full force of one of Hitler’s raging tirades: "I forbid you to take any step in that direction! If, in spite of what I say, you do anything to defy my order, then I will have you shot". Bormann duly noted Göring’s defeatism.

That night, Himmler sent a telex to Göring at the Obersalzberg indicating that the Führer was indisposed. It was a trap and Göring fell straight into it. On the following day he sent a telegram to the Führerbunker stating that if he did not hear instructions to the contrary, he would assume full command of the Reich from 10:00 p.m. that night, in accordance with his responsibility as designated successor to Hitler.

Hugh Trevor-Roper published an English translation in his book
"The Last Days of Hitler"

My Führer:

General Koller today gave me a briefing on the basis of communications given him by Colonel General Jodl and General Christian, according to which you had referred certain decisions to me and emphasized that I, in case negotiations would become necessary, would be in an easier position than you in Berlin. These views were so surprising and serious to me that I felt obligated to assume, in case by 2200 o’clock no answer is forthcoming, that you have lost your freedom of action. I shall then view the conditions of your decree as fulfilled and take action for the wellbeing of Nation and Fatherland. You know what I feel for you in these most difficult hours of my life and I cannot express this in words. God protect you and allow you despite everything to come here as soon as as possible.

Your faithful Hermann Göring

Upon its reception in the Führerbunker, the Göring Telegram was typed onto a 'Marinenachrichtendienst' (Naval Intelligence) form with a carbon copy and classified "Geheim!" [Secret!].

Bormann immediately informed the Führer, urging the need to annul the decree of succession as Göring was obviously staging a coup. At first, Hitler demurred. Bormann then sent Göring a telex accusing him of treacherous behavior but also stating that no further action would be taken if he resigned from all his many offices of state. Within an hour, Göring’s resignation was on the Führer’s desk. This was seen as confirmation of his treachery, and the SS detachment at the Obersalzberg was ordered to place the Reichsmarschall under house arrest.

Following the Red Army advance on Berlin in April 1945, Göring moved to the South while Hitler, his personal secretary Martin Bormann and Josef Göbbels remained in the Führerbunker to lead the defense of the capital against the Soviets. Not long afterward, Hitler, who had by this time concluded Germany had lost the war, suggested that Göring would be better suited to negotiate peace terms.

When the Luftwaffe's chief of staff, Karl Koller, heard this from OKW operations chief Alfred Jodl, he immediately headed for the Nazi alpine resort in Berchtesgaden to deliver the news to Göring personally. If Göring was indeed to take over the negotiation of a peace settlement, Koller felt that there was no time to waste.

Although Göring had been looking forward for some time to the day he would succeed Hitler, he was taken by surprise at this development. He thought that if he waited to act, he would be accused of dereliction of duty. On the other hand, he feared being accused of treason if he did try to assume power.

Göring gathered Koller and Hans Lammers, the state secretary of the Reich Chancellery, and pulled his copy of Hitler's secret decree of 1941 from a safe. To all present, the wording was unambiguous—Göring was not only Hitler's designated successor, but was to act as his deputy if Hitler ever became incapacitated. All agreed that by staying in Berlin, Hitler faced certain death and had incapacitated himself from governing. Therefore, they believed, Göring had a clear duty to assume power as Hitler's Deputy.

On 23 April, Göring sent a carefully worded telegram asking Hitler to confirm that he was indeed to become the leader of Germany, in accordance with the 1941 decree. Göring added that if Hitler did not reply by 22:00 that night, he would assume Hitler had lost his freedom of action and would assume leadership of the Reich as Hitler's deputy.

Upon the telegram's arrival by radiogram from Obersalzberg at 00:56 on 23 April 1945, Martin Bormann, who controlled access to Hitler, seized upon it as evidence of 'treason' and Göring's attempt to launch a coup d'etat. While Walther Hewel [Joachim von Ribbentrop's liaison and a personal friend of Hitler's] attempted to justify Göring's action by saying the Bunker's communications system could fail at any time and thus sever the command structure, Göbbels reinforced Bormann's argument by agreeing that it smelled of a coup.

According to Albert Speer's account, the Göring Telegram initiated an important crisis in Hitler's psychological breakdown which precipitated the political disintegration of military command and control in the ultimate stage of the destruction of the Third Reich.

Albert Speer wrote a detailed account of the Göring Telegram on the psychological disintegration of Hitler in his book, "Inside the Third Reich". The quotation below appears on pages 571-572 of the American edition of Speer's book.

". . . there was a flurry of excitement in the vestibule. A telegram had arrived from Göring, which Bormann hastily brought to Hitler. I trailed informally along after him, chiefly out of curiosity. In the telegram Goering merely asked Hitler whether, in keeping with the decree on succession, he should assume the leadership of the entire Reich if Hitler remained in Fortress Berlin. But Bormann claimed that Göring had launched a coup d’etat; perhaps this was Bormann’s last effort to induce Hitler to fly to Berchtesgaden and take control there. At first, Hitler responded to this news with the same apathy he had shown all day long. But Bormann’s theory was given fresh support when another radio message from Göring arrived. I pocketed a copy which in the general confusion lay unnoticed in the Bunker. It read:

To Reich Minister von Ribbentrop

I have asked the Führer to provide me with instructions by 10 p.m. April 23. If by this time it is apparent that the Führer has been deprived of his freedom of action to conduct the affairs of the Reich, his decree of 29 June 1941, becomes effective, according to which I am heir to all his offices as his deputy. [If] by 12 midnight 23 April 1945, you receive no other word either from the Führer directly or from me, you are to come to me at once by air.

[Signed] Göring, Reich Marshal

Here was fresh material for Bormann. "Göring is engaged in treason!" he exclaimed excitedly. "He’s already sending telegrams to members of the government and announcing that on the basis of his powers he will assume your office at twelve o’clock tonight, mein Führer".

Although Hitler remained calm when the first telegram arrived, Bormann now won his game. Hitler immediately stripped Göring of his rights of succession –Bormann himself drafted the radio message– and accused him of treason to Hitler and betrayal of National Socialism. The message to Göring went on to say that Hitler would exempt him from further punishment if the Reich Marshal would promptly resign all his offices for reasons of health.

Bormann had at last managed to rouse Hitler from his lethargy. An outburst of wild fury followed in which feelings of bitterness, helplessness, self-pity, and despair mingled. With flushed face and staring eyes, Hitler ranted as if he had forgotten the presence of his entourage:

"I’ve known it all along. I know that Göring is lazy. He let the air force go to pot. He was corrupt. His example made corruption possible in our state. Besides he’s been a drug addict for years. I’ve known it all along".

Apparently, Hitler knew about all of this, but never planned to do anything about it.

And then, with startling abruptness, he lapsed back into his apathy: "Well, all right. Let Göring negotiate the surrender. If the war is lost anyhow, it doesn’t matter who does it". That sentence expressed contempt for the German people: Göring was still good enough for the purposes of capitulation.

After this crisis, Hitler had reached the end of his strength. He dropped back into the weary tone that had been characteristic of him earlier that day. For years he had overtaxed himself; for years, mustering that immoderate will of his, he had thrust away from himself and others the growing certainty of this end. Now he no longer had the energy to conceal his condition. He was giving up".

Upon learning of other communiqués between Göring and other officers which referred to his invocation of Hitler's secret testament, Hitler flew into a rage.

On 25 April, Hitler issued a telegram to Göring telling him that he had committed "high treason" and gave him the option of resigning all of his offices in exchange for his life. However, not long after that, Bormann ordered the SS in Berchtesgaden to arrest Göring.

With Göring sidelined, Bormann turned his attention to ousting Himmler. It was time for him to use his ace in the hole. He had known from late March 1945 that Himmler had begun negotiations with the Allies in Stockholm. His close friend Gen. Hermann Fegelein, Himmler’s representative in the Bunker, had kept him well informed.

On 15 January 1943, Allen Dulles was visited by an old acquaintance, Prince Maximilian Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, whose Liechtenstein passport allowed him to travel the world unimpeded.

The Prince had innumerable contacts with high officials across Europe, especially in Berlin, and most notably with Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, who orchestrated the Prince’s meeting with Dulles. The proposition that the Prince wished to float before Dulles was simple, if startling: in the name of civilization, Himmler’s SS would eliminate Hitler, after which Germany would join forces with the Western democracies in a global war against Soviet Communism. True to his methods, Dulles allowed himself to appear interested but made no commitment, keeping his options open for future dialogue with the SS and the Nazi hierarchy.

Maximilian Egon Maria Erwin Paul Prinz zu Hohenlohe, during the Second World War.often tried to establish peace contacts for Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler. His proficient manner and his many contacts came him in good stead: he was received by Pope Pius XII; he knew Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Carl Jacob Burckhardt, Diplomats, German and British high officials and many others.

In the summer of 1939, Hitler assured everyone, Britain and France would not intervene in a raid against Poland. Hohenlohe tried to destroy this illusion. He knew the mood in England from his own experiences and from conversations with the Foreign Office. He found an open ear with Hermann Göring, when he on 12 August brought him together with the son of Lord Runciman, Leslie. Hohenlode's warnings were also sent to Walter Hewel, liaison officer of the Foreign Office to Hitler. The latter was certainly not to be influenced.

While the Wehrmacht overran Poland in a few weeks starting in September 1939, Hohenlohe strove to prevent the spread of the fighting. In a conversation with an unknown Englishman in Bern it  became clear that there would be no negotiations with Hitler, but Göring seemed acceptable. Similar soundings led Hohenlohe, on 25 October 1939, to meet with British Group Captain Malcolm C. Christie an excellent Germany-expert, who prepared reports for both the Foreign Office and the Secret Service. Further discussions would follow. In December, he met with the new British ambassador to Switzerland, Sir David Kelly. This was also the first meeting of several. With these and other contacts Hohenlohe pursued always the line that Germany had to withdraw from its conquests and that Hitler Had to be disempowered. He also warned the German side, that the war would be long and would be made totally hopeless by the entrance of the United States.

After the occupation of Denmark and the conquest of Norway in April 1940 contacts broke off for the time being. With the western campaign in May and June 1940, however, the military situation changed dramatically: France, Belgium and the Netherlands were occupied, England directly threatened by an invasion. Hitler now expected a peace offer from England. This failed to materialize. On 14 July, Hohenlohe met with Kelly, and brought him a letter from Hewel with the concession that the British Empire would not be dismembered. Kelly accepted this eagerly, but  the Foreign Office but remained skeptical. After Hitler's peace offer of 19 July and its immediate rejection by Churchill, this thread was also destroyed.

In December 1940, Hohenlohe, equipped with a certificate of the SS, traveled on their behalf in Switzerland. Who his contact in the SS was at that time was unclear, probably it was Reinhard Höhn. From 1942 it was certainly Walter Schellenberg and no later than 1943, more probably earlier, Heinrich Himmler. Again, Hohenlode had several conversations with Kelly.

After a long break, finally in May 1942 in Madrid, he came into contact with the British military attaché William Wyndham Torr. Hohenlohe hinted that Himmler and his SS would be able to eliminate Hitler and Göring. Torr, however, could not be imagine  the much hated Himmler as a negotiating partner. Hohenlohe relented: Himmler could be dropped after the coup.

Half a year later, in December 1942, Carl Langbehn, commissioned by Himmler, was able to establish contact with the American secret service, the Office of Strategic Services [OSS] in Bern, headed by Allen Dulles.

Langbehn was aware that Himmler was interested in the idea of negotiating peace behind Adolf Hitler's back. He introduced him to Johannes Popitz in the summer of 1943, and Himmler conducted secret talks with him. Popitz sought to win Himmler's support for a coup d'état as the war was lost,  and tried to convince him to take part in attempts to negotiate with the Western Powers for an acceptable peace deal.

Hohenlohe conducted several talks with Dulles between January and December 1943.

Among his other SS contacts was an Austrian aristocrat, SS Capt. Reinhard Spitzy, who was SS adjutant to Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Spitzy subsequently served with the Amt Ausland/Abwehr im Oberkommando der Wehrmacht [Foreign Affairs/ Supreme Command of the Armed Forces or OKW], or Abwehr—the German military intelligence organization, headed until February 1944 by the formidable Adm. Wilhelm Canaris.

After the outbreak of the Second World War Reinhard Spitzy was involved in negotiations with United States companies in Germany. By the summer of 1941, he was working with Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, the Abwehr. Spitzy worked from 1943 with Walter Schellenberg and Prince Max Egon zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg in the Reich Security Main Office.

However, it was through the German Vice-consul in Zürich, Hans Bernd Gisevius, that Dulles gained a channel to the Abwehr. Canaris, known as the "Old Fox," had been the head of the Abwehr since 1935 and was one of the most enigmatic figures of the Third Reich. Fluent in several languages, he had been involved in intelligence work throughout his long naval career. He was a brilliant spymaster but he also ensured that his closest colleagues were not members of the Nazi Party. Since before the outbreak of war, Canaris had been active in the resistance movement of Germans attempting at first to frustrate and then to overthrow Hitler—a group known to the Gestapo as the Schwarze Kappelle [Black Orchestra] and to the OSS as "Breakers".

Canaris, like Heinrich Himmler, sought to discover the probable attitude of the Western Allies if and when Hitler was removed or killed. Canaris needed to know what support might be forthcoming for the conspiracy itself or in the political aftermath once the deed was done.

After 1942, Canaris visited Spain frequently and was probably in contact with British agents from Gibraltar. In 1943, while in occupied France, Canaris is said to have made contact with British agents. He was conducted blindfolded to the Convent of the Nuns of the Passion of our Blessed Lord, 127 Rue de la Santé, where he met the local head of the British Intelligence Services, code name "Jade Amicol", in reality Colonel Claude Olivier. Canaris wanted to know the terms for peace if Germany got rid of Hitler. Churchill's reply, sent to him two weeks later, was simple: "Unconditional surrender".

In April that same year, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris made contact with the former governor of Pennsylvania, Commander George H. Earle, Roosevelt’s personal representative for the Balkans, stationed in Istanbul. One morning there was a knock on Earle’s hotel room door and there stood - in civilian clothes - Admiral Wilhelm Canaris. The head of the German Secret Service told Earle there were many sensible German people feeling that Hitler was leading their nation down a destructive path. Admiral Canaris continued that an honorable surrender from the German army to the American forces could be arranged.

Earle was convinced of the sincerity of Admiral Canaris and immediately sent an urgent message to Washington via diplomatic pouch, requesting a prompt reply. A month later, Canaris phoned, as had been agreed, but Earle could only say “I am waiting for news, but have none today".

In the summer of 1943 Canaris met secretly with General Stuart Menzies, Chief of British Intelligence, and William J. Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services, at Santander, Spain. Canaris presented Menzies and Donovan with his peace plan: a cease fire in the West, Hitler to be eliminated or handed over, and continuation of the War in the East.

But though Donovan, Menzies and Canaris reached an agreement on the basis of Canaris’ proposal, President Roosevelt flatly declined to negotiate with "these East German Junkers" and called his presumptuous OSS chief to heel. Canaris’ peace offer was rejected.

General Walter Schellenberg had suggested to Himmler at the beginning of 1945 that he should open negotiations with the Western Powers. Himmler was at first reluctant to go against Adolf Hitler but when Count Folke Bernadotte, head of the Swedish Red Cross, arrived in Berlin in February 1945 to discuss the release of Norwegian and Danish prisoners on behalf of the Swedish Red Cross, he agreed to a meeting. However, Himmler could not make up his mind to speak out.

Himmler and Hitler met for the last time on 20 April 1945—Hitler's birthday—in Berlin, and Himmler swore total loyalty to Hitler. At a military briefing on that day, Hitler stated that he would not be leaving Berlin, in spite of Soviet advances. Along with Göring, Himmler quickly left the city after the briefing.

On 21 April, Himmler met with Norbert Masur, a Swedish representative of the World Jewish Congress, to discuss the release of Jewish concentration camp inmates. As a result of these negotiations, about 20,000 people were released in the White Buses operation. During the negotiations, Himmler falsely claimed that the crematoria had been built to deal with the dead from a typhus epidemic. He also claimed very high survival rates for the camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, even as these sites were liberated and it became obvious that his figures were false.

Jewish historian Arno J. Mayer, a Princeton University professor, wrote in his 1988 study "Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The 'Final Solution' in History": ...From 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more Jews were killed by so-called 'natural' causes than by 'unnatural' ones."

Bergen-Belsen, or Belsen, was a Nazi concentration camp in what is today Lower Saxony in northern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. Originally established as a prisoner of war camp, in 1943, parts of it became a concentration camp. Initially this was an "exchange camp", where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas.The camp was later expanded to accommodate Jews from other concentration camps.

There were no gas chambers at Bergen-Belsen, since the mass killings took place in the camps further east. Nevertheless, current estimates put the number of deaths at Belsen at more than 50,000.

The rate at which inmates died at Belsen accelerated notably after the mass transport of prisoners from other camps began in December 1944. From 1943 to the end of 1944 around 3,100 died. From January to mid-April 1945 this rose to around 35,000. Another 14,000 died after liberation between April 15 and the end of June 1945.

Overcrowding, lack of food and poor sanitary conditions caused outbreaks of typhus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and dysentery, leading to the deaths of more than 35,000 people in the first few months of 1945, shortly before and after the liberation.

Two days later, Himmler agreed to accompany Schellenberg to again meet directly with Bernadotte in Lübeck on 23 April 1945, at the Swedish consulate in Lübeck. Representing himself as the provisional leader of Germany, he claimed that Hitler would be dead within the next few days.

"In the situation that has now arisen I consider my hands free. I admit that Germany is defeated. In order to save as great a part of Germany as possible from a Russian invasion I am willing to capitulate on the Western Front in order to enable the Western Allies to advance rapidly towards the east. But I am not prepared to capitulate on the Eastern Front".

Hoping that the British and Americans would fight the Soviets alongside the remains of the Wehrmacht, Himmler asked Bernadotte to inform General Dwight Eisenhower that Germany wished to surrender to the West. Bernadotte asked Himmler to put his proposal in writing,.

He did. Representing himself as the provisional leader of Germany, he claimed that Hitler would be dead within the next few days.

Bernadotte asked Himmler to put his proposal in writing, Himmler obliged, and it was passed onto Winston Churchill and Harry S. Truman. 

They rejected the idea, insisting on unconditional surrender

On the evening of 28 April, the BBC broadcast a Reuters news report about Himmler's attempted negotiations with the western Allies. Hitler, who had long believed Himmler was second only to Josef Göbbels in loyalty—calling Himmler "der treue Heinrich" [the loyal Heinrich]—flew into a rage about this apparent betrayal. Hitler told those who were still with him in the Bunker complex that Himmler's act was the worst treachery he had ever known and ordered his arrest.

The Reichsleiter had prepared a detailed dossier detailing Himmler’s treachery, which he would present to Hitler. Bormann had achieved his ultimate ambition—to destroy all competing candidates for the power and influence of being the Führer’s only unquestionably trusted deputy.

James P. O'Donnell, the author of "The Berlin Bunker" [1979] has argued that Martin Bormann and Otto Günsche were the two most important men in Hitler's life in the Führerbunker: "Bormann - stocky, bullish, drinking heavily when off duty - was now literally at the Führer's elbow, wheeling and dealing madly in what was left of the Nazi power game. But in terms of physical proximity, although not of power or influence, there was, however, one man who was often even closer to Hitler. This was Major Otto Günsche, the tall rugged soldier of twenty-seven, who was the Führer's senior SS adjutant, a kind of 'Man Friday' in the Bunker".

Bormann's loyalty was nor mirrored by all the Nazi leaders. Heinrich Himmler and Herman Göering both considered the possibility of overthrowing Hitler. One plan involved Himmler arresting Hitler and announcing to the German people that Hitler had retired due to ill-health. Their main concern was to do a deal with Britain and the United States that would prevent the Soviet Union occupying Germany. The German leaders were not only concerned about the imposition of communism, but also feared what Soviet soldiers anxious to gain revenge for the war crimes committed against their people by the SS might do.

  
GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG
Hitlers Last Days in the Führerbunker

Julius Schaub was the chief aide and adjutant to German dictator Adolf Hitler until the dictator's suicide on 30 April 1945.

Both of Julius Schaub's feet had been injured in World War I, making him semi-handicapped, and Hitler hired him as his personal aide-de-camp. 

Lothar Machtan, the author of "The Hidden Hitler" [2001] states:

"Julius Schaub... organized Hitler's private life from early 1925... He accompanied him on his travels, looked after his confidential papers,handled his finances and ran his household. He welcomed guests, got rid of unwelcome visitors and thus controlled access to Hitler. Of all the men in his immediate circle, it was Schaub who had the most detailed information about all of Hitler's intimate and personal affairs". 

A friendship developed, which was evident by Hitler later appearing as a witness at Schaub's second wedding.

As Hitler disliked change in personnel and liked to keep familiar faces around him, Schaub remained in Hitler's staff for 25 years. He became Hitler's chief aide and adjutant in October 1940. In 1943, he was promoted his final rank of SS-Obergruppenführer.

On 22 April 1945, Schaub was instructed to burn all of Hitler's personal belongings and papers in the garden of the Reich Chancellery.

Lothar Machtan, pointed out that Schaub stayed with Hitler until he committed suicide:

"The finest proof that Hitler really could count on his loyalty was supplied at the end of April 1945, when Schaub, who left the flaming ruins of Berlin at the last possible moment, flew to Bavaria, where he emptied the safes in Hitler's Munich private apartment at the Prinzregentenplatz and then at the Berghof, on the Obersalzberg, and burned their contents".

His final act as aide and adjutant was to destroy Hitler's personal train, the "Führer Sonderzug".

What these documents were, Schaub doggedly refused to divulge until the day he died. All he once volunteered, in a mysterious tone of voice, was that their disclosure would have had "disastrous repercussions".

It was something of a Pyrrhic victory, though, since on 25 April the Red Army had completed its encirclement of Berlin and the Obersalzberg was comprehensively bombed by the Lancasters of No. 617 Squadron RAF, thereby rendering it useless as a bolt-hole during any planned escape to the south. The rush for the shelters probably saved Göring’s life, since his SS guards were on the point of executing him when the sirens sounded. The confirmation of Bormann’s total victory in the intrigues of the Nazi court came on 26 April, when Hitler promoted Gen. Robert Ritter von Greim to the rank of field marshal and appointed him commander in chief of the Luftwaffe. Bormann must have been ecstatic over Hitler’s first order to Ritter von Greim: he was to fly to Karl Dönitz’s headquarters at Plön and arrest Heinrich Himmler for treason. This was impossible, however, since Ritter von Greim had been badly wounded earlier that day by Red Army gunfire shortly before landing in Berlin in a plane piloted by the daredevil aviatrix Hanna Reitsch.

Although the bulk of the Reichsbank's holdings had been transferred to the Kaiseroda mine at Merkers, much still remained in Berlin, ostensibly to pay the city’s Wehrmacht defenders in cash. At a meeting between the Führer, Dr. Funk, and Bormann on 9 April, it had been decided to transfer the remaining gold and currency reserves of the Reichsbank to Bavaria. They were to be transported to the so-called "Bormann Bunker" in Munich, by road in a convoy of six Opel Blitz trucks and by two special trains code-named 'Adler' and 'Dohle'—[Eagle and Jackdaw]. The trains and trucks left Berlin on 14 April but took almost two weeks to arrive in Bavaria, due to the devastated road and rail networks and the chronic lack of gasoline.

Following the "Operation Seraglio" exodus of non-essential personnel from the Führerbunker on 22 April, Bormann instructed SS Gen. Kaltenbrunner to fly south in order to pursue Allen Dulles’s Operation Crossword. Kaltenbrunner decided that he should make his own arrangements for survival. In his capacity as head of the RSHA, he ordered SS Gen. Josef Spacil to take a party of SS troops to remove everything of value left in the vaults of the Reichsbank—securities, gems, and 23 million gold Reichsmarks, worth $9.13 million [approximately $110 million in today’s money]. One of the last transport planes to get out of the city flew this loot to Salzburg in Austria. From there it was taken by truck to the high Tyrolean town of Rauris and buried on a wooded mountainside nearby. This largest armed robbery in history soon came to the notice of Martin Bormann, who commented to his confederate, "Gestapo" Müller, "Well, Ernst is still looking out for Ernst. It doesn’t mean much to the big picture. But find out where he has it taken. When it’s buried—and it will probably be in an Austrian lake close to his home—we might want one of our party Gauleiters to watch over it. Kaltenbrunner may never last the war out, and it would be useful to the party later".

In reality, by striking out on his own, Kaltenbrunner had signed his own death warrant, but he was still useful to Bormann as long as the talks with Dulles continued. The Allies recovered less than 10 percent of this enormous booty. The rest was used to finance the various escape networks for Nazi war criminals fleeing justice in the postwar years.

The final authorization for the implementation of Operation Crossword came in the form of three "highest priority signals" from Washington on the morning of 27  April 1945. It took two days for all the various representatives to meet and sign the actual surrender document for the German forces in Italy.

At 2:00 p.m. on 2 May 1945, a simultaneous Allied and German ceasefire came into effect in northern Italy.

 

Hitler Didn’t Die In A Berlin Bunker But Escaped In A Huge Nazi Cover-Up Claims Historian:
"The FBI Never Believed Hitler Was Dead"

Tim Butters
'Inquisitir'
June 12, 2015

Hitler didn’t commit suicide in a Berlin Bunker but escaped Germany alongside his wife, Eva Braun, in an elaborate Nazi cover-up that the FBI were aware of, a historian has sensationally claimed.

Russia has also been implicated of hiding vital evidence that would have revealed to the world that the supposed bodies of Hitler and Braun were, in fact, murdered doubles.

The claims that Hitler didn’t die from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head after his wife took a lethal cyanide pill in 1945, but fled Berlin as part of a Nazi ruse, is elaborated on in a new documentary that claims since the Hitler hoax, post-World War II history has been an intricate tissue of lie upon lie.

According to journalist, author, and historian Gerrard Williams, two innocent lookalikes were murdered in Hitler and Braun’s stead, and ever since, the world has been victimized by a “duplicitous deception” that those in power are well aware of.

“I believe that in April 1945 the real Hitler along with Eva Braun were spirited out of the Bunker where they escaped. They did not die, we were lied to, we’re still being lied to.

Pointing to secret FBI documents as his source, Williams explained to the "Daily Express" that  American Intelligence were investigating sightings of Hitler long after the end of war.

“I am pretty convinced two people probably did die in the Bunker at the end of April 1945 but they weren’t Hitler and Eva Braun. Two doubles replaced them and it was those who were murdered and their bodies disposed of later.

“The FBI never believed Hitler was dead, they looked for him around the world".”

The British Intelligence Services claim Hitler and his wife died on 30 April 1945, shortly after 2:30 p.m., and their bodies were burned.

However, the reports are based on third-party accounts and the deaths only confirmed "as conclusively as possible without bodies". Skeptics claim that any "eyewitness" evidence used to compile such reports were nothing more than what people chose to tell Soviet interrogators.

Sönke Neitzel, professor of history at the London School of Economics, is adamant that such reports are extremely unreliable.

“We know that prisoners who had been in the Bunker most likely lied to the Soviets when they were interrogated.

Professor Williams believes that the Russians’ failure to find the body of Hitler in the ruins of the Berlin Bunker casts serious doubts on the Nazi dictator’s actual death.

He added, “We are being sold a dummy".

“There are no bodies reported discovered in 1945 and this is something which amazes me.

"The theory of Hitler and Braun’s suicide is supported by eyewitnesses who actually never saw anybody get shot. They never see the Führer and Eva go into his private quarters in the Bunker. They see bodies coming out but nobody ever saw Hitler and Eva dead".

Despite claims made to the contrary during his initial interrogation, Erich Kempka later admitted that when Hitler and Eva Braun locked themselves in a room to commit suicide, he lost his nerve and ran out of the Führerbunker, returning only after Hitler and Braun were dead. By the time he returned to the Bunker, Hitler and Braun's bodies were already being carried upstairs for cremation.

"A short time after that SS-Sturmbannführer Linge [valet of the Führer] and an orderly whom I do not remember came from the private room of the Führer carrying a corpse wrapped in an ordinary field-gray blanket.

Based on the previous information from SS-Obersturmbannführer Günsche, I at once supposed that it was the corpse of the Führer. One could only see the long black trousers and the black shoes which the Führer usually wore with his field-gray uniform jacket".

While he was interned for several years in two Soviet POW camps in Strasberg and Posen, the Wehrmacht Surgeon-general, Major-General Walter Schreiber, had the opportunity to speak with four persons, each of whom had been present in the Bunker until Berlin fell to the Soviets.

. While he was unable to draw any information on the subject of Hitler's fate out of the "arrogant" Wilhelm Mohnke

However, in a statement for Soviet authorities dated 18 May 1945, Mohnke wrote: "I personally did not see the Führer's body and I don't know what was done to it."

--
V. K. Vinogradov et al. [ed], "Hitler's Death: Russia's Last Great Secret from the Files of the KGB", Chaucer Press, London, 2005

 Hitler's pilot Hans Baur told him only that he had never seen Hitler dead.

During the last days of the war, Hans Baur was with Hitler in the Führerbunker, and was one of the last persons to see him alive. Baur stayed with him until Hitler committed suicide on the afternoon of 30 April.

Heinz Linge and Otto Günsche were more forthcoming. Linge told him that he "did not see Hitler, but toward the end noticed two bodies wrapped in carpet being carried out of the Bunker".

Linge told Schreiber that while at the time he had assumed the bodies to be those of the Hitler couple, only later had he been told that this was the case.

This admission is astounding, because Linge is the one person mentioned by all eyewitnesses as having carried Hitler's body up the stairs and into the Chancellery garden.

Although Hitler's valet, SS-Sturmbannführer Heinz Linge, was captured at the same time as  Günsche, his interrogation statements are not included in "Hitler's Death" and have never been made public. Given that Linge subsequently emerged as one of the central protagonists in the official story of Hitler's demise, this fact obviously raises questions about the pretensions of "Hitler's Death" to constitute virtually the last word on the subject.

Günsche, with whom Schreiber spoke only a short time after the regime fell, proved even more informative. Like Linge, Günsche admitted that he had never seen Hitler's dead body. He added the enigmatic comment: "Those things were all done without us". 

-- 'Persons Who Should Know Are Not Certain Hitler Died in Berlin Bunker', "Long Beach Press-Telegram", California, 10 January 1949

Such evidence is corroborated by General Helmuth Weidling, who told the Soviets on 4 January 1946: "After I was taken prisoner, I spoke to SS Gruppenführer Rattenhuber and SS Sturmbannführer Günsche, and both said they knew nothing about the details of Hitler's death".

Hans Rattenhuber was not present when Hitler killed himself on the afternoon of 30 April in the Führerbunker. He did not see Hitler's body until after it was wrapped in grey blankets and carried out of the office/sitting room where Hitler died. He was not one of those who took the body up the stairs and outside. Instead, Rattenhuber followed Heinz Linge, Otto Günsche, Peter Högl, Ewald Lindloff and several others outside and watched Hitler's body be burned.

-- Joachimsthaler, Anton [1999] [1995]. The Last Days of Hitler: The Legends, the Evidence, the Truth. Trans. Helmut Bögler. London: Brockhampton Press

-- "Hitler's Death"

On the basis of Schreiber's and Weidling's revelations, it can be regarded as certain that neither Günsche nor Linge, the two mainstays of the Hitler suicide legend, nor Mohnke nor Rattenhuber nor Baur, had anything to do with Hitler's death or knew anything about it. It would seem appropriate to conclude that no one who knew anything for certain about what happened to Hitler has ever spoken about it publicly. Hitler's inner circle in Berlin knew nothing about what had happened to him, and the stories they told publicly have been lies. They were either writing themselves into history or, as seems more likely, under pressure from their captors to make later statements to help buttress the Hitler suicide narrative. Indeed, it may well have been a condition of Linge's and Günsche's release from Soviet captivity in 1955 that they agreed to furnish such statements.

Dr. Walter Paul Emil Schreiber was a German medical military officer in World War I, a Major General [Generalarzt] of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht and a key witness against Hermann Göring during the Nuremberg Trials.

On 30 April 1945, while caring for wounded in a makeshift hospital in Berlin, he was taken prisoner of war by the Red Army and transported to the Soviet Union. On 26 August 1946, Schreiber appeared as a surprise witness at the Nuremberg Trials, giving evidence in support of the Soviet Chief Prosecutor, Roman Rudenko, against, Hermann Göring and Kurt Blome, who had been in charge of German offensive biological weapons development. A recording of his testimony at the trial can be found at the online archive of the Imperial War Museum. The transcript became part of the Nuremberg proceedings against German major war criminals. Dr. Schreiber, whose long-standing record against the use of offensive biological warfare and human experimentation was well established, was himself never charged or considered for prosecution on war crimes charges.

In fall 1948, Dr. Schreiber reappeared in the West with his wife, his son and one of his adult daughters, and presented himself to the Allied Control Authority in West Berlin. Dr. Schreiber was subsequently hired to work with the Counter Intelligence Corps and beginning in 1949 was employed as post physician at Camp King, a large clandestine POW interrogation center in Oberursel, Germany.

In 1951, Schreiber was taken to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip.

On 7 October 1951 the "New York Times" reported that he was working at the Air Force School of Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas.

Schreiber, did not seek contract renewal, and left Texas for the Bay Area of California, where one of his daughters now lived. Thereafter the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency arranged a visa for him through an Argentinian general and he was provided with moving funds for himself and his family. On 22 May 1952 they were flown on a military aircraft to New Orleans and from there to Buenos Aires where he joined another daughter.

In Argentina, he worked as a physician and at an epidemiological research laboratory. He researched family history and compiled his journals. He died suddenly of a heart attack on 5 September 1970 in San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina

 

  
San Carlos de Bariloche some 750 miles southwest of Buenos Aires

  
Villa Angostura near San Carlos de Bariloche

Over two decades after the end of the war, the Russians recovered a jawbone that was said to have matched Hitler’s dental records, and the rumours and conspiracies involving a Nazi cover-up and Hitler’s escape were all but silenced.

In 2009, DNA testing by American researchers on a skull fragment long thought by Soviet officials to belong to Hitler turned out to belong to a woman less than 40-years-old.

Doubts on the authenticity of the notorious Hitler jawbone were subsequently cast, but the Russian government is refusing to allow tests on any more of Hitler’s supposed body parts.

Hitler’s private secretary, Martin Bormann, is thought to be the man behind the Nazi conspiracy to fake Hitler’s death. And as far as Professor Williams is concerned, the deception pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.

“And that’s it – end of history, end of Hitler. After these deaths everybody thought this is what’s happened. If you tell a lie often enough and loudly enough it becomes the truth, and in this case what the world accepted as the truth is this lie.”

One conspiracy theory has Hitler fleeing to the South Pole, which the Nazis were said to have earmarked for colonization. However, perhaps the most popular conspiracy is that Hitler fled to Argentina and then Paraguay before settling in Brazil.

In a book published last year, author Author Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias claims Hitler actually died in 1985, aged 95, in South America. The author also claims that Hitler had a black girlfriend to cover up his fascist background and then produced a photograph to prove it.

Apparently, Hitler lived and died in Nossa Senhora do Livramento, but Candido Moreira Rodrigues, a history professor at Mato Grosso’s Federal University, told the "Daily Mail" such theories are commonplace.

“There’s nothing new in people who claim to be historians coming up with the most far-reaching theories about Hitler supposedly living in south America and subsequently dying in one of the countries in this region".

Top story Professor: Hitler Escaped Germany in 1945
By Stuart Hooper
21st Century Wire
June 22, 2015

What were once considered wild, alternative theories on the end of the Nazi regime are now being confirmed by expert professors at the world’s top universities..

Professor of history at the world-famous London School of Economics, Sönke Neitzel, believes eyewitness accounts used to compile the British report into Hitler’s death are entirely unreliable.

According to the official story, Hitler shot himself in the head and Eva Braun, his wife, took a cyanide pill in their Bunker after suffering defeat in April 1945. Both of their bodies were burned beyond recognition.

That official story is now under attack as academics, like Nietzel, claim the two corpses were actually body doubles. Historian and Professor Gerrard Williams said, ‘they did not die, we were lied to, we’re still being lied to’.

Williams also claims that FBI documents reveal the agency was searching for Hitler and chasing leads years after his alleged "death"’ in the Bunker.

British Intelligence Services published the official report, which was mostly based on secondary accounts, and even includes an admission that it was produced  "as conclusively as possible without bodies".

Williams’ says the official story "is supported by eyewitnesses who actually never saw anybody get shot", and, that nobody ever saw Hitler and Eva’s bodies; just two charred corpses.

He went on to say that "...if you tell a lie often enough and loudly enough it becomes the truth, and in this case what the world accepted as the truth is this lie".

Some believe that Hitler escaped to Argentina, while others claim he made it to the grand old age of 95 in Brazil. More radical theories point to a fortified installation at the South Pole in a location known as New Swabia, where Germany sent expedition forces to in 1939.

What do YOU think happened to the Nazi leader? More importantly, with all of our contemporary problems, does it even matter?

In allegations set to debunk one of the biggest slices of world history, Russia is also accused of hiding vital evidence proving the Führer and his wife Eva Braun fled in disguise.

Two corpses found after the Second World War reported to be those of Hitler and Braun were in fact murdered body doubles.

Did Hitler Escape to South America?
By Christopher Condon
21 June 2014

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Argentine province of Patagonia became a popular destination for German immigrants. Patagonia had a great deal to offer. Roughly the size of Texas but much more sparsely populated, Patagonia was a place where German immigrants could start from scratch and, instead of assimilating into another culture, create a society of their own. As time passed and more and more Germans moved to Patagonia, German became the principal language in many of the schools, and the German flag was often flown in preference to the Argentine flag. Many of the local German businesses went so far as to hire only German immigrants instead of native Argentines.  It might seem remarkable that the central government in Buenos Aires would sit back and allow Patagonia to become virtually a German colony.  Buenos Aires, however, was not minding the store. The Argentine Government kept such a low profile in Patagonia in those days that a traveler working his way through Patagonia might not have known that it was a province of the nation of Argentina.

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, many Patagonian Germans supported the emerging National Socialist movement in Germany, led by Adolf Hitler. As National Socialism advanced more and more in Germany, German schools and other institutions in Patagonia started to display pictures of Hitler, the Nazi Swastika, and other Nazi paraphernalia. Some critics accused Hitler of planning to formally annex Patagonia as a German colony, but Hitler strenuously denied this.

It is not surprising that with the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, many Nazi officials fled Europe and found a warm welcome in Argentina, then led by Juan Peron, a dictator and admirer of Hitler. In addition to his sympathy with the Nazi ideology, Peron had selfish reasons to take the Nazis in. The ambitious Peron, who ruled the eighth largest nation on earth in terms of land area, believed that the German refugees would bring with them extensive scientific and military technology that might enable Argentina to dominate South America or even become a world power.

Now just as some Nazis were settling in Argentina, others were settling in neighboring Paraguay, a country that in those days was ruled by Alfredo Stroessner, the son of a German immigrant and, like Peron, a Nazi sympathizer. When Peron was overthrown in 1955 and the climate in Argentina became less friendly to the Nazis, many Nazis who had initially settled in his country moved next door to Paraguay, where Stroessner continued to rule unhindered.

Could the fallen German dictator, Adolf Hitler, have been among those Nazis who found refuge in South America?

To most historians, the idea is preposterous because everyone knows that Hitler committed suicide in an underground Bunker in Berlin at the very end of WWII.  But the notion that Hitler had fled Europe did not seem preposterous at the time. Did not Admiral Dönitz, the head of the German Navy, once state that the German Navy had prepared a safe haven for Hitler somewhere in the world in the event that Hitler’s position in Europe became untenable? In the immediate aftermath of the war, there was world-wide speculation that Hitler had escaped. For example, on 17 July, 1945, the "Chicago Sun Times" reported that that Hitler was still alive and living on a ranch in Argentina. Some well-informed persons in high places, notably General Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, took these reports quite seriously. The latter adamantly insisted until he died in 1953 that Hitler had escaped to either Spain or Argentina. But these doubters were increasingly ignored and the view that Hitler had committed suicide in Berlin became the official view and eventually hardened into dogma. Now and again, a few people in South America claimed to have seen Hitler on their continent, but these sightings were regarded in the same light as sightings of Elvis Presley are today.

But the case for Hitler’s suicide had never been airtight. No one had seen Hitler commit suicide and no one had recovered his body. The closest thing to hard evidence of Hitler’s demise that anyone ever had was a skull fragment that was found near the place where he supposedly committed suicide. Scientists from the University of Connecticut, however, have since proved that this fragment belonged to a woman and therefore could not have come from Hitler. Two witnesses did claim to have seen his dead body after he allegedly committed suicide. These accounts, however, are questionable for two reasons. First, they differ greatly in key details, making one suspect that either or both of them are unreliable. Did these two witnesses really see Hitler’s dead body, or were they merely told to say so and did they then fail to co-ordinate their stories?

The familiar narrative of the Third Reich's last days suggests that measures for dealing with Hitler's death were cobbled together more or less at the last minute as Soviet troops threatened the Reich Chancellery itself. But this view is nonsense. Hitler's fate was the subject of planning that stretched back at least until 22 April 1945. That day, Dr Josef Göbbels told General Ferdinand Schörner: "The least that I can do is ensure that the Führer's corpse does not fall into the hands of the enemy as a trophy".

Since the Germans were committed to ensuring that Hitler's body would never be recovered by the enemy, it made no sense at all for them to place it in a location so close to the Führerbunker that it could not possibly be overlooked. It also made no sense to inter it in the same grave as a female body that would be able to be identified as Eva Hitler's. Anyone whose mission was to conceal Hitler's corpse would hardly have chosen to inter it with another that provided a blatant clue as to its identity. This is, rather, what someone would do who wanted a decoy body instantly mistaken for Hitler's.

Two further circumstances would seem to prove that we are dealing with a hoax. First, according to the Soviet autopsy report, the corpse was missing its right-side ribs and its left foot. While this doesn't prove that the corpse wasn't Hitler's, it does establish that the familiar story of Hitler committing suicide in the Bunker and his corpse being carried up to ground level to be cremated and buried immediately afterwards is either wrong - or it's not Hitler's. After all, Hitler's right ribs and left foot can hardly have fallen off on the way up the stairs. Second, the corpses discovered by the Soviets cannot have been cremated in the open air, as eyewitnesses maintained.

According to W. F. Heimlich, a former intelligence officer who in 1947 was a high official in the American administration of Berlin, stated that the corpses would probably have had to be burned in a closed crematory to achieve the condition of almost total disintegration in which they were found. 

The tiny number of witness sightings of the two bodies were almost all from Hitler’s inner, inner sanctum.

The two main witnesses were Arthur Axmann, leader of the Hitler Youth, and Erich Kempka, Hitler’s chief bodyguard and chauffeur.

One report from someone who claims to have seen the bodies in situ says that Eva Braun appeared to have been poisoned. Other eye-witnesses said she was shot through the heart and the left hand side of her dress was red, presumably from blood.
Hitler shot himself through the mouth, but had blood on his temples. This also sounds a little peculiar. Then Eva rested with her head on his shoulder. If she took cyanide, she would be spasming on the floor in agonizing death, not peacefully snuggling the corpse of someone who just literally blew his brains out.
They covered the faces with blankets so that they couldn’t be identified [all that could be seen was the legs showing uniforms and footwear]  then carried them out to the courtyard and burned them in a bomb crater with 50 gallons of gasoline.

Hitler's  secretary Gerda Christian stated:

"I learned from Linge,  that he, together with Bormann and Kempka had carried the bodies into the garden where the cremation was still in progress....I once again went into Hitler's living room-cum-office. There I saw a bloodstain about the size of a hand on the rug next to the sofa".

The 1949 story "Did Evil Hitler Escape?" ?” by Colonel John Stingo details the sketchy evidence for Hitler’s death. This is based on testimony from Erich Kempka and Kranau.

"Hitler called a final conference around noon of 30 April. Nobody knows what was said.

"Immediately at the conclusion of the conference orders were broadcast throughout the Chancellery that everybody, without exception, should repair to their respective shelters and remain there until further order.

"Shortly afterward Kempka, whose station was in Hitler’s Bunker, heard two shots from the direction of Hitler’s room, and an instant later saw the Führer’s valet Linge and an unknown man carry out a body caved in a grey army blanket.

"The head and shoulder were hidden, but the rest of the body was plainly visible – it was clad in Hitler’s uniform.

"A few steps behind appeared Bormann, bearing Eva Braun’s body, which was not covered and was easily recognizable. The left side of her dress appeared to Krempka to be darkened, presumably from blood.

"The excavation dig found 2 pink slips with Eva Braun’s initials and several typewritten letters from Hitler to Göbbels. They found no trace whatsoever that any part of the Bunker or garden had been used as a crematorium".

Linge, Hitler’s personal valet has another story again:

That would be the Heinz Linge that told the Wehrmacht surgeon-general, Major-General Walter Schreiber, while he was interned for several years in two Soviet POW camps in Strausberg and Posen and had a chance to speak to him about events in the Bunker, that he did not see Hitler, but toward the end noticed two bodies wrapped in carpet being carried out of the Bunker". Linge told Schreiber that while at the time he had assumed the bodies to be those of the Hitler couple, only later had he been told that this was the case. This admission is astounding, because Linge is the one person mentioned by all eyewitnesses as having carried Hitler's body up the stairs and into the Chancellery garden.

Like Linge, Otto Günsche admitted that he had never seen Hitler's dead body. He added the enigmatic comment: "Those things were all done without us".

And Erich Kempka later told a different story, when he made a statement to American interrogator George R. Allen, the counterintelligence officer of the 101st Airborne:

In it, Kempka gave the Americans their first eyewitness account of any of the events connected with the death of the Führer. He said that on 30  April—although he felt unable to say that this was the date “with complete sureness” – But he could say that at “precisely” 2.30pm, Günsche called him at the Reich Chancellery garage, asking him to bring five cans of petrol to the Bunker. There Günsche told him that Hitler was dead and that he had been ordered to burn the corpse “so that he would not be exhibited at a Russian freak-show”. Kempka said he then helped carry the corpses; while Linge and an orderly whom he did not remember were carrying the corpse of Hitler, he carried the corpse of Eva Hitler. Kempka simply assumed that the corpse he had seen Linge carrying was Hitler’s, for he noticed “the long black trousers and the black shoes which the Führer usually wore with his field-gray uniform jacket".

Günsche in his statement of 17 May 1945, states "the corpses were carried by Linge, Krüger, Lindloff, and one other SS officer who I did not recognise. Then Kempka joined them. From one of the blankets the Führer's legs were visible... out of the other blanket protruded the feet and head of the Führer's wife." 

Axmann says that Göbbels led him into the room, where they surveyed the death scene for 15 minutes before Göbbels sent him to get the blankets. Then Kempka moved the bodies out. Kempka says that he heard two gunshots, and saw two bodies being carried out with blankets on them instantly. And then later he says he didn’t hear any shots, and found out about the deaths at precisely 2:30 at the garage, from Günsche. So basically the two main witnesses who survived have wildly conflicting stories. Axmann says the bodies were covered so that guards in the outer areas couldn’t identify them. The only other witness is a guard from the outer area. Kempka says he could only identify the body by the boots.

Of the witnesses only Göbbels and Axmann saw Hitler dead without a blanket over his face [Axmann says Linge did, Linge says he didn’t].

Heinz Linge testified that Hitler took two pistols into the suicide room, in a quote from an interview with him on 9 February 1956:

"Both of Hitler's pistols, with which I was very familiar with, lay directly at the points of Hitler's feet, the 7.65mm by the right and 6.35mm by the left".

If Hitler was going to poison himself why would he bring two guns? If one didn't work he would use the other one obviously, but he wouldn't have time to switch pistols if he also bit a poison tablet. So why the two pistols?

The idea that Hitler took the poison first was primarily pushed by Nazi youth leader, Artur Axmann. The problem is Axmann was wrong before. Axmann was the one who pushed the idea that Hitler shot himself through the mouth, which forensic science has proved to be impossible. When questioned further Axmann claimed that he had been told by Günsche that Hitler had taken poison, Günsche said no such thing.

Axmann was questioned by a Judge Musmanno on the matter and said this:

Q: Yes you have said that he (Hitler) first took poison and then shot himself. Since the effect of the poison is practically instantaneous, how could he have found the strength to pull the trigger of the pistol after he had taken the poison?

A: I said what Günsche had told me, namely that Hitler had first taken poison and then shot himself through the mouth.

Axmann bases his poison story off what Güunsche told him. But, Günsche says he told Axmann no such thing.

Prussic Acid leaves a very potent almond smell; it can be detected in very low doses. 

Günsche testified that while Eva Braun had a very potent almond smell, Hitler had none. He testified in 1956 that: "In contrast to Eva Braun's body, there was no odour detectable on Hitler's corpse".

This is further corroborated by the others who carried Hitler's body to the area where it was burned. Dr. Lev Bezemensky wrote in his autopsy report that he both found the remains of a glass capsule and smelt a strong "smell of burnt almonds".

However, chemical experts pointed out in 1956 that in strong heat (like the kind Hitler was burned in) the acid dissolves rapidly, erasing the almond odour and they concluded that:

"There is no evidence whatsoever that Hitler's death was brought about by prussic acid".

In a statement for Soviet authorities dated 18 May 1945, Wilhelm Mohnke wrote: "I personally did not see the Führer's body and I don't know what was done to it".

General Helmuth Weidling,  told the Soviets on 4 January 1946:

"After I was taken prisoner, I spoke to SS-Gruppenführer [Hans] Rattenhuber and SS-Sturmbannführer Günsche, and both said they knew nothing about the details of Hitler's death".

On 20 June 1945, Hermann Karnau, an eyewitness to the alleged cremation of Adolf and Eva Hitler, claimed to have been certain that one of the bodies was that of Hitler. He told the reporters that he had been able to recognize Hitler by his "by his brown uniform and his face" and, in particular, by his distinctive moustache [sic].

Hitler wore a brown uniform until WW2 started in September 1939. He then changed to a grey uniform.

On 1 September 1939, a few hours after the invasion of Poland began, Hitler broadcast a speech from the Kroll Opera House, home of the Nazi Reichstag. As he entered the hall members could see Hitler was not wearing his usual brown-coloured Führer tunic. Instead, he wore a new field-grey tunic matching the colour of a German Army uniform.

During his speech Hitler declared: "I am from now on just the first soldier of the German Reich. I have once more put on that [Army style] coat that was most sacred and dear to me [in the First World War]. I will not take it off again until victory is secured, or I will not survive the outcome".
 

On 4 July 1945, Erich Kempka made a further statement in which he insisted that Karnau couldn't have seen Hitler's moustache because "[t]he upper part of Hitler's body was fully covered by a blanket". He admitted that, despite claims made to the contrary during his initial interrogation, that when Hitler and Eva Braun locked themselves in a room to commit suicide, he lost his nerve and ran out of the Führerbunker, returning only after Hitler and Braun were dead. By the time he returned to the Bunker, Hitler and Braun's bodies were already being carried upstairs for cremation.

"A short time after that SS-Sturmbannführer Linge [valet of the Führer] and an orderly whom I do not remember came from the private room of the Führer carrying a corpse wrapped in an ordinary field-gray blanket.

"Based on the previous information from SS-Obersturmbannführer Günsche, I at once supposed that it was the corpse of the Führer. One could only see the long black trousers and the black shoes which the Führer usually wore with his field-gray uniform jacket". 

The only other person who claimed to have seen Hitler's corpse is Harry Mengershausen, who recalled that, in early June 1945, he was taken from the prison in Friedrichshagen to an open pit in woods nearby in order to identify three corpses. Each of the corpses was by itself in a "small wooden casket". The corpses had been those of Hitler and Herr and Frau Göbbels. Mengershausen claims to have "clearly recognized" Hitler by the shape of the head, the distinctive shape of the nose and the missing feet. "From the distance" he had not been able to see if Hitler's jaw had still been there. The whole "viewing of the bodies" had lasted for less than two minutes.

Mengershausen is telling a story --in great detail-- that simply does not fit the circumstances. It is impossible that Mengershausen was able to detect the "distinctive shape of Hitler's nose". The nose, like all the other soft tissues of the face, the torso and the extremities, must surely have burned away during the relatively long cremation process. A skull that is exposed to strong heat can preserve its bony shape for quite some time, but not its distinctive features, which it takes from the soft tissue of the face.  Even in an open air cremation, all of the soft tissue and cartilage of the body disintegrate quickly so it was not possible for Hitler to be recognizable.

Mengershausen's  testimony makes no sense because after a cremation all that is left is calcified bones.

A few years ago they did forensic testing on the remains (taken from the site by the Russians) which proved it was not Adolf Hitler. The skull fragment was from someone 5 inches shorter, and a woman. At the time of the World War 2, burned bodies could be identified through dental records – nobody would have ever dreamed of DNA or other modern forensic techniques. Someone reported to be Eva Braun checked in to the hospital for dental X-Rays a short time before the deaths. This may have been Eva’s body double, killed in her stead.

Archaeological digs at the Bunker site did not produce any evidence of the cremation, according to a 1949 report; but charred corpses were found there by the Russians. The remains – later discredited by the skull fragment – were all destroyed. Why?

Both corpses were covered in blankets before being carried out of the apartment. They could only be identified by their footwear. They were taken to the garden outside the Bunker, placed in a bomb crater with their dogs and some identifiying trinkets, then doused with 40 or 50 gallons of gasoline and burned. This was a specific plan that Hitler went out of his way to let people know would be going on before he supposedly ended it.

The description of how the bodies were found is all very convenient:

"Several days later, a Soviet soldier found the half-charred bodies of a man and a woman buried inside a shell crater near the bunker’s emergency exit. He’d noticed the tip of a gray blanket peeking out from the crater, which matched descriptions–produced by interrogating the few aides who remained in the Bunker–of the blanket in which Hitler and Eva Braun’s corpses had been wrapped. The bodies were accompanied by two dogs, later identified as Hitler’s beloved Blondi and one of her pups. Surrounding the dead were several dark-colored medicine phials, pages of handwriting, money, and a metal medallion that read, 'Let me be with you forever'.

It should have been a no-brainer to get a forensic match on those blanket-wrapped corpses. But how come the gray blankets didn’t burn when they had been doused with 50 gallons of gasoline? That sounds like a lot. How come the corpses were only half-charred? Perhaps they were fire-proof blankets, so chosen to assist in the later location of the bodies.

This forensic evidence does not in itself prove Hitler escaped. The fact remains that after multiple archaeological digs at the Bunker which have located at least 14 corpses, the  remains of Hitler and Eva Braun have never been found. Just some teeth and some small jaw fragments, which supposedly the Russians have locked up in the KGB archive. A 1972 dig found a body that DNA testing in 1998 proved was Martin Bormann. But any DNA evidence for the Hitlers is still missing after all these years.

The Russians blocked out the excavations of the Bunker, claiming documents had gone missing. The Western Allies were only able to get into a smaller area of the complex, which was filled with water hampering any investigation.

In May 1945 the Russians declared that Hitler had been poisoned; it’s hard to say how they could have done toxicology on the charred corpses. Possibly biting into a cyanide capsule leaves traces in the teeth that don’t get removed by fire.

Secondly, if these witnesses really did see a dead body, was it Hitler’s body or that of someone else? Eyewitnesses tell of very drastic changes in Hitler’s personality during the closing days of WWII. The conventional interpretation of these changes is that Hitler was crumbling psychologically under the pressure of imminent defeat. But it has come to light that Hitler, like many controversial politicians through the years, had a double, a fact not known even to some of his closest associates.

Could it be that the changes observed in Hitler’s personality were merely the reflection of the fact that the real Hitler had fled and that his place had been taken by his double?

Artur Axmann, leader of the Hitler Youth, describes Hitler in his last days in the Bunker – 22-39 April – as a “strangely changed man [who] strode up and down the Bunker floor almost ceaselessly and spoke to no one, but he was calm”.

Remember this is one of the most egotistical, intelligent, charismatic, psychopathic, determined and bold people who ever lived. Famous for his temper…and he just shut up?

Not asking for intelligence reports, so he could know how far away the impending doom was? Resigned to his fate, no last words, no great speeches, just going up and down a line shaking hands with people. This strange, silent behavior is consistent with a double, who would have been told "we will come and get you out soon" rather than "we will come and shoot you and burn your body".

The part of the story when Hitler came out and shook hands with everyone and thanked them for their service and said he was going to commit suicide tomorrow and then have his body burned, and handed out poison pills for everyone else to do the same, is also bizarre. It smacks of 'Jonestown' or 'Heaven’s Gate'. This must have been the most public, pre-empted murder-suicide pact in history. Did no-one try to talk him out of it? Couldn’t he have just shaved off the moustache, worn a disguise and fled? And why did Eva have to die?

In recent years, a number of investigators have taken a new look at this matter, and many have come to the conclusion that Hitler did escape after all. What has brought about this shift is considerable new evidence that was not known to previous historians and investigators.

Much of this new evidence was dug up by Argentine journalist Abel Basti. Basti has been traveling up and down South America doing research on Hitler for many years and has published several books on this subject in the Spanish language. Recently, he combined all his findings into a new German language book entitled "Hitler Überlebte in Argentinien" [“Hitler survived in Argentina”]. "Hitler Überlebte in Argentinien" also contains new research by Basti not published in any of his previous books as well as contributions from other writers.

Much of this new evidence consists in FBI files dating from the 1940’s and 1950’s and declassified at the end of the 1990’s. For example, a number of FBI documents dating from before the end of WWII express an official fear that even if Germany lost the war, Hitler could still escape justice by finding refuge in South America. Other FBI documents dating from after the end of WWII showed that the FBI continued to look for Hitler in South America long after he had supposedly committed suicide in Berlin. For example, three FBI documents dating from the late summer of 1945 suggested that Hitler was living on a ranch in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in western Argentina. Yet another FBI document from February 1955 mentions an eyewitness who claimed that he had seen Hitler in South America several years earlier. In fact, the FBI did not close its 700-page file on Hitler until 1970.

How can all this FBI activity be explained if Hitler had really committed suicide in 1945?

The Argentine Government, by the way, has still not declassified its own files relating to Adolf Hitler, intensifying our doubts regarding the official version of Hitler’s death. If Hitler had committed suicide before he even had a chance to reach South America, then what could the Argentine files possibly contain that would be worth keeping secret seventy years later? The need for secrecy, however, might make sense if after the war Hitler took up residence in Argentina under the protection of the Argentine Government.

Additional evidence for the escape of Hitler and other Nazis to South America is to be found in the sightings of German submarines off the coast of Argentina. It is not disputed that two German submarines appeared near the seaside resort town of Mar de la Plata, Argentina around two months after the war was over and all German military forces had supposedly surrendered to the Allies. In addition, other eyewitnesses saw other German submarines elsewhere along the Argentine coast. Some Argentines go so far as to insist that a defunct German submarine has long been stuck in the sand under the water off the Gulf of San Matias, and that this submarine can still be seen from the shore on those rare occasions when the ocean drops to an exceptionally low level.

There have been many additional eyewitnesses who claim to have seen not just German submarines but Hitler himself alive and well in South America after the war. A long list of perhaps 30 of these is given in the appendix to Basti’s book. Let us look at two of the very best.

When Catalina Gamero was a young girl in Argentina, she was continuously unwell in her home town. Her parents therefore thought it best to send her to live with Walter and Ida Eichhorn of LaFalda, Argentina, just outside Cordoba. Since LaFalda had a much drier climate than Catalina’s home town and was situated at a modest elevation, her parents thought that Catalina would do much better there than in her home town. For their part, the Eichhorns had no children of their own and were happy to take in Catalina. The Eichhorns could easily afford to do so because they had made a considerable fortune by owning and operating the Eden Hotel, a world class resort hotel in La Falda that in its heyday could compete with the finest hotels in North America and Europe.

Now the Eichhorns, who were German immigrants, had rather controversial political views. To be specific, they were passionate supporters of the National Socialist Party in general and Adolf Hitler in particular. In the early days of the National Socialist Party, the Eichhorns made huge financial contributions that played a role in the rise of the Nazi Party to power. Hitler was certainly very grateful to the Eichhorns for their contributions because he knew that without them he might not have come to power at all. Over time the Eichhorns became acquainted with Hitler on their annual trips to Germany. Eventually a friendship developed between Hitler and the Eichhorns. The closeness of the friendship is demonstrated by the fact that whenever the Eichhorns were in Germany, they stayed at the same hotel as Hitler and were free to visit Hitler in his hotel room whenever they pleased. They did not have to follow the normal protocol and wait to be announced by Hitler’s aides.

After Catalina Gamero had settled in with the Eichhorns, she became part of the family and took care of many of the household chores, including cooking. Now in 1949, the Eichhorns told Catalina that a male guest would soon be arriving who would spend several days in the upstairs bedroom. The Eichhorns said that their guest did not want to go down to the dining room to eat his meals, so they instructed Catalina to prepare three meals a day and take them upstairs to his room. Catalina followed the instructions and waited on the mysterious guest until he departed three days later. The very first time she saw him, she recognized him as the same Adolf Hitler whose photographs she had seen all over the Eichhorns’ home. Catalina further reported that after her adoptive father, Walter Eichhorn, passed away in 1961, Hitler called Ida Eichhorn once a week from his home in Mendoza, Argentina just to say hello and wish her well. Hitler continued this practice virtually up to the day Ida Eichhorn died in 1964.

Mafalda Falcon was born in Germany where as a young woman she took up the profession of nursing. During the early days of WWII, she worked in a field hospital run by the International Red Cross. There she looked after German soldiers who had been wounded during the French campaign. One day Adolf Hitler showed up at the hospital to visit the troops and give them encouragement. While Hitler was there, Falcon got a very good look at him. Although they did not exchange words, Falcon particularly noted his very unusual and unmistakable eyes.

After the war was over, Europe was in a terrible state and not a decent place in which to live. Falcon and her husband, however, were offered an opportunity to emigrate to Argentina, a paradise compared to postwar Europe. Needless to say, they took the opportunity, moved to Argentina, and settled in the province of Patagonia. Falcon resumed her career as a nurse by taking a job in a hospital in Comodoro Rivadavia, a small city on the Atlantic Ocean. Now while Falcon was working in this hospital, a former German soldier who had been wounded in the war was admitted for follow-up treatment. During the time that this former German soldier was Falcon’s patient, a group of three German men arrived at the hospital to visit him and wish him well. When Falcon observed these three men at a distance of about 10 feet, she immediately identified one of them as the same unforgettable Adolf Hitler that she had seen in a German hospital years earlier. Without putting words into the patient’s mouth or attempting to lead him, she asked the German soldier who this man was, and the patient immediately confirmed that it was indeed Hitler whom she had seen.

It is possible to trace Hitler’s meanderings in South America to some extent. According to Basti, Hitler landed along the coast of Argentina in the late spring of 1945 and went first to the remote San Ramon Ranch on Lake Nahuel Huapi, near the budding Andean resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche. The San Ramon Ranch was a huge tract of contiguous land assembled from purchases over the years by German immigrants. Because of the size of the San Ramon Ranch and the fact that it was entirely under German control, it would have been easy for someone with connections to the local German population to live there undetected. While in the same area, Hitler may also have stayed for a time in a mysterious house right on Lake Nahuel Huapi. This was no ordinary house. Unlike most houses, this one came equipped with all sorts of elaborate security devices. Because of its unusual appointments, some investigators believe that this house, which still stands today, was built specially for Hitler on the orders of Juan Peron. Like the aforementioned San Ramon Ranch, the lake house would have been a good choice for someone who wanted to live a quiet life undetected. It was not accessible by car. To reach it, visitors had to park their cars on the other side of the lake from the house and then cross the lake by boat. The house could also be reached without taking a boat at all, but only by those hardy enough to hike all the way around the lake. In addition to the aforementioned locations, Hitler probably lived for a time in Mendoza and Paraguay. It is not clear whether he ever visited Buenos Aires or Brazil.

Argentinean journalist and author Abel Basti claimed in his 2003 book "Hitler In Argentina":

"Adolf Hitler lived in Patagonia, in southern Argentina, after fleeing Germany in 1945".

Hitler and his lover, Eva Braun, did not commit suicide - rather, they fled to Argentina's shores aboard a submarine and lived for years in the vicinity of San Carlos de Bariloche, a tourist site and ski haven about 1,350 kilometers [810 miles] southwest of Buenos Aires, according to the journalist"." 

Basti reproduces documents, affidavits, photographs and blueprints aimed at steering the reader [or visitor] to the sites that sheltered Hitler, Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann.

He is displeased when asked if his book challenges the official story of the Hitler/Braun suicide, saying that the corpses of Hitler and his lover were never found, as is the case with other Nazis who allegedly committed suicide. "The only 'official' story is the report made by General Zhukov [commander of the Soviet armies that occupied Berlin] to the Kremlin, stating that Hitler and several Nazi leaders had escaped, presumably to Spain or the Americas, and this is what Stalin advised the U.S. government," he retorted.

Basti's book includes a photo of the Incalco Ranch [In the language of the indigenous Nahuel people of Argentina, Incalco means near the water], located in Villa la Angostura on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi [Lake], 80 kilometers [50 miles] north of Bariloche. This was the refuge chosen by Argentinian Nazis to hide Hitler and Eva Braun.

"This residence, set amidst a pine forest and which can only be reached by boat or hydroplane, belonged to Argentinean businessman Jorge Antonio, one of the most trusted aides of two-time president Juan Domingo Peron".  

Basti makes mention of Rodolfo Freude, son of Ludwig Freude, the German millionaire, as a key player, in his capacity as Peron's secretary, in placing former Nazis in Argentina, among them [Adolf] Eichmann, who was captured in 1960 outside Buenos Aires by Israeli commandos and was executed two years later in Israel. The book's author, having been involved in several Nazi-related investigations with European television networks, claims that Hitler also lived at Hacienda San Ramon, 10 kilometers [6 miles] east of Bariloche, which belonged at the time to the [German] principality of Schaumberg-Lippe.

"There is numerous and reliable evidence that Nazis fled to Argentina, with the arrival of Nazi U-Boats in Patagonia," he noted, recalling the "vital assistance" offered by Peron's government at the time 'to admit the Führer's henchmen into that country.

Basti, who lives in Bariloche and initiated his research into the relocation of Nazis to the picturesque city, claims to have the accounts of passengers aboard the U-Boats, Nazis who reached Patagonia--accounts which will constitute the basis of his second book.

Basti launched a new book "In the Footsteps of Hitler" which reiterates that Hitler did not commit suicide but escaped to Argentina with false identities, including Bruno Kurt Kirchner.

The book, which summarizes 20 years of work of the journalist explains that Hitler fled Berlin, arriving by submarine to Argentina Patagonia, where he lived under the name of Adolf Schüttelmayor .

During the governments of Juan Domingo Perón [1946-1955] , Hitler lived at Hacienda San Ramon, about 15 kilometers from Bariloche, where he arrived by train from the Patagonian coast . 

The testimonies cited in the book that corroborate the presence of the Führer in the region, are numerous.

One is  that of Heloise Lujan, who was one of the "taster" of the food that was served to the Nazi to ensure that this was not poisoned, and that of Angela Soriani, niece of Hitler 's cook, Carmen Torrentegui in the time he spent in the southern farm.

In "In the Footsteps of Hitler" Basti quotes a Brazilian former soldier, who noted that Adolf Hitler died on 5 February 1971 and is buried in a crypt in Paraguay, where today stands a "modern and exclusive hotel".

Inasmuch as Hitler was born in 1889, he could not still be alive today. Exactly when, where, and how Hitler died, however, remains a mystery. We suspect from his reported weekly telephone calls to Ida Eichhorn that he was still alive in Mendoza in late 1964. Since the FBI closed its file on Hitler in 1970, it is likely that Hitler died somewhere in South America sometime between late 1964 and 1970. And what became of Eva Braun, who had accompanied him to South America? She was 23 years Hitler’s junior and was rumored to be living in the swanky Recoleta neighborhood of Buenos Aires as late as the 1990’s. In fact, Eva Braun could just possibly be alive today. If an investigative reporter were to track her down in a South American nursing home at the ripe old age of 102, it would certainly be the shocker of the century and maybe the millennium.

There is reason to suspect that Hitler had children. There have been rumors that Hitler left behind a son who eventually did advanced studies of some sort under an assumed name in Switzerland and today lives in the South American nation of Brazil. A law firm in Buenos Aires told Abel Basti on condition of anonymity claims that it is acquainted with and knows the whereabouts of a daughter of Hitler. Around 1985, a woman claiming to be a daughter of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun visited a non-governmental charitable organization in Argentina known as the Center for Legal and Social Studies [CELS]. She asked for legal assistance, was interviewed once, and then told to return later for another interview. Unfortunately, she never showed up for the follow-up interview and her current whereabouts are unknown. But the woman who interviewed her looked at photographs of Eva Brain, and said that there was a striking resemblance between her and the mysterious woman who had claimed to be Hitler’s and her daughter. If Hitler did indeed leave behind children, they might be reluctant to come forward and identify themselves. But as WWII recedes more and more into the past and passions die down, they might eventually do just that.

Among that set of documents which contained the marriage certificate -it was found at Tegernsee- was the photograph of a boy, estimated to be between eleven and twelve years of age, and this at once revived a story that Hitler and Eva Braun did, in fact, have a son. It became a popular theory, for it explained to many puzzled minds why Hitler lent himself to the ceremony.

The boy bore sufficient resemblance to Hitler -his eyes and hair were dark, and he had the same deeply thoughtful frown- to cause Allied Intelligence officers, especially the Americans, to begin enquiries. This had not been the first suggestion that Eva Braun had a son, although it had not before been suggested that Hitler was the father.

The Russians had long before found a photograph of Eva Braun with a boy aged about four years old, and many journalists had tried in vain to see it at the Russian Kommandantura

Many photographs were found showing Hitler and Eva Braun with children. All the children could be identified as being those of officials of the party, excepting one in the photograph found at Tegernsee, although Hoffmann, who introduced Eva to the Führer, gave his expert opinion that this boy was the son of Bormann. Hoffmann, who knew Eva as well as anyone, stated categorically that she had never had a child. So did her parents. The mystery of the child gave many people -Intelligence officers, police, private detectives, and journalists- many sleepless nights. In their opinion the identity of that boy might explain an act which history would one day represent as being as dramatic as any since the death of Antony and Cleopatra".

--Lieutenant-Colonel Byford-Jones, W. "Berlin Twilight" Hutchinson [1947]

  
Hitler and Eva with the daughters of
Oberleutnant Erwin and Herta [Ostermeyer] Schneider 
Ursula ["Uschi" on the left]
 Brigitte ["Gitte" or "Gitta"on the right]
1944

Russian. English and American officials in Germany are searching for a five-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, reported to be the children of Hitler and Eva Braun, says the "Daily Express" man in Stockholm.

Children are reported to be staying with a distant relative of Eva Braun's mother in Southern Bavaria
-- The Daily News [Perth, WA]

The contemporaneous belief that a 12-year-old son of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had escaped to Czechoslovakia under the name Friedrich Schulz simply added grist to the Soviet propaganda machine.

"It is supposed that [Martin] Bormann's aide-de-camp Friedrich Wilhelm Paustin [SS Standartenführer Wilhelm Zander] tried to deliver Hitler's last will and the boy's photograph to Eva Braun's family," recorded the Soviet news agency TASS about Hitler's son in 1946.

On 9 June 1945 Marshal Zhukov announced that Hitler and Eva Braun had been married shortly before the fall of Berlin.  Several days later, a Stockholm dispatch stated that Eva Braun had two children, a son and a daughter, both of whom had been born during her long affair with Hitler.

Hitler reportedly became a father for the first time during the night of 1 January 1938.  Eva Braun bore him a son in a maternity pavilion at San Remo, Italy.  During the preceding month she had not been seen, as usual, driving through Berlin in her car.

Several hours after the birth, it was announced to Japanese journalists in Berlin in a short, unofficial statement by General Bansai, Japanese military attaché.  Very soon afterwards, the Japanese Ambassador summoned the correspondents to his office and said the statement had been without any factual basis.  Also, he asked them to give their word of honor not to speak about the matter and especially not to breathe a word about it to their colleagues of the foreign press in Berlin.

But the Berlin correspondent of "Nichi Nichi", leading Japanese daily, decided not to keep silent.  At least, he felt not bound to silence if the news was inaccurate.   And so he decided to go to Munich where Eva Brau's father lived and where also the informant of the Japanese military attache resided.

In the course of a long talk with Eva's father, the latter said, "There is no doubt that the Führer intends to marry my daughter. That she has borne him a son or is about to do so is of little importance.  The important thing is that Hitler shall not die without a successor".

The correspondent returned to Berlin and called on his Ambassador.  He told him of the result of his trip in the hope that the diplomat would relieve him of the oath of silence. On the contrary, the Ambassador enjoined him not to reveal a single word on the matter.

Another correspondent states that on the eve of 1 January 1939, an official of the Reich Chancellery was arrested for having stated at a party, "Today, the son of the Führer celebrates his first birthday. Let us drink to his health".

But where are Hitler's children?  After the fall of Berlin a former attaché of the Swedish legation who had remained in close contact with Hitler's headquarters during the siege of the Reich Capital, revealed that Hitler's children were living with Eva Braun's parents in Bavaria. He added, "It is believed that when Hitler left Berlin on 8 or 9 April, he did so not only in order to take Eva Braun out of Berlin but also to say goodbye to his children whom he wanted to be in a safer place. He spent 3 days in Bavaria at a time when his presence in Berlin was more than necessary".

What really happened to the children were determined by French intelligence. A few days before Hitler vanished from Berlin, the children were flown to a naval base in Norway which the Nazis occupied.

If Hitler and several thousand highly ranked Nazis secretly escaped from Berlin toward the end of WWII, it is difficult to see how they could have done so without the knowledge of the United States Government. The growing number of investigators who believe that Hitler and many of his associates did escape suspect that it was by submarine that they made their way from Northern Europe to South America. By the end of the war, the United States Government had developed the ability to track any and all enemy ships on the Atlantic Ocean. It is difficult to see how they could have failed to notice a large convoy of German submarines, especially when those submarines would have had to surface and refuel at least once along the way.  So if the German submarines made it all the way to South America without being stopped, they must have had the tacit approval of somebody with authority in Washington.

In "Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler" there is the claim that Hitler had four children

A. Hitler and Eva's first child was named Ursula, born 1939

Eva's best friend was Herta Schneider. Eva and Herta had been friends from childhood, and even after Herta married (her maiden name was Ostermeyer), 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 Herta's daughter "Uschi" (Ursula), 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.

Notice resemblance to Göbbels

B. Göbbel's son Helmut, born 1935, was actually Hitler's son

Magda was introduced to Adolf Hitler over tea at the Kaiserhof Hotel. Both Göbbels and Otto Wagener, who was a close member of Hitler's entourage, arranged this invitation for Magda. Even at first glance, Magda "…made an excellent impression…" wrote Wagener.

"She was blonde, with bright blue shining eyes and manicured hands. She was dressed well, but not excessively. She appeared calm in her movements, assured, self-confident with a winning smile. I am tempted to say 'enchanting.' I noticed the pleasure Hitler took in her innocent high spirits. I also noticed how her large eyes were hanging on Hitler's gaze".

Hitler later told Wagener how taken he was with her.

According to Wagener, Hitler said of Magda:

"This woman could play an important role in my life, even without being married to her. In all my work, she could represent the female counterpart to my one-sidedly male instincts".

Wagener claims that her marriage to Göbbels was somewhat arranged. Since Hitler intended to remain unmarried, it was suggested that as the wife of a leading and highly visible Nazi official she might eventually act as "First Lady of the Third Reich".

There has always been open speculation that Magda Göbbels was in love with Adolf Hitler and stayed married to her husband so she would have easier access to him.

There is also speculation that Helmuth Göbbels was the bastard child of Adolf Hitler from their illicit union.

Hitler's Son?
Truth [Brisbane]
10 November 1946

According to the wife of Nazi Secretary of Slate Otto Meissner,  Helmuth was the son of Hitler and Frau Göbbels, begotten while they were lovers. Later Frau Göbbels and Göbbels were reconciled, and the child grew up as Göbbels' son, and died with the family in the suicide. Frau Meissner produced no proof, claimed to be "the only survivor who knows the truth".

C. Hitler impregnated Olympic Gold Medallist Tilly Fleischer, during an eight month affair, after meeting during the 1936 Munich games, the child was named Gisela.

Ottilie ["Tilly"] Fleischer was a German athlete who competed in a variety of track and field athletic events. She competed for Germany in the 1932 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, United States in three different events, taking the bronze medal in the javelin. .

Whilst competing at the 1936 Summer Olympics, she broke the Olympic record for the women's javelin throw twice during the rounds of the competition. She threw a javelin 148 feet, 2 25/32 inches, beating the previous record holder by over five inches. In so doing, she became the first German woman to win a gold medal at an Olympics event. As opposed to the 1932 Games, the javelin event was the only competition she entered at the 1936 Games.

Fleischer was married twice, having two daughters in her first marriage. In 1948 she opened a leather goods shop in Lahr, near the Black Forest. One of her daughters was named Gisela, who in 1966 was reported by the newspaper "Tribune de Genève" to be the illegitimate daughter of Adolf Hitler and was subsequently reported elsewhere in the press. This was due to the publishing of a book by Gisela, in which she claimed to be Hitler's daughter.

Gisela, child of Hitler

After the Olympic Games of 1936 where Tilly Fleischer won the gold medal in the Javelin throw, she was invited by Hitler at the Berghof for an "Intimate Dinner" according to "Paris-presse" in the issue of June 30. And  it was  there Hitler said to Tilly: "If the child is a boy, I will make him my best Feldmarschall" Apparently this was told to Gisela. She was not here though. But she came later: nine months. No boy, but a girl. And no field marshal, but a mannequin was born.  "Mein Vater Adolf Hitler" [My father Adolf Hitler] is the title of the book with her story.

In the preface, it says: "The daughter of the bloodiest dictator of all time  addresses the coming generations and dedicates to them this stirring human document, which is of a sincerity never before achieved by autobiographical memoirs.".

Tilly Fleischer is now called Frau Heuser. and Gisela, is now a photo model, specifically  for female underwear, bearing the same name. This profession seems to be not a favorable condition for memoir writing and so it was her fiancé, Philippe Mervyn, who has written the "stirring human document" and sold it to "Agence Littéraire Européenne" the Parisian Publishing House.

-- "Zeit"  8 July 1966

Gisela, no child of Hitler

In reply to your article published 8 July 1966 under the heading "Gisela, the child of Hitler" I explain:

It is not true that I am mannequin by profession or a photo model, generally or specifically as a presenter of female underwear. It is true that I am a student at a well-known School of Interpreters and in the preparing for my final exams.

It is not true that my engagement with Philipp Mervyn. has now fallen apart. It is true that this happened a number of years ago and long before Mervyn has brought up the story about my Adolf Hitler ancestry.

It is not true that I ever claimed to be the natural daughter of Adolf Hitler. It is true that in Paris, a book, translated from German, under the title "My father Adolf Hitler - memoirs of Gisela Heuser" appeared with comments provided by Marianne Horth.

It is not true that the book contains a report by me.
It is true that the book from A to Z, is written by Krischer and the history of my descent from Hitler he is totally fictitious.

It is true that upon application by my mother and my urgings, the circulation of the book is banned and the existing copies have been confiscated.
This for the reason, that the book contrary to its assertion is not my memoirs, also because of its slanderous allegations about my parents and especially the alleged relationships of my mother to Adolf Hitler.

-- Gisela Heuser

I was never invited by Hitler to the Berghof.
I also had no personal relationship of any kind with him.
I was, along with other participants, only introduced to him on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, and attended a reception of Olympic participants.

My daughter was never a mannequin, but is a student. She is the legitimate daughter of my marriage with Dr. Fritz Heuser.

-- Tilly Grote, née Fleischer

-- "Zeit"
12 August 1966
 

Gisela later took over the two leather goods shops owned by her mother following Tilly's death on 14 July 2005.

D. Eva Braun was pregnant again in Berlin in 1945, giving birth to her second daughter in Argentina

She had also miscarried in 1943. She apparently left Hitler, "probably in 1954", taking their two daughters with her, starting another new life elsewhere in Argentina.

Is it possible that Adolf Hitler did survive World War 2 and escaped by U-Boat to Argentina, South America?  Is it also possible that the Allies knew this and covered it up and keep it a secret?  These are theories that many people have put forth and truly believe.

U-Boats were quite capable of making the journey and with a network of friendly countries and fuel depots along the way, it could have been accomplished.  Also with vast wealth in Gold and Diamonds and probably Swiss Franks available - money does talk.  There is no reason why Hitler and top officials of the Nazi Party would have done this.  After all even Hitler at some point would have realized that the War and everything else was lost.  There is no reason to not consider it a very strong possibility.

Throughout the years there have been many reports of sightings of Hitler in South America and there was a very large German Communities in and around Buenos Aires where there would have been already an established network of Sympathetic and Loyal German Patriots who were for the most part left out of the war in Europe.  These German communities contained many very wealthy industrialists and business men who would have been more than willing to co-operate with the former German Chancellor.  Also, the SS and Nazi Party had many years to establish safe houses throughout friendly and neutral countries. 

The school of thought that seeks to debunk the claims of Hitler's escape to Argentina goes to great efforts to debunk the theories - actually what they present as evidence would not hold up in a modern court of law as evidence.   The witnesses they claim prove Hitler's death in the Bunker are actually people with a complete motive to cover-up Hitler's escape.

The claims of Abel Basti, an Argentinian Journalist can not be easily dismissed

Basti spent seven years of sometimes grueling investigations. He personally visited German compounds surrounded by security and stern-faced guards, interviewed surviving witnesses in villages near the strongholds, and even obtained authenticated photographs of Hitler and Braun during their exile years.

Basti wrote that Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, and the Führer's closest aides flew from the burning Berlin to Spain...and then crossed the Atlantic Ocean by three submarines and reached Argentina.

"In July-August, 1945 Hitler and his group 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 Himmler's staff was later used by Bormann, Mengele, and Eichmann".

Basti detailed the journey of Hitler and Eva Braun across Argentina assisted by local National Socialist sympathizers and described the couple’s family life during which—despite the hardships of hiding—they even had children. 

Mainstream Admits Hitler Never Killed Himself, Was Allowed to Escape — Died an Old Man

Long considered the purely fictitious musings of conspiracy theorists, rumors Adolf Hitler did not die in a murder-suicide pact with his newlywed, Eva Braun — but instead escaped to live under the radar in South America — might actually hold weight, after all.

Officially, whatever worth that could offer, Hitler met his fate with a gunshot to the head, while Braun ingested cyanide in a subterranean Bunker in Berlin on 30 April 1945, as the Allies finally quashed the Nazis. Forces then burned their bodies and the pair was subsequently buried in a shallow grave nearby.

But what if this narrative had merely been a comfortable cover spoon fed the public to mask the Führer actually being whisked away in a shadowy plot to ensure he wouldn’t fall into the clutches of advancing Soviets?

If the thought perhaps seems a bit ‘tin-foily’ for your taste, first consider the United States’ morals-thwarting Operation Paperclip.

Nearly 500 Nazi scientists — particularly those specializing in aerodynamics, rocketry, chemical weapons and reaction technology, and medicine — were secreted to White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico; Huntsville, Alabama; and Texas’ Fort Bliss without even the knowledge of the State Department. As obvious security threats and war criminals, those scientists wouldn’t have qualified for visas through official channels — but the government, foregoing ethical implications in pursuit of their knowledge, indeed facilitated safe passage to the U.S.

Though much information about what has alternately been called Project Paperclip remains classified, that Nazi scientists did receive paychecks courtesy of the U.S. government to advance national goals is admitted fact. In that context, would Hitler being given a similar VIP escape plan be that outside the realm of possibility?

Historian Abel Basti extensively details this hypothesis in a new edition of his book published in Argentina, "El Exilio de Hitler," or "Hitler in Exile" — an account now making headlines, even in media as mainstream as the "Huffington Post".

“There was an agreement with the US that Hitler would run away and that he shouldn’t fall into the hands of the Soviet Union,” Basti said. “This also applies to many scientists, the military and spies who later took part in the struggle against the Soviet regime".

In his book, Basti also cites declassified FBI documents, for example, the report of 4 September 1945, which says:

"Argentina kept silent in spite of all the accusations that it became a destination for Hitler, which he reached either flying 7.375 miles from Berlin on the plane, which was built specifically for this purpose, or as a passenger on a submarine".

Basti argues that it might have been another person left in the Bunker instead of Hitler, while the Nazi leader himself slipped to safety via a tunnel beneath the Chancellery connected to Tempelhof Airport, where there was a helicopter waiting for him.

Until shortly before the fall of Berlin, up to 40 aircraft were on constant standby at Berlin Gatow for the evacuation of Hitler and his entourage. These aircraft were: "more than 13 Fw 200s, three Ju 290s, some He 111s, a large number of Ju 52s and "a few small machines". The "few small machines" may have included one or two helicopters. Although Germany had at least 30 helicopters operational at that time, nothing is known of their activities and none of the usual sources ever mention them.

Against all odds, a final Focke Achgelis Fa-223 'Drache' helicopter was completed in February 1945 at Tempelhof Airport, and was almost immediately dispatched on a special mission, the details of which remain murky to this day, to Gdansk, then known as Danzig, on the express orders of Adolf Hitler, flying there between 26 February and 5 March 1945, returning to Werder near Berlin on 11 March 1945; a total distance  of 1,675 kms.

-- Source: "The German Light Cruisers of WWII" by Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke, Greenhill Books, 2002

The purpose of this flight is unknown but might have been a trial to test the aircraft's endurance.

Hans Ulrich Rudel and Hanna Reitsch practiced with a Focke Achgelis Fa223, which had twin rotors on transverse outriggers, through November and December 1944 making rescue flights to the Tiergarten with this aircraft, but by April 29 1945 the helicopter at Rechlin kept for this task was destroyed by air attacks. Von Greim and Reitsch flew in by Fi-156 but flew out on an Arado Ar-96

In his memoirs, German Minister of Armaments Albert Speer claimed that he had heard from Anton Flettner that Karl Hanke had actually escaped in one of the few existing prototype helicopters which Flettner had designed.

Towards the end of World War II, most of the surviving Flettner Fl-282s, 'Kolibri', were stationed at Rangsdorf AB & Ainring AB at Mühldorf, Bavaria, in their role as artillery spotters, assigned to Transport Staffel [transport squadron] TS40, the Luftwaffe's only operational helicopter squadron but gradually fell victim to Soviet fighters and anti-aircraft fire. During the last few months of the War the Luftwaffe's Transport Staffel TS40 squadron 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 Hanke to his escape out of besieged Breslau, on 5 May 1945, letting him escape to Prague, just one day before the capture of that city.

After that, he took plane to fly to Spain., and then — to the Canary Islands, where he got on a U-Boat to make way to Argentina.

As proof, Basti states:

"I was able to confirm the presence of Hitler in Spain thanks to a—now elderly—Jesuit priest, whose family members were friends of the Nazi leader. And I have witnesses that allude to meetings he had with his entourage at the place where they stayed in Cantabria.

"In addition, a document of the British secret services reveals that in those days, a Nazi submarine convoy left Spain, and after stopping in the Canary Islands, it continued its journey to the south of Argentina.

In addition, a document of the British secret services reveals that in those days, a Nazi submarine convoy left Spain, and after stopping in the Canary Islands, it continued its journey to the south of Argentina.

“Hitler and Eva Braun traveled onboard one of these submarines, which later arrived in Patagonia between July and August of 1945, under the de facto President Edelmiro Farrell and later Juan Domingo Peron, then his Minister of War. There is also another important document mentioning that the FBI was looking for Hitler in Spain after World War II.

"All the evidence where they left from to Patagonia points to the Galician coast, which was a significant base of supplies for Nazi submarines during the Battle of the Atlantic, to the extent that Churchill considered the possibility of invading it—an action that was scrapped when they built the code-breaking "Enigma" machine and managed to decipher Nazi submarine fleet messages and the course of submarine warfare was reversed.

“There is the possibility that he left from Vigo or Ferrol, but it is almost certain that he did from Vigo, according to Britain’s MI6".

Hitler lived in Argentina  for ten years before settling in Paraguay under the protection of dictator Alfredo Stroessner, himself with German roots

There is an enormous German population in Paraguay today, with whole German areas, such as Filadelfia, Loma Plata and Neuland in the central Chaco, Nueva Germania in San Pedro, the Colonias Unidas in ItaItapua, and Independencia in Guaira. Not only that, but very many of the best hotels have some elements of German management. Good hotel almost equals German hotel.

...the first Nazi party outside of Germany was formed in Paraguay around 1930. ...when dictator Stroessner  came to power in 1954, he felt a bond with the authoritarian methods of the Nazis, and received around a dozen Nazi leaders into the country. There is even a theory [of Paraguayan writer Mariano Llano] that Hitler did not die in his Berlin bunker but fled to Argentina in a submarine, and about ten years later passed into Paraguay incognito, but with the knowledge and consent of Stroessner, where in due course he died in anonymity.

Whatever the truth of that, there was an organisation called ODESSA which helped Nazis escape to South America, and among those who did so were: Josef Mengele, the doctor who performed medical experiments on Jews in Auschwitz and subsequently obtained naturalisation in Paraguay; Edward Roschmann, commandant of the Riga concentration camp; and a number of other war criminals including Erwin Fleiss, Marko Colak and Ante Pavelic. All these Nazis spent part of their exile in Argentina and part in Paraguay.

-- Margaret Hebblethwaite, "Nazis and Paraguay"

As Basti tells it, the former Führer died there on 3 February 1971.

"Wealthy families who helped him over the years were responsible for the organization of his funeral," Basti explained. “Hitler was buried in an underground Bunker, which is now an elegant hotel in the city of Asuncion. In 1973, the entrance to the Bunker was sealed, and 40 people came to say goodbye to Hitler. One of those who attended [the funeral], Brazilian serviceman Fernando Nogueira de Araujo, then told a newspaper about the ceremony".

But Basti isn’t alone in this hypothesis.

Bob Baer, a CIA operative with 21 years’ experience and "one of America’s most elite Intelligence case officers," described a similarly covert, government-facilitated escape plan in a documentary series for the "History Channel" called "Hunting Hitler", which aired in early 2015.

Baer and his team, including war crimes investigator Dr. John Cencich, claim have found tunnels leading from the Bunker to the Tempelhof Airport, and that they discovered proof of Hitler’s escape to South America, using 700 pages of declassified FBI documents and on-scene sleuthing there.

As one investigator noted:

"American Army officials in Germany have not located Hitler’s body nor is there any reliable source that Hitler is dead".

Further discrediting the official story — and backing up doubts raised by Basti and the Baer team — a report in the "Guardian" in 2009 shattered previously-"irrefutable" physical evidence of Hitler’s suicide: the former Führer’s bullet-pierced skull.

American researchers performed a DNA analysis of that skull — once preserved in secret by Soviet Intelligence, now held by Russian State Archive in Moscow — to determine the legitimacy of claims the bones were indeed Hitler’s.

But in the genetics lab at the University of Connecticut, archeologist and bone specialist Nick Bellantoni made a startling discovery. From the outset, Bellantoni noticed telling discrepancies:

"The bone seemed very thin; male bone tends to be more robust. And the sutures where the skull plates came together seemed to correspond to someone under 40" — but Hitler turned 56 in April 1945.

Bellantoni’s suspicions from physical examination of that skull fragment — which the team diligently confirmed authentic — were backed up by the molecular, genetic analysis. That skull, which the Soviets had proffered as proof of Hitler’s self-inflicted gunshot for decades, belonged to an as-yet unidentified female.

Though possible the skull fragment, found to be of a "woman between the ages of 20 and 40," according to Bellantoni, could belong to Eva Braun, no narrative of events ever claimed Hitler’s former bride was shot.

As early as 2000, the BBC reported Hitler biographer Werner Maser cast doubt on the authenticity of the skull — despite steadfast public affirmation from Russian officials.

As for Eva Braun, Basti said that she lived longer than Hitler and returned to the city of Bariloche in Argentina. Later she went to Buenos Aires, but after she turned 90, Basti lost track of her.

South America did indeed play host to many fleeing Nazis — including sadistic doctor Josef Mengele, whose torturous experimentation of Nazi concentration camp prisoners eventually branched into the study of twins. Later, in a small town in Brazil, one in five pregnancies resulted in births of twins — something Argentine historian Jorge Camarasa claimed in 2009 evidenced Mengele’s handiwork following his escape from Germany.

Whether or not you make a habit of doubting official stories, evidence of Hitler’s deft departure from Germany —rather than a death by his own hand alongside his bride of just a few hours — appears more solid by the year.

As biographers, researchers, scientists, historians, and others carefully piece together a credible counter-narrative, perhaps Hitler’s suicide stands as one more falsely-constructed story designed to comfort an atrocity-weary public — as well as veil the ethical avulsion of an awkward truth.

Officially, Hitler had no children, and officially, he and his wife Eva Braun killed themselves in their Berlin Bunker in 1945 when it became apparent that the Nazis had lost the war. However, a book published in 2011 claims that they actually escaped to Argentina and that the suicide was a myth that was spread to cover their tracks. When there are no bodies to identify, it’s easy to see why stories like this can gain credence.

In "Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler", writers Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan assert that Hitler and Braun had not one, but two daughters, while living in Argentina. They say the book is based on intricate research and that they have spoken to eyewitnesses in Argentina to bring together ‘overwhelming’ evidence that the Nazi leader lived there for almost 20 years until he died aged 73 in 1962. The writers of "Grey Wolf" have also produced a film about their beliefs.

So theories that Hitler escaped – and indeed, had children – are not beyond the realms of possibility. It’s an interesting conspiracy theory that looks set to run and run.

 

excerpts of the book "The Plot Against The Peace" by Michael Sayers and Albert E. Kahn [1945]

The German General Staff has always regarded military defeat as merely a temporary phase of war. The war goes on. Battle strategy becomes underground conspiracy; artillery is replaced by propaganda; wartime espionage becomes post-war political intrigue, terror, assassination, and secret preparation for new military attack.
     
"Even the final decision of war is not to be regarded as absolute," wrote Germany's military theorist, General Karl von Clausewitz, in his celebrated treatise "Vom Kriege" [On War]. "The conquered nation often sees it only as a passing phase, to be repaired in after times by political combinations".

These words have been deeply pondered by the German General Staff–the cabal of army officers, Junkers, and industrialists who are the real rulers of Germany. They provided the German General Staff with the basis of a secret plan by which it successfully operated after the First World War. 

The original form of this secret plan of the German General Staff was discovered in 1915 by William Seamen Bainbridge, an American representative in Berlin. After the First World War, seeking to warn America, Bainbridge wrote a detailed report on Germany for the United States Government. It appears as "Document No. 26, Official Senate Documents, First Session of the 68th Congress of the United States". This little-known American document contains the most sensational forecast ever made regarding German policy.
    
Here is the five-point secret German General Staff plan as revealed to Bainbridge in 1915, three years before the end of the World War I, by a German officer in a room in the Hotel Adlon, Berlin:

(1) An armistice will come before any hostile army crosses Germany's frontier.
(2) There will be no scars on the Fatherland after this war.
(3) The immediate competitors in the economic and commercial world will be so crippled that, when it is all over, the Germans will be outselling them in the markets of the world long before they can get on their feet.
(4) Following the war, there will be economic hell, industrial revolution. We will set class against class, individual against individual, until the nations will have pretty much all they can attend to at home and not bother with us.
(5) If need be, the Fatherland may dissemble into component parts and reassemble at the strategic time.

In concluding this extraordinary revelation, the German officer turned to Bainbridge and said with deliberate emphasis:

"The greatest struggle will come after the war. The weapon will be propaganda, the value of which we know. The Allies will be torn asunder, each will be put at the others' throats like a lot of howling gnashing hounds. And when they are all separated from France, Germany will deal with her alone".

In his war memoirs, General Erich Ludendorff revealed that as early as 1916 the German General Staff decided that it could not win the First World War and that it then began its campaign for a negotiated peace. The peace intrigues went on steadily throughout 1916, 1917, and were intensified after the failure of Ludendorff's spring offensive in 1918.

Ludendorff tells of the hopes he placed in the Vatican as an intermediary for a negotiated peace. "I also entertained some hopes," continued Ludendorff, "of the efforts being made by the representative of the Foreign Office in Brussels, Herr von der Lancken, who sought to get in touch with French statesmen. He went to Switzerland, but the gentlemen from France stayed away".

Ludendorff reveals that the German General Staff was confident it could divide the Allied nations, play one against the other, and so secure the kind of final peace settlement that Germany wanted.
      
In August 1918, Ludendorff told the Kaiser: "The war must be ended".
      
But the Kaiser, like Hitler over twenty years later, was unwilling to surrender his power and demanded the continuation of the hostilities.

At this juncture, when the German General Staff was frantically seeking peace so as to forestall complete Allied victory, the famous German steel magnate, August Thyssen, published an extraordinary "Confession" for all the world to read. It was the most sensational document of the last war.

August Thyssen, stating that German industrialists were prepared to sacrifice the Kaiser in return for peace, wrote:

"In 1912 the Hohenzollerns saw that the war had become a necessity to the preservation of the military system upon which their power depends . . . they, therefore, in 1912, decided to embark on a great war of conquest.
    
"But to do this they had to get the commercial community to support them in their aims. They did this by holding out to them hopes of great personal gain as a result of the war. . . .."
 
This astonishing document reached the United States in the early spring of 1918. It was published as a pamphlet entitled "The Hohenzollern Plot" by August Thyssen. It was reprinted many times, quoted in newspapers, inserted into the "Congressional Record", and publicized especially in American business circles. It did much towards convincing American public opinion that peace could be made with the "sound, business interests" in Germany.
 
Meanwhile, although Thyssen's "Confession" had openly called for the removal of the Kaiser and the conclusion of the war, nothing was done by the Kaiser's Government to arrest Thyssen or stop the publication of his document. The steel magnate continued to live in Germany, unmolested and in full control of his vast industrial interests.
      
On 29 September 1918 Ludendorff and Paul Hindenburg told an incredulous Kaiser that they must have an immediate armistice. A new Chancellor, Prince Maximilian of Baden, approached President Woodrow Wilson but his terms were stiff and the Army fought on. The chancellor told the Kaiser that he and his cabinet would resign unless Ludendorff was removed, but that Hindenburg must remain to hold the Army together. The Kaiser called his commanders in, curtly accepting Ludendorff’s resignation,  in October 1918, just before the end of hostilities and then rejecting Hindenburg’s.

After the war, August Thyssen died, and the famous "Confession" was forgotten.

In the Second World War the German General Staff was unable to prevent the invasion of Germany's home territory. But the German plan in 1945, is otherwise almost identical with the plan it carried out with such amazing success following the last German debacle. As Marshal Stalin pointed out in 1942, the German General Staff is methodical and efficient; but it is not very imaginative. Once it has conceived a plan, it follows it step by step, again and again and again, no matter what happens.

Ludendorff returned to Berlin in February 1919. Staying at the Adlon Hotel, he talked with another resident, Sir Neil Malcome , the head of the British Military Mission. After Ludendorff presented his excuses for the German defeat Malcome said  "You mean that you were stabbed in the back?",  ironically coining a key catchphrase for the German right-wing - the Dolchstoßlegende, the notion that the German Army did not lose World War I, but was instead betrayed by the civilians on the home front, especially the republicans who overthrew the monarchy in the German Revolution of 1918-19.

Advocates denounced the German government leaders who signed the Armistice on 11 November 1918, as the "Novemberverbrecher" (November Criminals)

This German postwar plan was successfully carried out by the German General Staff after the First World War. The Armistice came before any hostile army could cross Germany's frontier. The war left Germany's economic might unimpaired, and Germany's plants, mills, and mines unscathed. In the years following the war, Germany was able the challenge America, Britain, and France for the markets of the world. German intrigue and propaganda set Britain against France, America against Europe, and all the countries against Soviet Russia.

In the fall of 1918, within a few months of the General Staff's decision to sue for peace, billions of Marks had been smuggled out of Germany to Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, and other foreign centers of German commercial activity. The "Neue Züricher Zeitung" in June 1919, estimated the figure of "emigrated capital" which German interests had cached in Switzerland at 35 billion Marks. The Dutch aviation designer, Anthony Fokker, describes in his memoirs "The Flying Dutchman" how an entire military aviation plant in Germany was dismembered and secretly transported to Holland.

The Dornier Airplane Company, with headquarters in Friedrichshafen, was moved across Lake Constance to Switzerland. The Rohrbach plant was transferred to Denmark; Heinkel and Junkers established themselves in Sweden. All these transfers were done at the request of the General Staff and accomplished with the aid of the German Army.
     
Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, of the Imperial Naval Intelligence, and subsequently of the Nazi Naval Intelligence, went to Spain to supervise German-controlled shipyards and submarine plants at Vigo.
    
Baron Manfred von Killinger, Imperial Army officer and subsequent Nazi Consul in the United States, established a company in Echevarria, Spain, to experiment with new types of submarines for Krupp.

Manfred Freiherr von Killinger, a veteran of World War I and member of the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt during the German Revolution, he took part in the military intervention against the Bavarian Soviet Republic. After the Freikorps was disbanded, the antisemitic Killinger was active in the Germanenorden and Organisation Consul, masterminding the murder of Matthias Erzberger. He was subsequently a National Socialist German Workers Party representative in the Reichstag and a leader of the Sturmabteilung, before serving as Saxony's Minister-President and playing a part in implementing Nazi policies at a local level.

Purged during the Night of the Long Knives, he was able to recover his status, and served as Nazi Germany's Consul in San Francisco between 1936 and 1939. As Ambassador to the Slovak Republic in 1940, he played a part in enforcing antisemitic legislation in that country. In early 1941, Killinger was appointed to a similar position in Romania, where he first became noted for supporting Ion Antonescu during the Legionary Rebellion. 

Killinger oversaw German presence in Romania until 1944, until he committed suicide in Bucharest, days after King Michael's Coup of 23 August 1944 toppled the Antonescu regime. 

In the spring of 1943 the German General Staff started its contemporary application of the secret German postwar plan. Nazi Germany was face to face with catastrophe. The entire German Sixth Army under General von Paulus had been surrounded and annihilated by the Red Army at Stalingrad. That was the historic turning point of the Second World War.

In November 1943 the French resistance weekly, "Combat", published in Algiers, printed the text of a secret German General Staff memorandum which had fallen into Allied hands after the German debacle in North Africa. The author of the memorandum was General Otto von Stülpnagel who ruled France for Hitler from 1940 to 1942.

This is what the German General wrote:

"What does a provisional defeat matter to us if because of the destruction of manpower and material which we will have been able to inflict on our enemies and neighboring territories, we have obtained a margin of economic and demographic superiority greater than before 1939? The conquest of the world will require numerous stages, but the essential is that the end of each stage brings us an economic and industrial essential greater than that of our enemies. With war booty which we have accumulated, the enfeebling of two generations of the manpower, the destruction of the industries of our neighbors and that which we can save of our own, we shall be better placed to conquer in twenty-five years than we were in 1939. The interval of twenty-five years is a limited interval, for that is the time which will be required for Russia to repair the destruction we have visited on her".

The memorandum mentioned some of the elaborate devices by which the rulers of Germany would seek to evade a just peace:

"We do not have to fear peace conditions analogous to those which we would have imposed because our adversaries will always be divided and disunited. Our enemies recognize already that the 1919 formula, 'Germany will pay,' lacked sense and worth. We will furnish them some brigades of workers, we will restore some art objects or out-of-date machines, and we can always say that those which we do not restore were destroyed by enemy bombardments. We should immediately prepare as camouflage a list of such objects destroyed by Anglo-American bombs".

Days before the German Invasion of Poland, Hitler recalled Otto von Stülpnagel, who had retired in March 1939, to active service and placed him in charge of a military district in Austria [Wehrkreis XVII], and he held the latter post for fourteen months.

On 25 October 1940, German army high command transferred von Stülpnagel to France and placed him in charge of a military government with the title of Military Commander in France [Militärbefehlshaber in Frankreich or MBF]. Not without controversy, this last assignment defined Stülpnagel’s career.

Orders from Hitler placed the army and the MBF in charge of "security" but allowed other state and Nazi party agencies to exercise a degree of influence in Occupied France. The German ambassador in Paris, Otto Abetz, first supervised and later controlled diplomatic relations between France and Germany, but the power amounted to little in practice. Hitler would not allow his ambassador to trade concessions for French co-operation, and formal negotiations between the Third Reich and Vichy regime came to naught. Able to control the flow of vital raw materials, food, and people across the demarcation line that separated occupied from unoccupied France, Stülpnagel could reward French co-operation by allowing people and goods to cross military checkpoints, or he could seal the borders and bring the French economy to a grinding halt. Control over both the demarcation line inside France and borders with Germany and Belgium gave the MBF considerable influence over German policy and French affairs. Otto von Stülpnagel played a major role in Franco-German relations between October 1940 and January 1942.

Heinrich Otto Abetz, born on 26 March 1903, would eventually join the Hitler Youth where he became a close friend of Joachim von Ribbentrop.He was also one of the founders of the Reichsbanner, the paramilitary arm of the Social Democrats, and was associated with groups such as the Black Front, a group of dissident Nazis associated with Otto Strasser.

Abetz cultivated a legacy of strengthening Franco-German relations. Interested in French culture at an early age, in his twenties he started a Franco-German cultural group for youths, along with Jean Luchaire, known as the Sohlberg Congress. The group brought together a hundred German and French youth of all professions, social classes, political leanings, and religious affiliation. The group held their first conference in the Black Forest, and were frequently convened around ski slopes, campfires, and in hostels. The group maintained relations with the media through Luchaire's connection to the Notre Temps, and Abetz started the Sohlberg Circle [Sohlbergkreis]. In 1934 the Sohlberg Circle was reborn as the Franco-German Committee [Comité France-Allemagne], which included Pierre Drieu la Rochelle and Jacques Benoist-Mechin.

An ardent Francophile, Abetz married Luchaire's French secretary, Susanne de Bruyker, in 1932. At that time his politics were leftist, and he was known as a pacifist who bridged differences with fascists.

Abetz did not join the Nazi Party until 1937, the year he applied for the German Foreign Service. From 1938, he was representing Germany in Paris. There, he joined Masonic Lodge Göthe in 1939.

Abetz attended the Munich Conference in 1938. He was deported from France in June 1939 following allegations he had bribed two French newspaper editors to write pro-German articles; his expulsion created a scandal in France when it emerged that the wife of the French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet was a close friend of the two editors, which led to much lurid speculation in the French press that Bonnet had received bribes from Abetz, though no firm evidence has ever emerged to support the rumors.

He was present in Adolf Hitler's entourage at the fall of Warsaw, and served as a translator for the German Führer. He returned to France in June 1940 following the German occupation and was assigned by Joachim von Ribbentrop to the embassy in Paris.

Following Hitler's 30 June directive, Abetz was assigned by Ribbentrop the project of "safeguarding" all objects of art, public, private, and especially Jewish-owned. Abetz embarked on the job with enthusiasm and announced to the Wehrmacht that the embassy had been "charged with the seizure of French works of art... and with the listing and seizure of works owned by Jews". On 17 September 1940 Hitler allowed Einsatzstab Rosenberg into the game too and soon pushed Abetz out of the confiscation business. The Pétain government protested Abetz's undertakings in late October, but nothing could stop the German agencies. By the end of October so much material had accumulated at the Louvre that it was decided more space was needed].

In November 1940 Abetz was appointed to the German Embassy in Paris, in occupied France, at the age of 37 – a post he held until July 1944. He was also head of the French fifth columnists through Ribbentrop's special unit within the Foreign Service. Abetz was never accredited as Ambassador to France as there was never a peace treaty between Germany and France, but he acted with the full powers of an ambassador.

He advised the German military administration in Paris and was responsible for dealings with Vichy France. In May 1941, he negotiated the Paris Protocols to expand German access to French military facilities.

Otto Abetz was one of the few German functionaries who admired and respected von Ribbentrop. His primary objective was to secure complete collaboration from the French, through negotiations with Laval and Admiral Darlan. Abetz' function eventually evolved into becoming the catalyst for society, the arts, industry, education, and above all, propaganda. He assembled a team of journalists and academics. In addition to running the German embassy in Paris, Abetz seized the Château de Chantilly in the countryside. he often entertained guests in both these places, living and working like a self-styled autocrat. One of the guests, the French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline, referred to him as "King Otto I", and France as "the Kingdom of Otto".

The Embassy was theoretically responsible for all political questions in occupied France, which included SD operations, and for advising the German police and military. Abetz advised the military, the Gestapo and the SD, who nevertheless did not heed his advice. As the official representative of the German Government with the honorary rank of SS-Standartenführer [Colonel], he sought to seize the initiative as much as possible. In 1940 he created the German Institute, to be headed by Karl Epting, which was intended to improve French-German relations by offering a taste of German culture to the French people. Thirty thousand people signed up for the Institute's German language courses, but far more popular were the concerts which featured Germany's best musicians, including Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Following the occupation of all of Vichy France on 11 November 1942, von Ribbentrop's influence was minimal as all of France was run by German military authorities, in conjunction with military police. An NSDAP Reichskommissariat of Belgien-Nordfrankreich held sway in several northern departments. Abetz was helpless to aid von Ribbentrop in Paris. Von Ribbentrop recalled him in November following the occupation of Vichy France. Abetz knew that he was in disfavour, although he did not understand why. He saw neither Hitler nor von Ribbentrop for a full year. He was consulted only once, on the formation of the French volunteer Waffen-SS unit Charlemagne. In his memoirs, Abetz assumed that he was considered "too francophile" and that his constant warnings about the loss of the French fleet and the loss of the French North Africa colonies were a thorn in the side of von Ribbentrop, particularly now that they had turned out to be correct. The scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon on 27 November had ensured that the French would not join the Axis.

He left France in September 1944 as the German armies withdrew, this despite claiming to Swedish ambassador Raoul Nordling on the seventh of the previous month that the Germans had neither killed political prisoners nor were making any plans to leave Paris.

Abetz was captured by Allied authorities in the Schwarzwald in October 1945. He was quoted in "France Soir", following the announcement of his arrest, as saying that Adolf Hitler was not dead, which statement is found in the FBI files pertaining to Hitler's apparent escape to Argentina. In July 1949 a French court sentenced Abetz to 20 years' imprisonment for war crimes, particularly his role in arranging the deportation of French Jews to the death camps. He was released on 17 April 1954 from Loos prison.

He died on 5 May 1958 in an auto accident near Langenfeld on the Cologne-Ruhr Autobahn

Determined to support the Nazi war effort by placing French industrial resources at the disposal of the German war economy, Stülpnagel discouraged all activities that did not advance the German war effort. The latter goal placed him at loggerheads with Nazi party stalwarts who viewed the Second World War as a struggle against Jews and their alleged communist allies. Days after German troops occupied Paris, agents of the 'Einsatz Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg' and diplomats attached to the German embassy in Paris began to confiscate the art collections of prominent French Jews. Upset by the apparent seizure of France’s artistic patrimony, the French government complained to German diplomats and the MBF. Eager to maintain cordial relations with the Vichy regime, Stülpnagel and his staff condemned the confiscations though a series of protests that eventually reached Hitler’s desk, but to no avail. Hitler eventually placed the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg beyond military control and sanctioned the wholesale robbery of Jewish art collections.

Conflict with the SS followed a similar pattern. Forced to accept an advisory role at the start of the Occupation, Himmler’s SS highlighted the alleged danger of the so-called ‘Jewish menace’ and pressed military authorities to launch an active campaign against racial opponents in France, but SS forces in France lacked the authority to act independently. After resistance groups shot Colonel Karl Friedrich Hotz in Nantes on 20 October and Dr. Hans-Gottfried Reimers in Bordeaux on 21 October 1941, Hitler ordered Otto von Stülpnagel to execute 100-150 French hostages for each attack. The MBF immediately condemned Hitler’s policy through official channels, treated both attacks as a single incident, and shot a total of 98 hostages. Determined to preserve French co-operation, Stülpnagel condemned large-scale executions. In contrast, the SS demonstrated its enthusiasm for Hitler’s war against the so-called Jewish conspiracy by bombing seven Synagogues in Paris on the night of 2/3 October 1941. Embarrassed by the attacks, Stülpnagel complained to superiors in Berlin, but his repeated protests only reiterated tepid support for Nazi racial policy.

Suspecting the MBF of Francophilia, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, the head of Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW) grew tired of Stülpnagel’s complaints. On 2 February 1942, he directed the MBF to answer all acts of resistance with "sharp deterrents, including the execution of a large number of imprisoned communists, Jews, or people who carried out previous attacks, and the arrest of at least 1,000 Jews or communists for later evacuation". Stülpnagel who ordered the execution of 95 hostages on 15 December  1941, refused to go any further in the implementation of the retaliation policy. He promptly submitted a bitter letter of resignation. Succeeded by his cousin Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Otto may have suffered a nervous breakdown and spent the remainder of the war with his wife in Berlin.

Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, in 1938, after the Blomberg-Fritsch Affair and the Sudeten Crisis, he established contact with the Schwarze Kapelle, revealing the secret plan for the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Stülpnagel took part in the military opposition's first plans to remove Hitler from power, but these plans were largely abandoned after the Munich Agreement.

From 20 December 1940 to 4 October 1941, Stülpnagel was a General of Infantry (April 1939) and commanded the 17th Army. On 22 June 1941, after the launch of Operation Barbarossa, he successfully led this army across southern Russia on the Eastern Front. Under Stülpnagel's command, the 17th Army achieved victory during the Battle of Uman and the Battle of Kiev.

In February 1942, Stülpnagel was made German-occupied France's military commander, and in this position, he, along with his personal adviser Lieutenant-Colonel Cäsar von Hofacker, continued to be active in the conspiracy against Hitler. Hofacker served as Stülpnagel's liaison with Claus von Stauffenberg, who eventually carried out the assassination attempt at the Wolfsschanze in East Prussia.

Cäsar von Hofacker served as head of the Iron and Steel section of the military administration in Paris.

Von Hofacker was on the staff of Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, the Military Governor of France. Hofacker was a cousin of Colonel von Stauffenberg and, in 1943, began attempts to recruit senior generals in the plot to overthrow Adolf Hitler. He enlisted the active support of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel for the planned coup d'etat against Hitler in the summer of 1944.

Other than Major Georgi, Colonel Hofacker was the only other known conspirator in the Luftwaffe. As a Luftwaffe group commander, Hofacker made no secret of his loathing for Hitler among friends and colleagues. He considered Hitler's attitude toward France "short-sighted and imprudent, and in every moral respect disastrous."

Hofacker managed to get transferred to General von Stülpnagel's entourage in Paris as liaison officer and became von Stülpnagel's right hand man in the conspiracy.

Hofacker played a crucial role in the Paris side of the coup attempt on 20 July 1944. Von Stülpnagel's part of the plot, mainly involved having Hans Otfried von Linstow, who was only informed of the plot on that same day, round up all SS and Gestapo officers in Paris and imprison them.

Hofacker accompanied General von Stülpnagel to Field Marshal von Kluge's headquarters at La Roche Guyon. There he announced that the entire SS and Gestapo contingent in all of Paris had been arrested on von Stülpnagel's initiative and delivered an impassioned speech exhorting Kluge to throw his weight behind Stauffenberg's coup attempt. After Kluge refused to do so, Hofacker returns with von Stülpnagel to Paris.

A threatened revolt by Admiral Theodor Krancke's Naval Marines, coupled with Kluge's reticence and the collapse of the coup in Berlin, forced Hofacker and Stülpnagel to release their SS and Gestapo captives. They spent the rest of the night of July 20-21 diffusing the crisis and shredding documents to save as many of their colleagues as possible from arrest.

Over the next few days, Hofacker made plans to return to Germany and go underground to avoid arrest but was captured in Paris on 26 July.

When Stülpnagel was recalled from Paris, he stopped at Verdun and tried to kill himself by shooting himself in the head] with a pistol on the banks of the Meuse River. He only succeeded in blinding himself, and was arrested by the Gestapo, and  brought before the  Volksgerichtshof  (People's Court) on 30 August 1944. He was found guilty of high treason and hanged the same day at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin

Hofacker was brutally tortured by the Gestapo for days but proudly assumed sole responsibility for all conspiratorial events that transpired in Paris. His interrogators later admit to their admiration for his immense courage. But repeated excruciating torture eventually caused Hofacker to implicate Rommel in the conspiracy.

At his trial, Hofacker remained defiant toward (People's Court) judge Roland Freisler. According to one observer, Hofacker's condemnation of Hitler was so devastating that his interrogators could hardly tear themselves away and thereafter concluded that he was "the most dangerous internal enemy to the regime" in all of France.

Cäsar von Hofacker was executed on 20 December 1944.

Substantial archival evidence indicates that during his tenure as commander of the 17th Army and military governor of France, Stülpnagel was involved in war crimes. In the Soviet Union, Stülpnagel signed many orders authorizing reprisals against civilians for partisan attacks and closely collaborated with the Einsatzgruppen in their mass executions of Jews. He admonished his soldiers not for the murder of civilian population but for chaotic means in which it was undertaken, particularly early premature taking hostages and random measures. He ordered his troops to focus on Jews and communist civilians, remarking that communists were Jews that needed capture anyways; in order to improve relations with Ukrainians, even in cases of Ukrainian sabotage, local Jews were pointed out for punishment.

The basic aim of the German plan in 1945 as in 1918, was to secure a final peace settlement, no matter how severe it may appear on the surface, or how hard on the German people, which will leave German economic power intact.

With amazing consistency Germany's rulers were repeating the same strategy they employed in the past to obtain the kind of peace settlement suitable to their aims. In both instances, this strategy was mapped out long in advance.

A dispatch from Stockholm, Sweden, to the "New York Times", 30 January 1945, revealed that German industrialists were placing huge capital foundations in Sweden by registering their patents at the Swedish State Patent Office to elude seizure by the United Nations. The Times dispatch read:

 "A perusal of patent applications, which must be recorded in the "Swedish Official Journal", reveals that a good 50 per cent of all patent applications hail from German firms. The latest ones come from such major German concerns as I.G. Farben, Zeiss-Ikon, Boch, and the Daimler-Bainz companies, besides the A.E.G. and Siemens".

This flight of German capital into neutral Sweden represents only a fraction of the capital investments which Germany had already secreted abroad.

As of February 1945 there were no less than 987 joint stock companies in Spain controlled completely by German capital. Two thousand Spanish companies, many of them with branches and affiliates in North and South America, have German directors on their boards.

As late as the summer of 1944, as the American journalist Ted Allan revealed in "Collier's Magazine" on 3 February 1945, the international German trust, I.G. Farben, built four new chemical plants in Madrid. In March 1944, I.G. Farben completed a synthetic oil plant in Pueblonuevo del Terrible near Córdoba. This plant had a Spanish name, Calvo Sotelo, and was supposedly controlled by Spaniards. It was owned completely by I.G. Farben. Also in the summer of 1944, I.G. Farben built a magnesium plant in Santander, Spanish northern port. Other German plants, steel, textile, munitions, and mines, exist in Catalonia, the Asturias, the Basque country, and in Galicia.

The Spanish multi-millionaire Juan March, who financed Franco's Fascist 'Falange' to the tune of $60,000,000, was a German spy in the First World War, a Krupp agent and collaborator with Admiral Canaris, chief of the German Naval Intelligence.

Juan Alberto March Ordinas was a Spanish businessman closely associated with the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War, and with the regime of Francisco Franco after the war. Juan March was the wealthiest man in Spain and the sixth richest man in the world. The March family are still among the richest in the world, they are reported to be worth over 15 billion USD.

As a young man, he smuggled tobacco from North Africa into Spain. During World War I, he supplied goods to both sides, evading the Allied blockade of the Central Powers, and the German U-Boats.

His power and influence increased under different Spanish governments during the reign of King Alfonso XIII. In 1926 he created the Banca March in Majorca.

When the monarchy was replaced by the Second Spanish Republic in 1930, March lost his influence, and was convicted and imprisoned for his illegal dealings. He escaped from prison, and fled to Gibraltar where his influence with the British government protected him against extradition.

March was an important backer of the 1936 military rebellion against the Republic which led to the Civil War. He arranged Franco's flight from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco, to bring the colonial troops there into the rebellion, and personally financed the Italian airlift of those troops to southern Spain.

With the Nationalist victory in 1939, March regained all his former influence and more, and was greatly favored by the Franco regime. During World War II, the Allies employed him to keep Spain from joining the Axis. According to recently declassified documents, in 1941 the British government gave him US$10,000,000 with which to influence the top Spanish generals.

In 1944, March became a supporter of the claim of Don Juan de Borbón, who had turned pro-Allied, to the Spanish throne.

By 1945, March was providing commercial fronts for German capital smuggled into Spain and, through Spanish outlets, into South America.
 
Portugal is another center of German financial and industrial activity. An uncensored report printed in the "New York Times" on 12 January 1944, disclosed: "Like Spain, Portugal teems with German agents and in Lisbon they are as ubiquitous as bootleggers were during prohibition in America. Their red necks gleam in every bar and fine restaurant . . ."

Through Portuguese commercial fronts, the Germans have also been able to penetrate South America.

Throughout the Americas, especially in Argentina, German agents have built important new plants, and gained control of mines, banks, railroads, aviation lines, chemicals, and steel works. Fritz Mandl virtually controlled the munitions industry in Argentina on behalf of I.G. Farben.

Friedrich 'Fritz' Mandl,  was chairman of Hirtenberger Patronen-Fabrik, a leading Austrian armaments firm founded by his father, Alexander Mandl.

A prominent fascist, Mandl was attached to the Austrofascism and Italian varieties and an opponent of Nazism. In the 1930s he became close to Prince Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, the commander of the Austrian nationalist militia ["Heimwehr"], which he furnished with weapons and ammunition.

Ernst Rüdiger Camillo Starhemberg [His Serene Highness Ernst Rüdiger Camillo 6. Fürst von Starhemberg until the 1919 abolition of nobility] was an Austrian nationalist and conservative politician prior to World War II, a leader of the Heimwehr and later of the Christian Social Party/Fatherland Front. He was the 1,163rd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Austrian Order.
 
Von Starhemberg hailed from a long line of Austrian nobles and inherited the title of Prince.

Seeking election to the Bundesrat, the representation of Austrian states (Länder) at age 21, Starhemberg became a proponent of Catholic and conservative politics and joined the Heimatschutz, quickly becoming a leader of one of its local branches. He also became an admirer of Benito Mussolini and his Fascist government. In the early 1920s, Starhemberg traveled to Germany and had contacts with the nascent Nazi movement. Adolf Hitler actively used Starhemberg’s status as an Austrian noble to try to improve the party’s image and to attract wealthy and influential backers to its ranks. After seeing the failed Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, Starhemberg became disenchanted with Nazism and returned to Austria. Rejoining the Heimatschutz, Starhemberg became its national leader in 1930 and actively campaigned to turn Austria into a more organized state. Eventually, Starhemberg’s movement became powerful enough to influence the government, and as such the chancellor appointed him Minister of the Interior in September 1930. Starhemberg resigned his position shortly thereafter, however, when the Heimatblock (the Heimwehr’s political wing) only won eight seats in elections for the Nationalrat. He later joined the traditionalist conservative Christian Social Party, becoming its Deputy Leader only 32 years old.

When conservative Engelbert Dollfuss became Chancellor of Austria in 1932, Starhemberg once again gained governmental power. At Dollfuss’s request, Starhemberg worked to combine a number of right-wing groups into a single political entity. He was successful, and the result was the powerful Fatherland Front, which saw its creation in late 1933, followed by the authoritarian May Constitution of 1934. For his efforts, Starhemberg became Dollfuss's Vice Chancellor under the new rule. Upon Dollfuss' assassination two months later during a failed coup by the Nazis, Starhemberg briefly came to head the government and the Front. As President Wilhelm Miklas proclaimed Austria was not yet ready for a "Heimwehr Cabinet", called a cabinet meeting in Vienna's Ballhouse surrounded by barbed wire and government troops to restrain suspicious members of the Heimwehr, who claimed the Nazi coup had been foiled only through their courage, and appointed Kurt von Schuschnigg Chancellor instead on 29 July. Starhemberg officially supported the compromise and his office as Vice Chancellor, being appointed Minister of Public Security as well.

With these positions, Starhemberg was in effect the second most powerful man in Austria. During this period, the regime fought to keep Austria an independent state by support from France, the United Kingdom and Fascist Italy and through crackdowns on Austrian Nazis and others favoring a union with Germany. The idea of union with Germany had been popular among Socialists as well as Conservatives, although the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919) which Austria signed at the end of World War I forbade it.

In 1936, Starhemberg's disagreements with Schuschnigg, who, inspired by the appeasement policies of the western democracies, wanted to improve relations with Nazi Germany rather than risk invasion by a far stronger Wehrmacht and face possible desertion by Hitler's new-found ally, Mussolini. In March 1936, Starhemberg was forced to relinquish his position as Federal leader of the Fatherland's Front, which was dissolved (as was the Heimwehr) and on 14 May that year he was ousted from the government. After the Anchluss in March 1938, which saw much of the Front's leadership purged (Schuschnigg himself was detained and shipped to a concentration camp), Starhemberg escaped to Switzerland. He later served in the British and Free French air forces for a short period at the beginning of World War II, until Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union brought the western powers in alliance with Communism. In 1942 Starhemberg decided to leave the war and traveled to Argentina where he spent the next thirteen years. In 1955, the year of Juan Peron's [also a fervent admirer of Fascism and Mussolini] ousting by a military coup, Starhemberg returned to Austria to die.

Until 1940, Mandl tried to establish contact with Hermann Göring's office in order to supply Germany with iron.

From 1933 to 1937, Mandl was married to Austrian actress Hedwig "Hedy" Kiesler, who would later become known as Hedy Lamarr in Hollywood. Both Hedy Lamarr's parents were born Jewish, but her mother converted to Roman Catholicism and was a practicing Catholic. Hedy was brought up Catholic. It is understandable, considering the times that she lived in, that she kept her ethnicity a secret. The couple were rumored to have very intimate contacts with the very highest levels of the people controlling Germany. In her autobiography she indicates that she attended a convent school for girls. When she went to Hollywood her connections with very wealthy people were obviously helpful to her career. Her first "serious" film was "Algiers" for which she was highly acclaimed at the time. Mandl is rumoured to have attempted to bring a halt to her acting career in Germany and to purchase all copies of her infamous film "Ecstasy" [1933], in which she appeared nude.

Following incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany with the Anschluss of 1938, Mandl's remaining property which had not yet been transferred to Swiss ownership was seized, since he had supported the separatist Austrofascism and his father was Jewish. Despite Mandl's part Jewish heritage, his then-wife Lamarr wrote in her autobiography "Ecstasy and Me", that both Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, with whom he had close business ties, selling munitions to the fascist government of Italy, and German dictator Adolf Hitler attended Mandl's  lavish parties. Mandl had to Mussolini.

Lamarr wrote that Mandl had her accompany him to business meetings, where he conferred with scientists and other professionals involved in military technology. These conferences were her introduction to the field of applied science and the ground that nurtured her latent talent in science

At the beginning of World War II, Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers. Though the US Navy did not adopt the technology until the 1960s, the principles of their work are now incorporated into modern GPS, Wi-Fi, CDMA and Bluetooth technology, and this work led to their being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

Lamarr described Mandl as extremely controlling,  preventing her from pursuing her acting career and keeping her a virtual prisoner, confined to their castle home, Schloss Schwarzenau, and wrote that she escaped only by disguising herself as a maid and fleeing to Paris, where she obtained a divorce.

Mandl later moved to Brazil and then to Argentina, where he became a citizen and remarried. In Argentina he served as an advisor to Juan Perón and attempted a new role as film producer. He also founded a new airplane manufacturing firm, Industria Metalúrgica y Plástica Argentina. Mandl became a leading member of Argentina's social circles. He acquired homes in Mar del Plata, a castle in Córdoba and a small hotel in Buenos Aires. He worked closely with French designer Jean-Michel Frank, who was then artistic director of Comte S.A., who produced most of Mandl's furnishings. In 1955 he returned to Austria, where he resumed running the factory at Hirtenberg.

Mandl's last marriage was to his secretary Monika Brücklmeier, daughter of Eduard Brücklmeier, an accessory executed for his involvement in the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler.

Eduard Robert Wolfgang Brücklmeier, In 1923 he began his study of law  in Munich, before moving to Leipzig, Würzburg and Lausanne. In 1927, he passed the first state examination in Würzburg and in May entered the Foreign Office's three-year preparatory programme. On completing it in 1930, he was posted abroad as a diplomat.

In 1933, the year the Nazi Party seized power in Germany, Brücklmeier found himself dealing with minority issues while working at the Consulate General in Katowice. This led to his first conflict with Nazi authorities. In 1936, he was appointed diplomatic secretary at the German Embassy in London, headed by German dictator Adolf Hitler's future Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop.

In 1938, Brücklmeier and Ribbentrop returned to Berlin. By that time both Brücklmeier and Foreign Office State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker were hoping that German dissenters, working with the British government, could thwart Hitler's ever more evident plans for war. In 1939, however, he was denounced for making "defeatist" statements and was very nearly sent to a concentration camp. Instead, however – apparently at the instigation of the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt, RSHA), Reinhard Heydrich – he was given early retirement from the Foreign Office.

Following his departure, Brücklmeier underwent military service in France; became a Wehrmacht staff member at the Foreign Testing Centre in Berlin; and then became a military administrator in the State Administration Office of the Army High Command [Oberkommando des Heeres]. In 1942, he was given a job by the State Marksmen's Battalion [the Landesschützenbataillon].

By this time, Brücklmeier had established extensive links with the resistance fighters that would take part in the 20 July Plot to assassinate Hitler. Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg, who had come to know Brücklmeier while he was working at the Tehran diplomatic mission during 1930 and 1931, arranged contacts between Brücklmeier and the plot's core membership.

Brücklmeier wished to support the plot's attempted coup d'état, but was not informed that it had been delayed to 20 July. One week later, on 27 July, following the plot's failure, Brücklmeier's involvement was traced. He was arrested in Prague and, from 28 to 29 September, his case was heard at the German "People's Court" (Volksgerichtshof). On 20 October, he was found guilty as an accessory and sentenced to death. On the same day Brücklmeier was hanged at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin.

Axel Wenner-Gren, the Swedish multi-millionaire adventurer, and intimate friend of Marshal Hermann Göring, has set up Krupp and I.G. Farben fronts throughout South America, and especially in Argentina.

Axel Lennart Wenner-Gren was a Swedish entrepreneur and one of the wealthiest men in the world during the 1930s.

He was born on 5 June 1881 in Uddevalla, a town on the west coast of Sweden, where he spent his school years , before moving to Gothenburg where he was employed for five years in the spice importing company of a maternal uncle. During this time, he learned English, French, and German at the local Berlitz school, and music at the local YMCA. In 1902, he left Sweden to further his studies in Germany. He first studied in the university town of Greifswald where he took some summer courses before moving on to Berlin where he studied at the Berliner Handelsakademie from which he graduated much sooner than usual. After some difficulty, he found work with the German subsidiary of Alfa Laval Separator where he developed skills as a salesman, before quitting in 1904 to work selling agricultural machinery near Stuttgart which, with financial support from his father, had become his first financial enterprise.

In 1908, he traveled to America where he learned about engines for agricultural use, returning to Europe the same year. While in Vienna in 1908 he saw the Santo vacuum cleaner in the shop of Gustaf Paalen who had exclusive rights to distribute them throughout Europe. After initially failing to become a European distributor for the Santo vacuum cleaner in his own right, he entered into a partnership with Paalen, purchasing a twenty percent interest in the company.

In late 1909, while returning from a trip to America on board a trans-Atlantic liner met Marguerite Gauntier Liggett from Kansas City, Missouri. She was traveling with her sister Genevieve to Europe to complete her musical training as an opera singer. After what can only be described as a whirlwind romance, when the ship arrived at Southampton, they traveled to London where they married on 14 December 1909,  before traveling on to Berlin where she was going to complete her studies.

Wenner-Gren amassed a fortune from his early appreciation that the industrial vacuum cleaner could be adapted for domestic use. Soon after the First World War he persuaded the Swedish lighting company Electrolux, for which he then worked [securing the contract to floodlight the opening ceremony of the Panama Canal, among other successes], to buy the patent to a cleaner and to pay him for sales in company stock. By the early 1930s, Wenner-Gren was the owner of Electrolux, and the firm was a leading brand in both vacuum cleaner and refrigerator technology.

Wenner-Gren also diversified his interests into the ownership of newspapers, banks and arms manufacturers, and acquired many of the holdings of the disgraced safety-match tycoon Ivar Kreuger. In Mexico in the 1930s, he was in economic alliance with Maximino Ávila Camacho, strongman of the Mexican state of Puebla, whose brother Manuel Ávila Camacho became President of Mexico in 1940.

Wenner-Gren was reported to be a friend of Hermann Göring, whose first wife was a Swede, and in the late 1930s convinced himself that he could avert the coming world war by acting as a conduit between Göring and the British and American governments. His efforts proved unsuccessful, with all parties regarding him as a self-promoting nuisance (perhaps unfairly), and, more to the point, one without much influence on the plans of the Nazi regime.

A disconsolate Wenner-Gren retired to his estate in the Bahamas, Hog Island (now Paradise Island), where he resumed his friendship with the islands' governor, the Duke of Windsor. Early in the war his rumored friendship with Göring and the suspected German sympathies of the Duke led first the Americans and, following their lead, the British, to place him on an economic blacklist, enabling them to freeze his assets in Nassau. There proved to be little or no foundation to their suspicions that Wenner-Gren was a Nazi agent, notwithstanding the appearance of his steam yacht 'Southern Cross' (the world's largest at the time) along with ships from the Allied Navies at the site of the sinking of the liner 'SS Athenia' on the first day of the war. Wenner-Gren's yacht the Southern Cross rescued over three hundred survivors of the sinking and transferred some to nearby Allied ships and others continued to the U.S.

Alfredo Moll, who has been described as the "Gray Eminence" of the Nazis in Buenos Aires, is the son-in-law of the president of the Central Bank of Argentina. Moll is director of the firm of Anilinas Alemenas, branch of the I.G. Garben trust in Argentina.

Testifying before the Kilgore Committee on 12 September 1944, Sims Carter, Assistant Chief of the Economic Warfare Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, revealed:

"When the German guns are silenced in Europe, the principal German industrial combines plan renewed activity from bases in Argentina. Organizations and outlets of distribution have been maintained. Profits from sales at wartime prices made ample means available. All the machinery is ready for safeguarding German supremacy in the steadily expanding South American market."

The plan by which the German General Staff has operated in South America was drawn up many years before Hitler took power in Germany. 

Immediately after the First World War, the German secret infiltration of the Latin American countries by economic, political, and military agents went into high gear in preparation for the Second World War. Captain Ernst Roehm, organizer of the Nazi Storm Troops, showed up in Bolivia in 1925 as "special advisor" to the Bolivian Army. The German aviation officer Fritz Hammer went to Colombia, where he later organized Nazi espionage and economic infiltration under cover of Nazi aviation concerns. General Bohnstedt became head of the military academy in Salvador and official instructor to the Salvadorean Army. General Hermann Reinecke, General Hans Kundt, and many other officer-agents of the German General Staff became active in Chile, Paraguay, and Peru, where they sought to influence the officers' corps and spread hatred of the United States.

Hermann Reinecke, was a general of Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht and convicted war criminal during World War II. As head of the General Office of the Armed Forces, he was responsible for the creation and implementation of the POW policy that resulted in the deaths of approx. 3.3 million Soviet prisoners of war.

In January 1939 Reinecke was promoted to Major General as head of an office in the OKW and appointed head of the General Office of the Armed Forces at OKW (Allgemeines Wehrmachtamt, AWA) in August 1940. Reinecke was also head of the office for the NSFO (Nationalsozialistische Führungsoffiziere), which consisted of Nazi officers charged with political Propaganda in the Wehrmacht.

In 1942 Reinecke was promoted to General of the Infantry. Following the 20 July 1944 plot coup attempt Josef Göbbels tasked him with retaking the Bendlerblock and he was then an assessor on the judging panel at the People's Court trials of the conspirators.

Hans Kundt arrived in Bolivia in 1908, as head of a German military training mission. He enjoyed an excellent relationship with the Bolivians and acquired a reputation as a great administrator and administrator and dedicated instructor and trainer of troops. In 1911, he began the reorganisation of the Bolivian Army, following the pattern of the Prussian Army.

At the start of First World War, Kundt returned to Germany. In 1914 he was commander of a regiment on the Eastern Front and achieved the rank of Generalleutnant. He served as chief of staff on the corps level, and as a brigade commander. After the First World War, Kundt retired at the rank of colonel, although he was conferred the rank of general upon retiring.

Following the First World War, Kundt again returned to Bolivia. In 1923, he was offered the posts of Chief of Staff of the Army, and of Minister of War, with the rank of general. Kundt accepted the posts and headed the program of rearming Bolivia during the 1920s, and the planning to occupy the Chaco. He adopted Bolivian citizenship and entered the army as a general. In this post he continued the reorganisation he had begun in 1911, and became very popular as - unlike much of the Bolivian officer corps - he was concerned with the well-being of the troops.  After the fall of President Hernando Siles Reyes in a coup in 1930, Kundt was exiled for having collaborated with that administration.

Only two years later, Kundt was brought back to direct the Bolivian Army against Paraguay in the Chaco War, as Commander in Chief.

Despite his knowledge of staff issues, he was not a good strategist,  and ever visited or familiarized himself with the region, and his concept of the war with Paraguay was essentially that of a triumphant, unopposed march across the region by Bolivian troops. Kundt was reluctant to depend on his Bolivian officers [though many were quite capable], and preferred to supervise military operations directly.

He failed to utilize Bolivia's superior weaponry, tanks and air force, and demonstrating a mediocre grasp of tactics, used futile tactics such as frontal assaults against well-defended positions. He also failed to properly attend to logistics, or keep track of enemy maneuvers. Unit after unit of the Bolivian army were surrounded and destroyed. Kundt was relieved of command by Daniel Salamanca, due to a significant setback suffered in December 1933. He then left the country and returned to Germany.

On 6 November 1944 Marshal Josef Stalin warned the Soviet people and the world:

"After the defeat of Germany she will, of course, be disarmed, both in the economic and military-political respects. However, it would be naïve to think that she will not attempt to restore her power and develop new aggression. It is known to all that the German leaders are already now preparing for a new war . . ."

Like German industry, the Nazi Party also has its hidden economic and political reserves for the postwar struggle against the peace. Statistics recently issued by the British Ministry of Economic Warfare estimate that the Nazis looted close to $27,000,000,000 from the conquered European nations. Most of this loot was appropriated by the Nazi Party, providing a massive secret fund for the financing of international Nazi underground activities for years to come. Besides this, the Nazi leaders have their personal financial caches. Since 1943, Nazi money, jewels, and other valuables have been streaming across the Reich frontiers and finding their way by clandestine channels into Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and North and South America. In Switzerland alone, more than 300,000,000 gold francs, or approximately sixty million dollars, are known to have been banked to the private accounts of Nazi leaders. 

In Spain, the Soviet newspaper "Red Fleet" revealed on 7 February, 1945, German planes from Stuttgart and other German airports were arriving "every day in Barcelona with Hitlerites". From Spain, the Nazi agents were moving on to other countries in Europe and especially to South America, bringing with them funds. 

In January 1945, J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, sent out a nationwide alarm for three key German agents believed to have been secretly landed in the United States to make contacts with other agents already operating in the country. Each of these three German agents had previously been active in South America. Here are their records:

- Max Christian Johannes Schneeman: forty-four years old; former resident of Pereira, Colombia, South America, born in Hoeehst, Germany; expert linguist, fluent in French, Portuguese, Spanish, and German; agent of the Nazi SS [  (Schutz Staffel or Elite Guards]

- Hans Rudolf Zühlsdorff: twenty-five years old; former resident of Bogotá, Columbia, where he was a commercial advertiser and sales representative for a German firm; born in Güstrov, Meke, Germany; expert linguist, fluent in German, English, and Spanish; described by the FBI as being "more American than German in his mannerisms"; agent of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry.

- Oscar Max Wilms: thirty-seven years old; former resident of Managua, Nicaragua; fluent in Spanish, German, and English; born in Hamburg, Germany; former partner in a German export-import firm at Managua; agent of Nazi Propaganda Ministry.

The most important of all the German agents in South America has been General Wilhelm von Faupel, the German General Staff's leading expert on Argentina.

Faupel's entire career as an agent of the German General Staff is in itself a revelation of the long-range planning of Germany's rulers. Before the First World War, from 1911-1913, Faupel was active in Argentina as a "professor" at the Military Academy in Buenos Aires. Thoroughly familiar with Latin American and Spanish affairs, he was recalled at the outbreak of war and sent into Spain to become chief of the German espionage and sabotage activities in the Mediterranean area. Then, immediately after Germany's defeat in 1918, Faupel was sent back to Argentina. Until 1927, he held the post of "chief adviser" to the Argentine General Staff. On the eve of the Nazi seizure of power, Faupel returned to Germany. He next appeared to public view as Director of the Nazi Ibero-American Institute, central clearing-house for German espionage and conspiracy in the Western Hemisphere.

Under Faupel's command, at the headquarters of the Ibero-American Institute, which Hitler housed in an imposing mansion at Number 7 Fürenstrasse, Zehlendorff, Berlin, hundreds of German agents and American, Canadian, and South American fifth columnists were trained for work. The Spanish Fascist 'Falange' was born in Faupel's headquarters, and Faupel personally organized the Nazi Condor Division which invaded Spain to suppress the Republican Government and help put Generalissimo Franco in power. In 1938, with Falangist Spain as a springboard, Faupel began his final preparations for the German conquest of South America.

Wilhelm Freiherr von Faupel, entered the German Imperial Army in 1892. After graduating and studying at the Academy of war in 1900 he was present during the Boxer Rebellion in China and later was stationed in the Schutztruppe of Southwest Afrika Deutschland. He participated in World War II, occupying several military posts, and was awarded the Order "Pour le Mérite", and In 1938was decorated by Franco with the Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.

In 1936, Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring observed that "Spain is the key to two continents". Göring was enunciating a key principal of German and Nazi geopolitics. By controlling Spain, the Nazis felt they could control both Europe and Latin America. Geographically dominating the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic and "flanking" France, Spain also wielded tremendous influence in Latin America through the strong cultural and economic ties between the Spanish and Latin American aristocracies. In addition, the profound Catholic influence in both Spain and Latin America, augmented Spanish clout in that part of the world.

In order to utilize Span’s geopolitical influence as a tool for Nazi imperial designs, the Third Reich turned to General Wilhelm von Faupel and his Ibero-American Institute. Von Faupel was a bitter opponent of the Weimar Republic, and readily accepted the Nazis as the antidote to German democracy. Known as an "I.G. General" for his links to the I.G. Farben company, von Faupel also maintained close ties to the powerful Thyssen interests which, like Farben, were the powers that backed Hitler. During the 1920’s, von Faupel had served as a general staff adviser to the Argentine, Brazilian and Peruvian military establishments and was famed throughout Latin America for his skills as an officer. Because of his Latin American ties and his links to the corporate interests that backed Hitler, von Faupel became the Reich’s point man for the fascist takeover of Spain and subsequent construction of a Fifth Column throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

In 1934, von Faupel assumed control of the Ibero-American Institute, an academic think tank originally founded as a legitimate scholarly institution. Under von Faupel, the organization became a front for organizing the Nazi infiltration and conquest of Spain. Rejecting royalist and Catholic sectarian rightist parties, von Faupel and the Nazis settled on the Falange as their chosen vehicle for gaining dominance over Spain. 

On 20 July 1936, General Jose Sanjurjo [a royalist rival for the leadership of Spain after the overthrow of the Republican government] died in Estoril in a plane crash, when he tried to fly back to Spain from Portugal. He chose to fly in a small biplane aircraft piloted by Juan Antonio Ansaldo. One of the main reasons for the crash was the heavy luggage that Sanjurjo insisted on bringing. Ansaldo had warned him that the load was too heavy, but Sanjurjo answered back:

"I need to wear proper clothes as the new Caudillo of Spain".

Unaccountably, Sanjurjo chose to fly in Ansaldo's plane rather than a much larger and more suitable airplane that was available. The larger plane was an 8-passenger de Havilland Dragon Rapide, the same one which had transported Franco from the Canary Islands to Morocco. Sanjurjo, however, apparently preferred the drama of flying with a "daring aviator" such as Ansaldo [who, ironically, himself survived the crash].

When General Emilio Mola also died in an aircraft accident, Franco was left as the sole effective leader of the Nationalist cause. This led to rumors that Franco had arranged the deaths of his two rivals, but no evidence has ever been produced to support that allegation.

Von Faupel then proceeded to direct the construction of the "Falange Exterior" as the fascist Fifth Column movement throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

On the surface, von Faupel had—in the Falange Exterior—delivered to the Third Reich a remarkable network, extending from Havana to Buenos Aires, from Lima to Manila. This network, according to its creator, was capable of concerted espionage, political diversion, arms smuggling, and anything that any other Fifth Column in history had accomplished. It remained only for the Wehrmacht to give von Faupel’s instrument the tests which would determine whether the Auslands Falange had been worth all the trouble its organization had entailed. The answer was soon provided by a number of Falangists.

After the start of the Spanish Civil War, Faupel was appointed charge d'affaires of Nazi Germany in the rebel zone, in order to support Francisco Franco. His knowledge of Spanish made him ideal for the position.

Shortly before leaving for Spain, in November 1936, Hitler told him:

"Your mission is solely to avoid that once the war ended [with the victory of Franco], the foreign policy [Spanish] is influenced by Paris, London or Moscow".

Faupel willingly welcomed Franco, although in his opinion the "Generalissimo" was someone unable to gauge the needs of the situation. After arriving in the rebel zone, Faupel urged Hitler and other Nazi leaders to send
more forces to support Franco's forces, reinforcing the first contingents of the Legion Condor. He also starred in the Spanish domestic political arena, giving significant support to the Falange and its leader, Manuel Hedilla. 

Faupel officially served as ambassador from February to October 1937, when he was replaced by Eberhard von Stohrer.

Eberhard von Stohrer, in 1909, joined the German diplomatic corps, becoming attaché of the embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 1910, he was transferred to London, and in 1912 to Brussels. After a short period of time in Berlin with the central office of the Imperial Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he moved to Madrid, where he learned to speak fluent Spanish and organized an Intelligence network closely associated, apparently, to German Ambassador Leopold von Hösch.

Leopold von Hösch, began his political career in France as the chargé d'affaires in 1923. Following the recall of the German Ambassador in 1923 after the Ruhr crisis, Hösch was appointed acting head of the German Embassy in Paris. While in Paris, Hösch worked closely with Gustav Stresemann, then foreign minister of Germany.

In 1932, Hösch was transferred to the United Kingdom, where he would stay until his death in 1936. Hösch was well liked by most British statesmen, including Anthony Eden and Sir John Simon. His reputation among the British as a knowledgeable and able-minded statesman helped to enhance the Anglo-German relationship during the early 1930s.

With the Nazi takeover in 1933, little changed at first between Germany and the United Kingdom politically. However, by 1934, Hösch was beginning to challenge Hitler indirectly, sending communiqués to Konstantin Neurath, Foreign Minister of Germany, detailing Hösch's distrust of Joachim von Ribbentrop whom Hitler had appointed to serve as Commissioner of Disarmament Questions. The relationship between Hösch and Hitler continued to sour as Ribbentrop gained more power within the German government. By 1936, Hösch was quickly becoming a thorn in Hitler's side. When Hitler invaded the Rhineland on 7 March 1936, Hösch wrote to Konstantin Neurath denouncing the act as an action designed to provoke the French and ultimately the British. Less than one month later, at 10 am 11 April 1936, von Hösch died of a heart attack while dressing in his bedroom at the German Embassy. Following his death, von Hösch was honoured with a large British-ordered funeral cortege in which his flag-draped coffin was escorted to Dover, where a 19-gun salute was fired as his body was transferred to the British destroyer 'HMS Scout for transport back to Germany.

His replacement was the notorious Joachim von Ribbentrop, Hitler's favourite foreign policy advisor, later to be hanged for war crimes.

After World War I, he moved to Berlin, and rose through the ranks of the diplomatic corps. In 1927, he was named Germany's envoy to Egypt, and he negotiated a treaty of friendship between Germany and the Kingdom of Hijaz in 1929.

During the Spanish Civil War from July 1936 to April 1939, he stayed in Madrid, acting as an observer and spy of the legal Second Spanish Republic and reporting news to the Nazi government in Berlin. Artillery General Wilhelm Faupel was the Nazi envoy to rebel General Francisco Franco's Salamanca headquarters from February to October 1937. There is evidence however that von Stohrer presented his credentials as Ambassador of Germany at Salamanca on 27 August 1937 as ordered from Berlin.

He was then appointed German ambassador to Romania, where he served until 1939, when he returned to Berlin. He participated in Operation Willi, the German plot to kidnap the Duke of Windsor.

Operation Willi was the German code name for the unsuccessful attempt by the SS to kidnap Edward, Duke of Windsor in July 1940 and induce him to work with German dictator Adolf Hitler for either a peace settlement with Britain, or a restoration to the throne after the German conquest of Great Britain.

Edward, the son of George V assumed the throne on January 1936 when his father died. But it was already clear by then that he wanted to marry the American Wallis Simpson, and since the Church of England proscribed the marriage since she was divorced, he stunned the world by abdicating his throne in favour of his brother Albert, the Duke of York, who became George VI.

The ex-king and Mrs. Simpson were married in France, and as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, in October 1937 toured Nazi Germany as personal guests of Adolf Hitler, fanning speculations that they were sympathetic to Nazism. The trip was paid for by the Nazi government, which believed that the Duke was a potential ally.

When World War II broke out in September 1939, the Duke became liaison officer with the British military mission with the French Army High Command. He actually served as an agent for British military intelligence, which wanted information on French defences, specifically the Maginot Line. [While his reports gave a very accurate assessment of French unpreparedness, they were generally ignored].

After the fall of France in June 1940, the Windsors made their way to neutral Spain through Biarritz to escape capture by the Germans.

On 23 June, the German ambassador to Madrid, Eberhard von Stohrer, a career diplomat, telegraphed Joachim von Ribbentrop, the Nazi Foreign Minister that the Spanish Foreign Minister, Colonel Juan Beigbeder y Atienza, was inquiring on how to deal with the Duke who was on his way to Lisbon, with the possibility of detaining him.

Ribbentrop instructed von Stohrer the following day to forward the suggestion that the Duke and Duchess be detained for two weeks, but not let it appear that the suggestion came from him. Stohrer replied that Beigbeder would do as Ribbentrop asked. The Spanish Foreign Minister then wired Ribbentrop on 2 July that he met with the Duke and reported the Duke's alleged antagonism against the Royal Family due to the treatment meted to his wife, as well as criticising Winston Churchill and his wartime policies.

The Windsors then proceeded to Lisbon in early July. The British government got wind of the Duke's alleged indiscreet remarks with Beigbeder, and as a result Churchill sent the Duke a telegram, ordering him back to Britain. Churchill pointed out that the Duke was under military authority, and unless he obeyed, he would be subjected to a court-martial. [The Duke had the temporary rank of major general]. Then came another telegram designating him as Governor of the Bahamas, and ordered him to assume this post at once. Nevertheless, the Windsors stayed a month in the villa of Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, a banker (Banco Espírito Santo) said to have pro-Nazi sympathies.

The German minister to Lisbon, Baron Oswald von Hoyningen-Hüne, reported this to Ribbentrop on 11 July and added the Duke "intends to postpone his departure as long as possible... in hope of a turn of events favourable to him," and basically reiterated what was reported by Minister Beigbeder.

Ribbentrop took this as an encouraging sign, and cabled the German embassy in Madrid to try to prevent the Duke from going to the Bahamas by being brought back to Spain — preferably by his Spanish friends — and be persuaded, even compelled to remain in Spanish territory. He further intimated that the "British Secret Service" was going "to do away" with the Duke as soon as he arrived in the Bahamas.

The next day, 12 July, von Stohrer saw Ramón Serrano Súñer, Spanish Minister of the Interior, who promised to get his brother-in-law Generalissimo Francisco Franco in on the plot and carry out the following plan. The Spanish government would send a friend of the Duke, Miguel Primo de Rivera, leader of the Falange and son of Miguel Primo de Rivera, a former dictator, as an emissary. Rivera would invite the Duke to Spain for a hunting trip and also to discuss Anglo-Spanish relations. There he would also be informed of the "plot" by the British secret-service to liquidate him. If the Duke would agree to stay, he would be given financial assistance to permit him in maintaining a lifestyle befitting his station. [Reportedly 50 million Swiss francs were set aside for this].

Rivera agreed to the task, although he was not told of German involvement in this. He visited the Windsors on 16 July and presented the offer to the Duke; while he was receptive to the offer, the Duke also expressed reservations for several reasons, not least of which were the telegrams from the British government urging him to leave for the Bahamas. Another visit on 22 July gave similar results.

It was during the time of the last visit by Rivera that the Nazis were drawing up the plan to kidnap the Windsors. Hitler personally assigned Walter Schellenberg to handle the operation.

Schellenberg, who was awarded the Iron Cross for his role in the Venlo Incident the year before, flew from Berlin to Madrid, conferred with von Stohrer, then went on to Portugal to begin work. The final plan would be to entice the Windsors over the border to Spain [with the collusion of cooperative border officials since they did not have passports] and keep them there to "protect them from plotters against their lives, specifically the British Intelligence Service".

He carried out scare tactics to induce the Duke's willingness to leave the villa while trying to pin the blame on the British. Schellenberg arranged for some stone-throwing against the windows of the villa while circulating rumours among the servants that the British were responsible. A bouquet of flowers was also sent to the Duchess warning her of "the machinations of the British intelligence service". Another scare tactic, the firing of shots resulting in the harmless breaking the windows scheduled on 30 July, was not carried out due to possible psychological effects on the Duchess.

On that same day, Schellenberg reported that Sir Walter Monckton, an old friend of the Duke, had arrived, evidently tasked by the British government to speed the Windsors toward the Bahamas as soon as possible. Moreover, the German ambassador reported that the Windsors would be leaving on 1 August for the small British possession. According to Schellenberg in his memoirs, when Hitler learned of this, he urged Schellenberg to take away all pretence, and abduct them outright.

Even while the Spanish ambassador to Lisbon was prevailed upon to make a last-minute appeal to the Windsors, the automobile carrying the ducal baggage was "sabotaged", according to Schellenberg, so the luggage arrived at the port late. A bomb threat on the liner 'Excalibur' was also spread by the Germans, which further delayed its departure while Portuguese officials searched the ship.

Nevertheless, the Windsors departed that evening. While Schellenberg blamed the failure of the plot on Monckton, the collapse of the Spanish plan and the alleged "English mentality" of the Duke, it was also probable that Schellenberg deliberately refused to carry out the plan, which seemed doomed from the start. Even he admitted in his memoirs that his role in the affair was a ridiculous one.

As for the Duke of Windsor himself, upon the release of the German papers pertinent to the plot in 1957, he denounced the communications between Ribbentrop and his ambassadors as "complete fabrications and, in part, gross distortions of the truth", while the British government issued a formal statement declaring the Duke's unwavering loyalty during the war.

But the question persisted: did the Windsors have any pro-Nazi sympathies? Both the Americans and the British had suspicions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation initiated an investigation on Mrs. Simpson when President Roosevelt expressed concern over the political leanings of the Windsors. This investigation suggested that their pro-German leanings were stronger than previously thought.

This investigation, based on a combination of surveillance, informants and hearsay, alleged that the Windsors, especially the duchess, had been passing secrets to the Nazis to wreck the Allies' war effort, primarily through Ribbentrop, who was said to be Mrs. Simpson's lover. Ribbentrop was the ambassador to the Court of St. James's at the time of the abdication prior to becoming Foreign Minister. Ribbentrop himself tried to curry Edward's favor by using the Duke of Coburg, Edward's cousin and Nazi party member as an emissary, the latter brazenly attending the funeral of George V in his SA uniform.

Moreover, there was a memorandum by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that the British government had known for some time that Mrs. Simpson had pro-German sympathies. This, among other reasons, made her so obnoxious to the government that they would not permit the King to marry her.

In addition, according to files released in 2003 by the British Public Record Office, there were rumours that Mrs. Simpson had been passing information to Germany. Edward, being notoriously lax in security, often left top secret government files sent to him unguarded in his Fort Belvedere residence, giving Mrs. Simpson every opportunity to do so.

This was probably the reason why the Duke was appointed to the Bahamas post: to keep them as far away as possible from the war and to prevent Mrs. Simpson from having any contact with Ribbentrop as well as to make it easier for the FBI and the British to keep them under surveillance.

He participated in the role during negotiations between the two countries, earlier than 8 July 1940, about Operation Felix, the proposed German seizure of Gibraltar.

Operation Felix was the codename for a proposed German seizure of Gibraltar during World War II. It never got beyond the staff study stage, even though planning continued into 1944, primarily because of the reluctance of Spanish ruler Francisco Franco to commit Spain to enter the war on the Axis side.

Following the Fall of France in June 1940, Hermann Göring advised Adolf Hitler to occupy Spain and North Africa rather than invade the UK. As early as June 1940, before the armistice with France had been signed, General Heinz Guderian also argued for seizing Britain's strategically important naval base of Gibraltar. Guderian even urged Hitler to postpone the armistice so that he could rush on through Spain with two Panzer divisions, take Gibraltar, and then invade French North Africa. General Alfred Jodl, chief of Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) operations, presented Hitler with a formal plan to cut off Britain from its eastern empire by invading Spain, Gibraltar, North Africa, and the Suez Canal instead of invading the British Isles.

On 12 July 1940, the OKW set up a special group for the necessary planning. On 22 July, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the Abwehr and an acknowledged expert on Spain, travelled with several other German officers to Madrid, Spain, where they held talks with Spanish ruler General Francisco Franco and General Juan Vigón, his Minister of War. They then travelled on to Algeciras, where they stayed some days to reconnoitre the approaches to Gibraltar, and returned to Germany with the conclusion that Franco's regime was reluctant to enter the war. However, it has since become known that Canaris was disloyal to Hitler and actually encouraged Franco not to join the Axis. Canaris' team did however determine that Gibraltar might be seized through an air-supported ground assault by at least two infantry regiments, three engineer battalions, and 12 artillery regiments. Canaris declared that without 380 mm [15 in] heavy assault cannons—which he knew were unavailable—Gibraltar could not be taken. When he reported to Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, he gave his personal opinion that even if Germany were able, with the cooperation of Spain, to seize Gibraltar, the British would land in Morocco and French West Africa.

In August, Canaris met with Franco's brother-in-law, Ramón Serrano Súñer, who was about to become Spain's Foreign Minister. Canaris urged Serrano Súñer to do what he could to convince Franco to stay out of the war. Soon after, Franco dispatched Serrano Súñer to Berlin to get an idea of Hitler's attitude, since Canaris had assured him that Germany would not forcibly intervene in Spain. When Serrano Súñer met Hitler on 16 September, Hitler did not press very hard for Spanish involvement in the war, perhaps because he planned to meet Franco himself very soon.

Canaris met with Franco around the same time and warned him that if Spain joined the Axis, the Spanish islands—even mainland Spain itself—would be at risk from a British attack. Knowing that Franco feared a hostile German invasion of Spain if he refused to co-operate, Canaris informed him that Hitler had no such intention due to the planned invasion of the Soviet Union. Canaris also surprised Franco by admitting that he was convinced Germany could not win the war.

On 8 August, made confident by the secret talks with Canaris, Franco presented extravagant terms for his c-ooperation to the German Ambassador to Spain, Eberhard von Stohrer; he said that he would only join Hitler if Spain were promised Gibraltar and French Morocco. Germany must also promise military and economic assistance in the form of wheat and oil to help Spain's faltering economy. Additionally, German forces must first land on the British mainland in a full-scale invasion.

This provoked Hitler to send Canaris to Spain again in an effort to convince Franco to join the Axis and soften his "outrageous" demands. To the contrary, Canaris once more reminded Franco that it would be foolish to join the side that was doomed to lose the war.

On 24 August, Hitler approved a general plan for seizing Gibraltar. On 23 October, he personally met with Franco at Hendaye, France, and proposed that Spain enter the war on the Axis side as early as January 1941; Gibraltar would be taken by special Wehrmacht units and turned over to Spain. Franco however refused the offer, emphasizing Spain's need for large-scale military and economic assistance. Hitler took offence when Franco expressed doubts about the possibility of a German victory in fighting the UK on its home territory. Franco also pointed out that even if the British Isles were invaded and conquered, the British government, as well as most of the British Army and vastly powerful Royal Navy, would probably retreat to Canada and continue the Battle of the Atlantic, with U.S. support.

A meaningless memorandum of understanding was signed at Hendaye by Franco and Hitler, neither side getting what it wanted. Some days later, Hitler was reported to have told Benito Mussolini, "I would rather have four of my own teeth pulled out than go through another meeting with that man again!"

Despite these problems, German military leaders proceeded to prepare for a large-scale operation against Gibraltar. Codenamed Operation Felix, the plan called for two German army corps to enter Spain across the Pyrenees. One corps, under General Ludwig Kübler, was to cross Spain and assault Gibraltar, while the other, commanded by General Rudolf Schmidt, was to secure its flanks. Air support would need one fighter and two dive-bomber wings. Overall command of Felix was to be assigned to Field Marshal Walther von Reichenau. The plan also made provisions for occupying Spanish possessions in North Africa: Spanish Morocco, Río de Oro, and the Canary Islands, whose ports could then be used as bases for German U-Boats.

He was one of the organizers of the Meeting at Hendaye on the Spanish-French border, 23 October 1940, of Adolf Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop, with General Francisco Franco and Franco's brother in law Ramón Serrano Súñer.

The Meeting of Hendaye, or interview of Hendaye took place between Francisco Franco and Adolf Hitler (at the time, Caudillo of Spain and Führer of Germany respectively). It occurred on 23 October  1940 at the Hendaye railway station in Hendaye, France, near the Spanish-French border, attended by the Foreign Affairs ministers, Ramón Serrano Súñer of Spain and Joachim von Ribbentrop of Nazi Germany.

The object of the meeting was to attempt to resolve disagreements over the conditions for Spain to join the Axis Powers in their war against the British Empire. However, after seven hours of talks, the Spanish demands still appeared extortionate to Hitler - the handing over of Gibraltar once the UK was defeated, the cession of French Morocco and part of French Algeria, the attachment of French Cameroon to the Spanish colony of Guinea, and German supplies of food, petrol and arms to relieve the critical economic and military situation faced by Spain. At this time, Hitler did not wish to disturb his relations with the Vichy French regime. The only concrete result was the signing of a secret agreement under which Franco was committed to enter the war at a date of his own choosing, while Hitler gave only vague guarantees that Spain would receive "territories in Africa".

He was not present in the personal encounter between Hitler and Franco.

During World War II von Faupel continued to direct the Ibero-American Institute, although he played no role.

In the last days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin, Faupel and his wife committed suicide on 1 May 1945, to avoid being captured by the Soviets..

However,
the Allies wrongly assumed that Faupel had taken refuge in Franco's Spain.

In concentrating on Argentina, the German General Staff is again followed a plan which had been elaborated many years ago.

Before the First World War, Otto Tannenberg, the famous Pan-German propagandist, wrote:

"Germany will take under its protection the republics of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay; furthermore, the southern third of Bolivia and the southern portion of Brazil."

On 26 March 1944, in his personal publication "Das Reich", the Nazi Propaganda Minister Dr. Paul Josef Göbbels wrote:

"Argentina will one day be at the head of a tariff union comprising the nations in the southern half of South America. Such a focus of opposition against the United States of America will, together with Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, form a powerful economic bloc; and eventually, by way of Peru, it will spread northward to place the Dollar colony of Brazil in a difficult position".

On 10 June 1944, ten weeks after Göbbel's pronouncement, Colonel Juan Peron, Vice-President and War Minister of Argentina, delivered his pro-Nazi speech which led to the breaking off of relations between the United States and Argentina. Here is what the Argentine War Minister said:

"In South America, it is our mission to make the leadership of Argentina not only possible but indisputable. . . . Hitler's fight in peace and war will guide us. Alliances will be the next step. We will get Bolivia and Chile. Then it will be easy to exert pressure on Uruguay. These five nations will attract Brazil, due to its type of government and its important group of Germans. Once Brazil has fallen, the South American continent will be ours. Following the German example, we will inculcate the masses with the necessary military spirit. . . ."

The voice was the voice of Colonel Peron, but the plan was that of the German General Staff. . . .

Has Hitler Planned his Escape?
Daily Mercury [Mackay, Qld]
31 August 1944

WASHINGTON — Military leaders are becoming increasingly apprehensive of the possibility that Hitler and some of his henchmen may fly from their battered inner fortress within the next few weeks and seek refuge in a neutral country. Concern has become so great that a new appeal not to give sanctuary may be issued to neutral countries, particularly Argentina and Spain because of past or present Nazi links and strong suspicions current in Washington diplomatic and treasury circles that the German leaders have stored funds in both countries. 

American officials consider it a foregone conclusion that many of the Nazi hierarchy who are too well known to have any chance of concealment in Germany by going underground, will try to save themselves from an Allied trial and punishment by dramatic aeroplane escapes. It is believed this last hope of escape is one of the reasons why so many of Nazidom's top men are willing to stick with Hitler while the political and military fortress is caving in throughout Europe. Other officials believe if Hitler is not killed at the last minute by some of his own henchmen, he may very well commit suicide. It is almost a year since the question of sanctuary was taken up with neutrals.

Planes Ready for Hitler's Escape
News [Adelaide, SA] 
1 February 1945

LONDON - The Stockholm correspondent of the "Daily Mail" says that there are eight fast planes standing by to take Hitler, Himmler, von Ribbentrop, and Martin Bormann, Hitler's Deputy, to Japan when it is clear that all is lost in Germany.

This highly colorful story, the authoritativeness of which the correspondent did not disclose, was published today by the "Daily Mail".

He said that Göbbels would be the only Nazi chief to remain in Berlin. Hitler and the rest of his administration were planning to leave for southern Germany as soon as the Russians began directly to threaten the city. Göbbels was reported to have declared that in no circumstances would he leave Germany, but the eight planes specially built, and capable of 400 m.p.h. were ready for the others. Two were in Berlin, two in Berchtesgaden, two at Hitler's secret residence in Central Germany. and two in reserve.

The planes would fly by way of the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to Japanese-held Malaya, refueling on their way from submarines. Göring was said to have been excluded from the escape party.

Göbbels was reported to have already been appointed "supreme commander" of Berlin, with SS Colonel Otto-Ernst Remer, who played a decisive role in stopping the 20 July plot of 1944 against Adolf Hitler as his advisor, but the appointment will not be officially announced until the Russians have reached the city's outskirts.

Meanwhile, reports arriving in Stockholm say that the Germans have drawn up detailed plans for the final house-to house defence of Berlin.

Resistance will be concentrated in the heart of the city, where the Tiergarten, the Kroll Opera House, and the old Reichstag building have been converted into strongpoints.

Trenches have been dug, pillboxes have been rushed up. and ammunition dumps have been established.
 
It is said that Göbbels will try to defend Berlin as the Russians defended Stalingrad. The movement of artillery and building of defense points were reported to have resulted in the cessation of work at many factories and power stations where workers had been mobilized.

Outside the city, too, plans for the battle are being speeded up. Rivers, bridges, and canals have been mined.

Throughout July 1944, Goebbels and Speer began to press Hitler to bring the economy to a "total war" footing. The 20 July plot, where Hitler was almost killed by a bomb at his field headquarters in East Prussia, played into the hands of those who had been pushing for change: Bormann, Göbbels, Himmler, and Speer. Over the objections of Göring, Göbbels was appointed on 23 July as Reich Plenipotentiary for Total War, charged with maximising the manpower for the Wehrmacht and the armaments industry at the expense of sectors of the economy not critical to the war effort. Through these efforts, he was able to free up an additional half a million men for military service. However, as many of these new recruits came from the armaments industry, the move put him in conflict with armaments minister Speer. Untrained workers from elsewhere were not readily absorbed into the armaments industry, and likewise the new Wehrmacht recruits waited in barracks for their turn to be trained.

At Hitler's behest, the Volkssturm –a nationwide militia of men previously considered unsuitable for military service– was formed on 18 October 1944.

However, the men, mostly age 45 to 60, received only rudimentary training and many were not properly armed. Göbbels' notion that these men could effectively serve on the front lines against Soviet tanks and artillery was unrealistic at best. The programme was deeply unpopular.

By the beginning of 1945, with the Soviets on the Oder River and the Western Allies preparing to cross the Rhine, Göbbels could no longer disguise the fact that defeat was inevitable. Berlin had little in the way of fortifications or artillery [or even Volkssturm units] as almost everything had been sent to the front. He tentatively discussed with Hitler the issue of making peace overtures to the western allies, but Hitler refused. Privately, Göbbels was conflicted at pushing the case with Hitler since he did not want to lose the confidence of his Führer.

To raise the morale of the Berlin garrison personnel, Göbbels was named Commissar of Defense for Berlin on 16 April 1945.

When other Nazi leaders urged Hitler to leave Berlin and establish a new centre of resistance in the National Redoubt in Bavaria, Göbbels opposed this, arguing for a heroic last stand in Berlin.

 

Argentina Was Hitler’s Final Home According to FBI Files
By Jerry Nelson
17 March 2014

Argentina

Newly released FBI documents seem to indicate that Adolf Hitler survived the Bunker in Germany and made his escape to Argentina where he lived out the rest of his days.

In 1945, two German submarines pulled to the shore one night in Argentina. Approximately 50 people disembarked. They were met and driven off in Argentine buses. Those are known, verifiable facts. Eyewitnesses are still alive that saw the small crowd of people standing around the shoreline waiting on the buses to arrive.

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released previously classified documents that seem to prove that Adolf Hitler, the German dictator, was among the people arriving in Argentina that night. With him was the equally recognizable Eva Braun. 

The documents released by the FBI go on to show that the American government knew Hitler was alive and living in the Andes long after World War II had ended. The newly released documents also show that the director of the OSS, Allen Dulles, provided aid and assistance to the group.

Who Was the Informant?

In a letter to the FBI, dated August 1945, an informant agreed to swap information for political asylum. The information the informant dangled in front of the agency was tantalizing enough for J. Edgar Hoover, long-time FBI Director, to get personally involved. What the informant told Hoover was shocking.

The informant not only knew that Hitler was in Argentina, the informant was one of four men confirmed to have met the German submarines when they arrive. The largest part of the landing party was on the first submarine while Hitler and Braun were on board the second.

The idea that German submarines could land on Argentine shores is not surprising or novel. U-boat 977 and U-boat 530 each landed in Mar del Plata following their own escape from German waters.

Argentina Assistance

Argentine sympathies were with Nazi Germany. South America’s second largest country had a large German “ex-pat” population that stayed loyal to Hitler and the former Führer enjoyed many close friends in Argentina even before the end of the war.

The Argentina government welcomed the German dictator with open arms and assisted him in his hiding. The FBI documents indicate not only could the informant provide detailed directions to the towns which Hitler and his party traveled through, but was also able to provide details of the house in which Hitler and Braun took up residence.

The informant, while obviously not named in the FBI papers, was credible enough for Hoover to get personally involved in the informant’s subsequent questioning. Hoover then transferred some of the documents to Generals in the US War Department.

Did Hitler escape Germany and live to be an old man in Argentina?

The "official story" says that Adolf Hitler died by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. For decades, rumors swirled throughout Argentina that Hitler had in fact survived the Bunker and escaped to South America’s second largest country where he lived until 1962. Documents recently released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington DC are giving some credence to the rumors. While no concrete evidence exists to support either the death-by-suicide or life-in-Argentina theories, the weight of the evidence is shifting.

One day history may need to be rewritten.

Juan Peron

One of the up-and-coming military officers who was in a good position to help in Hitler’s move to Argentina was Juan Peron, husband of Eva, of "Evita" fame.

From 1939 until 1941, Peron was assigned by the War Ministry to go to the Italian Alps to study mountain warfare. While in Europe, he also served as a military observer in Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and Yugoslavia. Traveling throughout Europe and working with the various military, Peron had the opportunity to meet many men who would become leaders among the Axis Powers with the outbreak of World War II.

Peron had a long military history before becoming Argentina’s president in 1946. As a colonel in the Argentine Army, Peron participated in a coup against conservative President Ramon Castillo. Peron played a large part in the coup which was led by the GOU, United Officers Group, a secret society. Peron moved more into politics with his assignment as assistant to Secretary of War, General Edelmiro Farrell, and then as the head of the fledgling Department of Labor.

When he was elected President, Peron had the opportunity to repay many friends he had met while in Europe as a military observer. He also had the chance to enrich himself. Accepting bribes of gold, jewels and paintings from Nazi’s escaping the advancing Allies, Peron swapped passports and travel documents for treasure stolen from the Jews. In her turn, Eva “Evita” Peron made several trips to Switzerland and during these trips she deposited much of the wealth the Perons made by selling access to Argentina living. Some of the treasure, not transported to Switzerland, is still on display in “Casa Rosada,” the Argentine version of The White House, today.

Eva Peron

Born in 1919, Eva "Evita" Peron climbed the Argentine social ladder lover by lover. During her ascending trip through Argentine society, she developed a strong resentment towards the country’s elite. A mistress to army officers, Eva caught the eye of handsome, and already legendary, Juan Peron. Following a very public love affair, they married in 1945.

Eva positioned herself as the "queen of the poor". She created a foundation to help the poor buy items from houses to toys. Her charity extended to her husband’s Nazi allies. On 6 June 1947, Eva left for Europe. The publicly stated purpose of the trip was to help strengthen business and cultural ties between Argentina and Europe’s leaders. The real reason was a bit more sinister.

According to records now being revealed from Swiss archives, Evita’s trip was meant to lay the groundwork for Nazi’s seeking to move to Argentina. During her trip to Europe, Evita visited a small Italian town called Rapallo. While in Rapallo, she was the guest of Alberto Dodero, owner of an Argentine shipping fleet and known for many years as being the “go-to-guy” for anyone with something that needed smuggling. Before Evita could even leave Europe, one of Dodero’s ships, the 'Santa Fe', docked in Buenos Aires. Aboard were hundreds of Nazis stepping foot in their new country.

A few years later, in June 1951, the ship, 'Giovanna C', arrived in Buenos Aires. Onboard was the Holocaust designer, Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann posed as a skilled engineer and got a job at the city’s Mercedes-Benz plant. Eichmann was subsequently captured by Israeli agents in May 1960. Taken to Israel to stand trial for mass murder, Eichmann was convicted and later hung in 1962.

It has never been alleged that Eichmann participated in the execution of Jews, but it has been claimed that he knowingly arranged for their deportation to places of execution.

In spite of all the international commotion and the vast barrage of irresponsible print which has flooded the world on Eichmann since May, 1960, there is not the slightest substantial evidence that Eichmann ever deliberately ordered even one Jew gassed in a German concentration camp, to say nothing of having ordered and supervised the extermination of six million Jews. This would be true even though he gave testimony at his trial that he had been responsible for the extermination of more than six million or wrote a book of alleged "true confessions" giving the same or a larger figure.

Any such account by Eichmann would be (1) proof of the extent and effect of the torture and brainwashing to which be had been subjected by his Jewish captors; (2) the result of his decision, since he knew he would be executed in any event, to provide a sensational yarn of his elimination of Jews whom he disliked, even if he had not actually wished to destroy them, thus caressing his ego; or (3) a product of the fact that his experience had actually rendered him mentally unbalanced. Perhaps all three explanations would be intermingled and blended.

Rudolfo Freude

Rudolfo Freude was Juan Peron’s private secretary and Evita’s main benefactor. Freude also served Peron as the latter’s chief of Argentine internal security. Freude’s father, Ludwig, filled a key role in Argentine history as director of the Banco Aleman Transatlantico in Buenos Aires. When Ludwig wasn’t busy being a banker, he led the pro-Nazi Germany community in Argentina and acted as trustee for millions of German Reichmarks that Hitler’s top aides started funneling as World War II came to an end. Nazis were coming to Argentina in droves following the end of the Second World War.  

By 1946, the first group of Nazi’s was settling into new Argentine homes made available to them by Peron. In return for his help, the Nazi’s bankrolled Peron’s campaign for the presidency. In 1947, Peron had taken up residence in Casa Rosada and continued to hear cries for assistance from thousands of other Nazis eager to get out of Europe.

Why did the FBI wait over 65 years to quietly release hundreds of pages of documents suggesting Adolf Hitler's death as a suicide was a carefully crafted hoax?

Did Hitler escape to Argentina, as described in the collection of declassified documents now posted on the FBI website?

Was the death of Hitler reported to be a suicide a diversionary hoax which allowed him to escape unnoticed from Germany?

Here is one sample from the FBI website 203 pages comprising part one of this trove of astonishing documents on Hitler's death:

"Approximately two hours later the second sub came ashore and Hitler, two women, another doctor, and several more men ... were aboard. By pre-arranged plan with six top Argentine officials, pack horses were waiting for the group and by daylight all supplies were loaded on the horses and an all-day trip inland toward the foothills of the southern Andes was started. At dusk the party arrived at the ranch where Hitler and his party ... are now in hiding". 
  
-- FBI File No. 105-410 dated 21 September 1945 on Hitler's Death being faked

Some credence to the theory of Hitler's alleged survival may be drawn from the fact that there are no photos of the dead Eva Braun, and the few photos of the "dead Hitler" appear to be shots of a Doppelgänger with a "Hitler moustache".

It is well established that the U.S. government secretly aided more than 700 top Nazi scientists to escape to the U.S. under false names in Operation Paperclip. It is also beyond doubt that the U.S. government and media hid and grossly played down the devastating effects of the two atomic bombs dropped in Japan. The unbelievable technological sophistication of the Nazis to this day has also been largely hidden and/or forgotten. So who can we trust when it comes to such important matters?

So why is it that most people believe the official story when the is so little evidence to back it up? Read the declassified FBI files and you will be left scratching your head. Could it be that we collectively need a solid story to believe in, even when there is scant evidence to support it? And is it possible that the official story was supported by rogue elements of government to forward their own hidden agenda? And will we ever know what really happened?

Submarines belonging to the fleet of Nazi Germany fled to Argentina after the Second World War. Aboard many of them were leaders of the SS, fearsome criminals fleeing the conflict. Some of the U-Boats in national ports surrendered, but others secretly deposited  "passengers" in different parts of the coast. Journalistic investigations, supported by Argentina Navy documents, reveal records of sightings in Claromecó and Reta.

What's more, Heinrich Müller, the head of the "Gestapo", may have landed in 1945 in Balneario Orense.

For the first time the issue is addressed in an exclusive special report to "El Periodista de Tres Arroyas
" by the writer Jorge Camarasa,  who has been an advisor to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, famous for its work in hunting down Nazi war criminals who escaped from Germany on the end of the war, and is the author of  the books "Argentina as a Haven for Nazis" and "ODESSA South". 

Everybody knows that Argentina was a refuge for Nazi war criminals war after the end of the Second World War in 1945. In fact, Erich Priebke was discovered in Bariloche and in 1995 was extradited to Italy to be judged for his role in the slaughter at the Fosse Ardeatine, a disused mine where Priebke and his men shot 335 people, who had their hands tied behind their backs, and were shot in the neck.

Priebke himself recounted that act of barbarism and cruelty which occurred on 24 March 1944. In his book "ODESSA South", the journalist Jorge Camarasa transcribed verbatim the words Priebke said in an interview he conducted the day after everyone found out that Argentina had served his shelter since 1948. "The order was that the officers had to participate to set an example (...) I had to kill two people, but can not remember nor how they were. Inside the cave all was dark and the only light was coming from torches held by soldiers".
 
Besides Priebke, hundreds of Nazis chose South America.

In Bariloche alone, it is known Josef Mengele, the infamous doctor at the Auschwitz concentration camp, was sheltered; also, Hans Ulrich Rudel, pilot of the German air force of the Third Reich who liked to participate in tournaments organized by the Ski Club of the Andean Patagonian city; financier Ludwig Freud and Friedrich Lantschner. It is also known that Adolf Eichmann  used to visit Bariloche on his vacations.

The question is how they entered and remained undetected in the country?
The answer is partially known at present, and there is also some unpublished data about events that occurred off the coast of Claromecó, Orense and Reta in 1945.

No one is unaware that thousands of Nazis who came to Argentinao after the German military defeat in World War II, among which were some of the most wanted criminals in history have had the help of the government of General Peron and certain sectors of the church to be installed in different parts of Argentina or to arrive via Buenos Aires to other South American countries.

According to statistics cited by Jorge Camarasa in "ODESSA South", between 1945 and 1955 about 100,000 German and Austrian immigrants entered the country, of which between 11,000 and 21,000 did so under false names and assumed backgrounds. He writes that some of the most important Nazi leaders could have landed illegally in Argentina coast from German submarines, which after having fought in the North Atlantic and the North Sea, had decided to surrender in places well away from that area, at the port of Mar del Plata. 

In the chapter "The Escape of the 'Gestapo' Müller" Camarasa says. " [...] The history of the presence of Heinrich Müller in Argentina has been were vague and contradictory. One witness has told me that Müller had landed from a submarine off the coast of Orense in 1945, had moved to Necochea, and from there had gone to Coronel Pringles to organize former sailors of the 'Graf Spee' who were interned in the old hotel of Sierra de la Ventana [...]".
 

There are rumours about the postwar activities of Heinrich Müller, once a general in Hitler’s SS and the head of the German secret political police, the Gestapo. At their center is the basic premise that Müller survived the endgame of the Second World War, escaped to neutral Switzerland, and in 1948 was recruited by the fledgling CIA as its chief specialist on Soviet Intelligence.

It is the expressed view of a number of specialists in this field that for American intelligence to have merely had knowledge of the postwar whereabouts of Müller, then being actively hunted by West German authorities for his role in suppressing the internal enemies of the Third Reich, would have been bad enough. However, if one considers that many of those persecuted managed to survive his attentions and were subsequently part and parcel of the Bonn government, the reasons for maintaining the strictest secrecy about U.S. knowledge of Gestapo Müller’s whereabouts are entirely understandable.

Also, the Soviet Union, whose minions Müller tracked down and either shot or transported to the concentration camps, would have a Propaganda field day if they were to obtain substantive evidence that one of their greatest enemies was now performing the same services for the American President which he once performed for the German Führer.

These reasons, which are entirely self-evident, are why no substantive mention is ever made in any historical work on the Cold War, the McCarthy era, the Truman Administration or any of the American intelligence or counter-intelligence agencies functioning in 1948, of former SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller.

Beyond speculations it was not possible to determine whether there were landing, but there is official data showing that "Kriegsmarine" submarines sailed the coasts of Argentina in the months of July and August 1945.

After the war, the famous and feared "Grey Wolves", the name under which the known to German submarines were known, having caused heavy casualties and property losses to the Allies in the maritime struggle, were ordered to retreat and to be scuttled so as not to give the enemy ships. 

Many complied with that order, which was rescinded a few days later, and others decided to surrender.
U-boats which were close to the English or Norwegian coasts chose either of those alternatives, but those at sea or hidden in the deep fjords chose to scuttle in distant places, where, in addition, the crew could escape the fate of being prisoners of war. 

Argentina remained a neutral country almost until the end of the war as but Peron's government always showed its true side, possibly encouraging the sailors to surrender in Argentinean ports.
 So much so, that on 10 July 1945, U-boat U-530 of the German fleet surrendered in Mar del Plata, as did the U-977 on 17 August. 

But these "Grey Wolves" did not only sail the vast Argentina coast.
According to Intelligence reports, the navy knew that German submarines were traveling towards the south of Tierra del Fuego, in order to cross the Pacific Ocean and sail to Japan, in fact they had orders to stop them. However, the national Ministry of War, which had ordered Argentina to deploy its fleet from the Rio de la Plata to  Staten Island before the arrival of German submarines, then issued a counter order, stating that the Argentine ships were to retreat and anchor in Puerto Belgrano.

The Minister of War was General Juan Domingo Peron.
 

According to documents from the Argentina Navy that were revealed by the newspaper "La Nación" in 1997, on 25 July 1945 the sighting of a submarine off the coast of Claromecó was recorded.
 Other documents reflect a number of similar sightings in this period in the area of ​​Necochea, San Clemente del Tuyú and Balneario Reta. 

If the reports had indicated that the submarines were trying to sail to Japan, the questions that arise are: What reasons did they have to get so close to the coast? Why not travel submerged ? Why did the same submarines that had been able to evade the might of the allied forces pursuing them,  risk surfacing in areas where they could be seen and be forced to surrender? Why did they land "passengers" in areas where they were seen?


The international press speculated at the end of the war, with the possibility that Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun, had escaped from Germany in a submarine.
There were two reasons why the media encouraged this possibility: first, the initial search in the Führerbunker in Berlin resulted in the absence of the bodies of the leader of the Third Reich and his wife, which seemed to suggest that the story of the suicide and subsequent cremation of the bodies had been part of an escape plan; two, Admiral Karl Dönitz, who had given the order to sink all submarines after the war, had said in 1943 that "the German submarine fleet was proud to have built an earthly paradise, an impregnable fortress for the Führer, somewhere in the world". Why not think, then, that the place had been in South America, and that it was the cause for the presence of submarines in the southern coastal province of Buenos Aires? The mystery will last a lifetime.

Jorge Camarasa is currently working on the completion of a new book on the presence of German submarines on the Argentina coast.

The Coast of Argentina was a Haven for U-Boats

(1) In August 1942 a Brazilian Navy seaplane photographed the Argentine tanker 'Santa Cruz' refueling a U-Boat between Santos and Montevideo.

-- Source: Newton, Professor Ronald C: "Actividades Clandestinas de la Armada Alemana en Aguas Argentinas, official CEANA preliminary report, February 1998. footnote 26

(2) On a day in November 1942 at the main Argentine naval base of Bahìa Blanca, a German U-Boat was seen moored in the Estuary of the Rio Colorado. The resident US observers could not determine why the U-Boat was there, nor why the C-in-C, Paraguayan Air Force, Major Pablo Stagni [well entrenched in German Intelligence network as "Hermann"] was present. From other sources it is thought that this was a delivery of material for ongoing work in Paraguay.

-- Source: Newton, footnote 27.

(3) On 19 February 1940, Dietrich Niebuhr, organizer of German naval intelligence in South America, sent an encoded message to Berlin via Transradio proposing the creation of a secret U-Boat base in Patagonia.

-- Source: Newton

One of his trusted spies, "Robert" thought that a base could be easily disguised as a plant to process fish meal, blubber, oil and seal skins. He had a concession for such a plant. The E-Dienst would invest half the capital and the local Germany community the other half. A good location was suggested as being Bahìa Vera at 44º15' S a place described as "off the beaten track and easy to conceal". Four Graf Spee stevedores were found work in the area in 1941. Naval Command in Berlin allegedly rejected the idea because it was too close to the town of Astra where there was a petroleum company employing 500 local Germans and operating a fleet of tankers.

(4) During his research in the region a respected Argentine author, Camarasa, was provided with a report by Chilean Professor Renè Cardenas of the University of Magallanes for the information of Horacio Lafuente regarding several small German naval bases in and near the archipelago. Oscar Zanola, historian and director of the Museo del Fin del Mundo, Ushaia, told author Camarasa that in Tierra del Fuego on the Argentine side there were two German bases in Thetis Bay in the extreme east and Aguirre Bay in the south. From early in 1940 a company processing sea lion fat, Sadiscafe, produced grease which the Germans apparently needed for their heavy machinery. Based on testimony by former workers, German U-Boats would call in occasionally to load drums of sea lion fat and of course also refuel. It would not have been a breach of Argentine neutrality for an Argentine company to supply U-Boats with sea lion fat and fuel if the U-Boats were being used as transports in the way suggested.

The whole point of the operation might have been to quietly refuel U-Boats, possibly the result of Niebuhr's suggestion in 1940.

-- Source: Camarasa, Jorge: "Puerto Seguro", Ed.Norma, Buenos Aires 2006

The author of "ODESSA South" told this newspaper that has found some 70 Argentina Navy documents on the subject of  'Kriegsmarine' submarines. From these reports it appears that in the area from San Clemente del Tuyú to just north of Comodoro Rivadavia 12 landings about occurred. These events took place between 10 July and 17 August 1945. Interestingly those are the dates on which two German submarines  surrendered in Mar del Plata. 

The writer added that during those almost 40 days a landing in Quequén was recorded;
 sightings in southern Necochea; in Camarones, a village near Comodoro Rivadavia; in Ingeniero White and San Antonio Oeste, where in addition there was a contact with an Argentine military ship which fired depth charges against a German submarine. 

Camarasa, who now works in the newspaper "La Nacion", states it is unknown if there were landings on the coast of Tres Arroyos from German submarines, but confirmed that the Navy documents indicate that  sighting occurred on 23 July 1945 of ships off the coast of Reta.


In the most recent research by the writer and journalist, it is also shown that there were landings in the area of ​​what is now Villa Gesell which, by eyewitness accounts, it is known that some passenger and boxes, that could have contained documentation of Nazi activities, were landed by the submarines.

In 1931, Carlos Gesell a German engineer acquired a large parcel of land for beach development on the coast of Buenos Aires province. After the war, the FBI kept a close watch on Villa Gesell in the search for Hitler, and in company with provincial police seized a short wave transmitter and receivers there.

There is no doubt that Villa Gesell was equipped to refuel and repair U-boats and assist in disembarkations. At the end of the 1960s when the village was being developed into a major holiday resort, construction work at the beach below Avda Buenos Aires uncovered a railway track leading up from the sea into the sand dunes near the house of Carlos Gesell [nowadays the local history museum].

According to architect Jorge Castro, a German mechanic who specialized in Diesel engines used to live at the upper end of this railway track. Castro thought that the remains discovered would amount to a kind of dry-dock.

In his unpublished manuscript "The Treasure of the Third Reich in Argentina", journalist Martin Malharro stated that "...at the end of the 1960s when the location started to grow into one of Argetina's most popular holiday resorts, they shifted the coastal sand dunes and found a Bunker with lubricant and submarine parts".

This repair shed would have housed one Type II U-Boat at a time. As this writer mentioned, it is thought likely that several small U-Boats worked the Argentine coast throughout the war as transports and for espionage purposes.

A supply point close to Mar del Plata was reported by a shore artillery officer in July 1945 in a long article published in Argentine newspapers by Colonel Bustos under the title 'Yo fuí téstigo' in which he related discovering a small cave packed with provisions and noticed light signals coming from the sea.

Gerrard Williams and Simon Dunstan, in their book "Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler", indicated that  US intelligence services were 'accomplices in the escape of Hitler', in exchange for access to looted gold and technology developed by the Nazis war.

Popular legend says that submarines reached the Caleta de los Loros province of Black River, and from there the German delegation headed east to west through Argentina to reach the area of ​​Bariloche [on the Andes in western Argentina].  Hitler, accompanied by a large entourage which also included his wife Eva Braun, came to the town of Villa La Angostura and after passing through the Estancia San Ramón, was secretly installed in the residence Inalco, an amazing property the architect Alejandro Bustillo had finished building in 1943 [Bustillo is known for having built properties to the German colony in the area for years].

Inalco is located in Villa La Angostura, in a stunning estate of 460 hectares, at the edge of Lake Nahuel Huapi only 7 kilometers from the city of Bariloche in the province of Black River, Argentina.  Access is not easy and is hidden by a lush forest behind it, which complicates arrival at the place, which is done through a single, winding path.  The property has its own large area beach area and it is known that in the days of its splendor there was even a pier with mooring suitable for seaplanes.

Hitler lived that big house. which had unmistakable similarities in structure and interior design to his Berghof in Germany, from 1945 until at least mid to late 70s and there are not a few testimonies that say so. 

The lot of the house had been acquired in 1943 by a famous lobbyist strongly linked to German capital in Argentina, called Enrique Garcia Merou. Juan Domingo Peron, knew who actually controlled the residence was none other than Jorge Antonio, his confident and financier. 

Antonio kept up Inalco until the '70s, at which time the house had allegedly passed to the banker José Rafael Trozzo. 

The stay of Hitler at this property alternated with trips to Chile and visits to other parts of Argentina, such as Mar del Plata [Balnearea City where he met at least twice with Ante Pavelic, leader of Nazi Croatia] and Cordoba.  Hitler went through life with a different aspect that everyone had known.  He had shaved his head, and his little mustache was gone, revealing a large scar on his upper lip.

Almost everything that was necessary  was provided under the protection provided by the huge Inalco property.  It is even difficult to get to today, so the theory of perfect hideaway for Hitler in Patagonia, gains strength every moment.

Inalco still there, a silent witness to a story that not many can confirm with absolute certainty, but not many can deny.  Although there are a few who believe that Hitler committed suicide in Berlin in 1945, his ghost is still hanging around Inalco.  Many claim to have seen him there , and not just the ghost ....

There is also a series of telegrams, now declassified, sent in August 1945 to the FBI police force of Villa Gesell, Argentina, where several people claimed to have seen Hitler in this country town known for its German immigration.  The authors reported that two of the "eyewitnesses" were "threatened with death".

-- El Periodista de Tres Arroyos
Tres Arroyos, Pcia. de Buenos Aires, República Argentina
September 2001

In his new book "Puerto Seguro" [Norma Editorial, Buenos Aires, 2006], Argentine author Jorge Camarasa provides further information regarding the provision of facilities for U-boats along the Argentine shoreline in the period 1943-1945 

The area of Buenos Aires province in question lies between Cape San Antonio and the town of Necochea. Cape San Antonio had a lighthouse. The headland marks the division between the River Plate and the South Atlantic. Running south from the lighthouse are the towns of San Clemente del Tuyu, Mar del Tuyu and Mar del Ajo. Numerous sightings of U-boats were made here from the shore during July 1945, although it is believed that the area was most active during the war. The beaches between Mar del Ajo and the town and naval base at Mar del Plata were undeveloped in the 1940s. The important locality halfway between the headland and Mar del Plata is Villa Gesell. 

In 1945, Villa Gesell, now a populous holiday resort, was no more than a plot of land with a few houses under construction amongst the sand dunes. The entrepreneur was a person of German origin, Carlos Gesell. The first residents of Villa Gesell were Germans. Numbered amongst them were three former 'Admiral Graf Spee' internees, Stock, Negus and Schwalbe. 

The existence of a secret U-Boat Etappendienst stage near the Cape San Antonio light was suspected by the Americans from 1943. On 12 August that year their naval and military attaches went to the Cape in the hope of gathering evidence of a U-boat arrival, but none came. 

In August 1945 an FBI radiogram from Buenos Aires stated:

"Local Press reports indicate provincial police department raided German colony located Villa Gesell looking for individuals who possibly entered Argentina clandestinely by U-Boat and during search a short-wave transmitter/receiver was discovered. Other premises near beach were searched by authorities but no arrests made". 

The reason for American interest is only gradually coming to light. 

(1) In the late 1960s a beach development near the Calle Buenos Aires at Villa Gesell uncovered a railway track leading from the sea through a 50-metre long shed alongside the house of Carlos Gesell. According to architect Jorge Castro, the track ended at the back garden of a German mechanic who specialized in Diesels. Castro was of the opinion that the purpose of the railway was as a kind of "dry dock" for U-boats.

In his autobiographical text published in the journal "Yacht Club Argentino" [No 87, June 1998] Argentine naval captain Atilio Porretti stated:

"On 2 June 1910 the freighter 'Victoria' transporting a cargo of rails sank in the mouth of the Tres Arroyos river near the abandoned village of Cristiano Muerto. During the Second World War a German company acquired the rights to the cargo and laid the rails along a low mole they had built. A large radio mast was erected and they began to buy in huge quantities of provisions. It became common gossip what they were up to. The centre of the activities was a large farm owned by Germans. It was patrolled by an armed guard day and night. Occasionally lights would be seen from the sea and small boats would make trips to and from the mole. Near the San Antonio lighthouse are the remains of four wireless masts similar to that at Cristiano Muerto." 

(2) Journalist Martin Malharro reported the discovery of a fuel dump under sand dunes at Villa Gesell:

"At the end of the 1960s during the removal of sand dunes for development work a kind of "Bunker" was found containing 200-litre barrels of fuel and submarine parts". 

(3) Six kms south of the Quarandi lighthouse, 100 metres inshore amongst the dunes, are the remains of a 4-metre square concrete box with a tin roof. The only access to it is up from the beach. Until a few years ago evidence existed indicating that this had been some kind of clandestine signals station for signaling to vessels at sea." 

(4) Six kms further south of this bunker and 80 metres inshore amongst the dunes are two platforms made from a smooth stone not local to the region. Their purpose is unknown but they might have been used as unloading platforms for boats. 

1) On 10 July 1945, U-530 [Wermuth] surrendered at Mar del Plata naval base. 

(2) DECLASSIFIED ARGENTINE DOCUMENT  

From Torpedo Boat Squadron
1105 - C3211 - GR83
17 July 1945
INFORMATION: EXPECTED BEFORE 22 JULY ANOTHER SUBMARINE WILL DOCK OR DISEMBARK PERSONNEL ALONG OUR COAST.
RIVER SQUADRON EXPLORE BETWEEN NECOCHEA AND QUARANDI.
SEA SQUADRON EXPLORE FROM NECOCHEA TO CABO BLANCO.
SUSPICION: GERMAN SUBMARINE IS OPERATING BETWEEN RIO PLARA AND CABO BLANCO.
GENERAL PLAN: FORCE WILL CLOSE IN ON SUBMARINE AND MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO DISEMBARK CREW OR PASSENGERS: TRAP SUBMARINE BETWEEN QUARANDI AND CABO BLANCO AND ATTACK IF THEY RESIST".

(3) DECLASSIFIED ARGENTINE DOCUMENT

For encoding. 17 July 1945
To: C-in-Cs, River and Sea Squadrons
From: Vice-almirante Hector Vernengo Lima
Chief of Naval General Staff
"TODAY SEVENTEENTH JULY AT NINE HOURS CIVILIANS SIGHTED SUBMARINE THREE KILOMETRES OFF SAN CLEMENTE BEACH, SUBMERGED ON APPROACH OF AIRCRAFT. SEEN AGAIN AT TEN HOURS, FURTHER TO SOUTH, DIVING." 

In mid-July 1945, San Clemente del Tuyu was a village situated just south of Cape San Antonio which marks the division between the River Plate and the South Atlantic. It is 300 miles from Buenos Aires.

The midwinter morning of 17 July 1945 dawned misty. Shortly after eight o'clock about twenty villagers observed two submarines travelling close inshore in a southerly direction. Pedro Longhi was the police officer for the area, attached to Mar de Ajà police station. Upon receiving the report, he set off with mayor Mariano Gonzalez and arrived at San Clemente at nine o'clock. He noticed that many of the villagers were on the roofs of their houses or on the terraces of the two hotels, looking out to sea. According to their account, the two submarines had turned offshore and submerged. The witnesses imcluded reliable people known to Longhi.

At ten o'clock Mariano Gonzalez sighted a vessel which had suddenly surfaced three kilometres offshore, and now Longhi saw it too. For reasons explained shortly, Longhi was never intervened officially, and we do not have his account. After taking names and addresses and a brief note of what each witness had seen, Longhi telephoned his police superiors at La Plata, who advised the Navy Ministry. At one o'clock that afternoon, Longhi made his report to Capita¡n de Nava­o Isaac Rojas, adjutant to Vicealmirante Lima, chief of the Naval General Staff.

He reported that "two vessels were seen near the San Antonio light, difficult to make out because of the fog. When the sun broke through, the witnesses were able to ascertain that the craft did not resemble the usual traffic of the region and, when shown the published photographs of U-530, identified them as similar to that submarine. In their estimation they were 3 kilometres offshore. They saw cables extending to prow and stern from the turret amidships. Unlike Argentine submarines, the vessels had no chimney. An aircraft appeared and the submarines submerged. Later, around ten o'clock with others, Longhi saw one submarine heading south. The sea was calm. Then it submerged and he did not see it again". [Report 17.7.1945, Navy General Staff, General Archive [EMGA-AG]. 

At eleven o'clock that night, the La Plata Prefecture reported a submarine aground close inshore 8 kilometres south of San Clemente. The Navy was requested to attend (but did not arrive for 48 hours). According to an unidentified source reported in the "El Tribuno" newspaper of Dolores, the stranding occurred about 15 kilometres south of San Clemente on a sandbank 200 metres from the beach. The submarine floated free as the tide made.

The Sub-Prefect of La Plata, Emilio Cabrera, arrived on the afternoon of 19 July to investigate. He saw 12 witnesses. He was particularly impressed by:

Jose Casibe, who was a naval veteran of the First World War and described the boats closely:  Roy Gibson, of the Los Yngleses ranch, whose evidence coincided exactly with that Casibe, and who had been watching the submarines through binoculars from the top of a sand dune:  Domingo Talpone, "a frequent visitor to the Mar del Plata submarine base" and also Adela Caneto, Celina and Herminia Pereyra, postman Roberto Bonomi and municipal employee Luis Pesce.

All twelve witnesses were unanimous that after one submerged and the other submarine was still surfaced, a light aircraft began to circle it "making signals with a handkerchief or something similar": the fog then closed in suddenly and it was not possible to see what happened next.

On the morning of 19 July, officer Longhi was taken to La Plata Police HQ by aircraft. He had arrested two German ladies, one of them named Maximiliana Oschatz, who had admitted flashing lamp signals to the two submarines from an isolated beach. Since the last thing the Argentine authorities wanted was a trial in which the facts came to light, they took the easy way out and Longhi was dismissed from the police service for "false arrest". 

There now occurred the most mysterious events ever recorded in Argentine naval history. 

(5) On the afternoon of 18 July 1945, 1000 kilometres to the south of San Clemente, the torpedo boat 'Mendoza' was within sight of San Antonio Oeste in the Bay of San Mata­as. In those days, San Antonio Oeste was a village whose only claim to fame besides being a port was that the Lahusen wool empire had its headquarters there. The Lahusen organisation, originally from Bremen, controlled the Nazi espionage system throughout Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay in both World Wars. Every town and village in Patagonia had its Lahusen store and agent. This was the reason for the standing joke in diplomatic circles that Hitler knew more about Patagonia than the Argentine Government did.  

(6) The log of the torpedo boat 'Mendoza' states:

"At 1730 on 18 July 1945 saw submarine periscope at buoy Av140 of San Antonio outer anchorage [grey stick type], leaving long trail, bearing 160º. Hydrophone contact, anti-submarine alarm, maximum speed [23 knots], commenced depth charge attack. Patrolled area 1 hr 40 mins until nightfall, dropped eight charges. 1910 hrs headed 170º to patrol to north." 

Post subject: U-Boat Sightings and Unloadings, 2-Buenos Aires Coast

A new book by Jorge Camarasa ["Puerto Seguro", Norma Ed. Buenos Aires, 2006] gives clearer information regarding the movement of German U-Boats along the coast of Argentina in July 1945, and how the Argentine Government actively assisted in the endeavour.

10 July 1945.
Type IXC/40 boat U-530 [ObltzS Wermuth] surrendered at Mar del Plata. 

17 July 1945  
Informativo No 17. From Torpedo boat Squadron.
1105 - C3211 -GR 83.
Information: IT IS EXPECTED THAT ANOTHER SUBMARINE WILL BERTH OR DISEMBARK PERSONNEL ON OUR COAST BEFORE 22ND INST.

ESCU-RIOS [River Squadron] EXPLORE AREA AS FAR AS NECOCHEA AND SURFACE TOWARDS QUARANDI.
ESCU-MAR [Sea Squadron] EXPLORE AREA BETWEEN NECOCHEA AND CABO BLANCO.

Supposition: GERMAN SUBMARINE IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN RIO PLARA AND CABO BLANCO.

General Plan Paragraph: THIS FORCE WILL SQUEEZE SUBMARINE AND PREVENT POSSIBLE DISEMBARCATION CREW OR PASSENGERS, TRACK DOWN BETWEEN QUARANDI AND CABO BLANCO, ATTACK IF THEY RESIST.

Additional:

(1) AT 2000 HRS GOVT MIN. PROVINCIA DE BUENOS AIRES REPORTED TO NAVY MINISTER'S PRIVATE SECRETARY THAT AT 1300 HRS TWO POLICE PATROL AIRCRAFT SAW A SUBMARINE BETWEEN QUARANDI AND OSTENDE [i.e. near Villa Gesell].
(2) ASKED CAPT. MASSA AT 2010 HRS IF HE HAD ANY NEWS AND HE SAID NO. IT WAS HE WHO TRANSMITTED REPORT AT (1) ABOVE. 

17 July 1945
For Encoding. To C-in-C River and Sea Squadrons.
TODAY 17TH AT 0900 CIVILIANS SAW SUBMARINE 3 KMS OFF SAN CLEMENTE BEACH, SUBMERGED ON APPROACH OF AIRCRAFT, SEEN AGAIN 1000 HRS, MORE TO SOUTH, SUBMERGING.
Signed: Hector Vernengo Lima, Vice-Adm. Chief of Naval General Staff. 

Twenty townspeople of San Clemente saw two submarines heading south close inshore. The first sightings were made at 0800 when conditions were hazy. Upon receiving reports, Police Agent Pedro Longhi proceeded from Mar del Ajo police station in company with local citizen Mariano Gonzalez to San Clemente where he found people on roofs and terraces of two local hotels looking out to sea.

At 1000 hrs Longhi and Gonzalez saw a submarine 3 kms offshore near the Cape San Antonio lighthouse. After having informed his superiors at La Plata, at 1400 hrs Longhi telephoned Capt. Isaac Rojas, secretary to Vice-Adm Lima, Chief of the Navy General Staff, that an unidentified vessel had been seen close to the San Antonio light, difficult to identify because of the mist. Shortly afterwards when the sun broke through, he saw that it resembled the photos of U-530. It had cables leading fore and aft from the conning tower and unlike Argentine submarines had no chimneys. Upon the approach of an aircraft the vessel submerged. Later, at about 1000 hrs, Longhi saw it himself, a little more to the south, heading towards Mar del Plata, sea calm. [Informativo, 17.7.1945, Navy General Staff].

At 1100 hrs the Governor of Buenos Aires province received information that a submarine had run aground 8 kms south of San Clemente. He ordered the Navy to send forces to the area, but these failed to arrive until 20 July, two days later.

Senora Celina Pereyra, who had been staying at one of the two hotels at San Clemente, saw the stranded submarine. "There were two submarines, not far from shore. Afterwards we were told that the second one had gone aground while trying to get inshore at Mar del Tuyu." According to the newspaper "El Tribuno" of Dolores, the stranding occurred well south of San Clemente on a sandbank 200 metres offshore.

Various reliable witnesses were found: Jose Casibe, a naval combatant in WW1: Roy Gibson of the Los Yngleses farm, who watched from the top of a sand dune through a telescope: Domingo Jalpone, a regular visitor to the Argentine submarine base ar Mar del Plata. All twelve witnesses interviewed by Sub-Prefect Emilio Cabrera concurred that there were two submarines, and that after the stranding a small aircraft flew over making signals with a handkerchief, after which it became misty and the proceedings could no longer be followed.

Agent Longhi was flown to La Plata on the morning of 19 July and was dismissed from the force for "alarmism" and having arrested two German ladies signalling to the submarine with a lantern. The two ladies were released without charge and the arrests denied subsequently.

Neither of these two submarines, in company on 17 July 1945, could have been depth-charged 1000 kms to the south next day, and so there were three German U-boats off the coast of Argentina on 17 July 1945. 

18 July 1945  
Informativo. From ESCUMAR for Chief of General Staff
No 811 - Relaying signal from torpedo boat "Mendoza" which states: "EGA - PERISCOPE SAN ANTONIO OESTE [Bahia de San Matias, Rio Negro Province] INTEND REINFORCE SEARCH THERE. 

Informativo, ESCUMAR to ESCUMAR ships. Received 2300 hrs 18 July:
"HYDROPHONE PURSUIT, INFORMS DEPTH-CHARGING UNTIL NIGHTFALL. NOTHING TO REPORT. POSITION NEAR EL FUERTE MOUNTAIN [on 41st parallel].  

It is probable that this submarine was Schäffer's U-977.

21 July 1945
From Navy Ministry. For encoding.
To C-in-C, ESCURIOS and ESCUMAR:
"CALL OFF ALL COASTAL PATROLS."
Hector Lima, Vice-Adm, Chief of Naval General Staff. 

The activities of German submarines near Necochea [south of Mar del Plata] is well documented and shows the degree of suspected official support given to U-Boats. Two German U-Boats unloaded near Necochea on the night of 27 July 1945.

The first reference to the disembarkation location appeared in a UP report in London on  28 July which reported several men coming ashore in a rubber dinghy at Punta Negra near Necochea.

On 30 July 1945 Capitan de Fregata Matias Lopez, Prefect for the Rio de la Plata Zone, reported: 

"The undersigned, in company with the Commissioner of Police for Necochea, don Luis Mariotti, attended at Punta Negra for the purpose of verifying the exactitude of information which the Commissioner received yesterday afternoon, 29 July, from police agent Ricardo Montero [badge no. 9179].

"Accordingly I report that the said agent avers that yesterday at 0930 hrs, he saw at an estimated distance of 4 kms offshore a black shape appearing to him to be the conning tower of a submarine which remained on the surface for a period of 30 minutes and then disappeared".

After reporting this sighting to the sergeant at Necochea police station yesterday afternoon, he resumed his duties.  

After Mariotti and Lopez had spoken to him, agent Montero saw the error of his ways and withdrew his report. Mariotti explained: "The agent mistook a fishing vessel for a submarine, most of the fishing vessels which sailed yesterday were heading south".
[EMGA-AG Memorandum, N.S. No 246, 30.7.1945]  

During the official investigation by CEANA, the congressional committee looking into Nazi activities in Argentina, which included the alleged unloading by U-Boats at Necochea on 27/28 July 1945, the following letter was admitted into evidence:

"In 1945 the undersigned was 18 years of age and the son of an officer of the provincial police at Necochea. At 1800 hrs approx. on 27 July 1945, a sub-official called at our house to advise my father that the Commissioner required to see him urgently.

"My father returned an hour later to change his clothing and told my mother not to expect him for supper since information had been received that there was an unidentified vessel offshore making morse signals in code towards the beach and that somebody was signalling back.

"My father allowed me to come along, and we went to the beach in three private cars. We saw the exchange of light signals. Agents were sent out to arrest those responsible and a German artesan was taken into custody.

"After an exhaustive interrogation at Necochea police station, the man eventually admitted that the vessel in question was a German submarine which had been damaged and wanted to put ashore at a safe place on the coast to unload. Next morning it was decided to comb several kilomteres of beach, north and south, and eventually my father's group [4 agents, a corporal and a senior corporal of police] found a spot with many tracks between the shore and the sea made by launches or rubber dinghies. These tracks led to the tree-lined entrance (many tamarisks) of a large farm estate called Moromar whose proprietors were Germans.

"With this proof that heavy boxes had been dragged towards lorry tyre tracks, my father sent for the Commissioner urgently and decided to enter the farm without waiting for orders. He had gone a couple of kilometres along the drive when he came to some low hills which hid the main building. At this point he was challenged by four Germans carrying sub-machine guns. He had no search warrant, the situation looked nasty and fraught with peril, and so he decided to withdraw forthwith to Necochea.

"Upon his arrival, the Commissioner telephoned the Chief of Police at La Plata, the call was taken by the latter's secretary who told him to do nothing and remain by the telephone. Two hours later he was ordered to forget the matter."

The CEANA enquiry of 1952 took depositions from two former 'Admiral Graf Spee' internees who had absconded from internment in 1941 and had worked secretly for the German secret service subsequently. These men were Rudolf Dettelmann and Alfred Schultz. They stated that on or about 28 July 1945 two U-Boats unloaded. On the orders of FKpt Kay, First Officer of 'Admiral Graf Spee', they had been taken previously to a ranch owned by the Lahusen company. They were present at the unloading of many boxes taken into the same ranch and shipped out in eight lorries. Later 80 persons came ashore in rubber dinghies. A third CEANA witness, former 'Admiral Graf Spee' man Will Brennecke stated that the ranch was near Necochea, one of the Lahusen chain which was not monitored by the Commission of Vigilance over Enemy Property.

"Moromar" Ranch is today a privately run complex catering for the tourist trade. 

30 July 1945
Memorandum for attention of H.E. the Navy Minister.
From: General Naval Prefecture.
Buenos Aires 30 July 1945.
Re: SUBMIT INFORMATION FROM PREFECTURE ZONE RIO DE LA PLATA ON REPORTED APPEARANCE OF SUBMARINE IN NECOCHEA JURISDICTION. HEREWITH IN TWO COPIES. Illegible signature, Rear-Adm. 

17 August 1945
Mar del Plata submarine base. U-977 [Kplt Schäffer] surrendered to Argentine Navy. 

(7) DECLASSIFIED ARGENTINE DOCUMENT
From Sea Squadron for Naval General Staff
No 811, 18 July
RELAYING SIGNAL FROM "MENDOZA" SAYING: EGA, PERISCOPE SAN Post subject: The Mystery of U-235
In a new book by Jorge Camarasa ["Puerto Seguro", Norma Editorial, Buenos Aires, 2006, ISBN 987-545-370-6], the author quotes from a declassified Argentine Government Memorandum originating from the Direccion de Coordinacion Federal, document DAE 568 dated 14 October 1952 in which the Head of Cordoba Delegation writes to the Head of the Division of Foreign Affairs in a memorandum classified "strictly confidential and secret".

The document refers to transfers of gold to Argentina by Bormann and then continues:

"Movements by foreigners. I bring to your attention that our agents [names deleted] have detected at Ascochinga, in the mountainous region of Cordoba province, a farm located on the Cerro Negro which has been acquired by a former officer who disembarked from U-235 at the Mar del Plata submarine base.

"This boat, together with other German submarines, came to Patagonia from Germany after the conclusion of hostilities. For some time in the same place, regular meetings have been held between high ranking Nazis such as financiers Ricardo Leute and Heinrich Darge in an apparent attempt to organize, or perhaps re-organize, under the Swastika".  

According to the official history, U-235 commanded by Friedrich Huisgen was depth charged and sunk in error on 14 April 1945 by the German torpedo boat T-17 in the northern Kattegat. The wreck has never been located, and we only have the word of the Kriegsmarine that the tragedy ever happened.

In an interview with various inhabitants of Ascochinga in July 2003, author Camarasa established that the house in question is situated on the highest ridge of Cerro Negro. The "former officer" called himself "Otto Rehklau" or "Otto Freider" and appeared to have no family or personal history. He arrived at Cerro Negro in 1950 and died there of a heart attack in 1984. Nobody could remember where he was buried and nobody came to enquire about him subsequently.

Camarasa provides further evidence that one and possibly two German U-boats unloaded along the coast near Mar del Plata in late July 1945 and that the Argentine Government probably collaborated in the endeavour. 

ANTONIO ESTE, RECOMMEND REINFORCEMENTS EXPLORE THERE. 

(8) DECLASSIFIED ARGENTINE DOCUMENT
From Sea Squadron to all boats
2300 hrs, 18 July 1945
HYDROPHONE WATCH REPORTS SUBMARINE DEPTH CHARGED UNTIL NIGHTFALL. NOTHING TO REPORT. MY POSITION NEAR EL FUERTE [coastal mountain 40 miles south of San Antonio Oeste]  

(9) Did this submarine eventually contact the Lahusen organisation at San Antonio Oeste later? Was a deal put into place between the Argentine Navy and the Germans in Argentina whereby U-boats were allowed to land passengers and materials unmolested? Why should one even think such a thing? 

(10) DECLASSIFIED ARGENTINE DOCUMENT
Republic of Argentina, Navy Ministry.
C-in-C River and Sea Squadrons
21 July 1945
CALL OFF ALL COASTAL PATROLS
Hector Vernengo Lima, Vicealmirante
Chief of Naval General Staff 

In Part II - The Disembarkation of 27 July 1945 at Necochea.

1) DECLASSIFIED ARGENTINE DOCUMENT

Coordinacian Federal document CF-OP-2315
"GERMAN DISEMBARKATION AT SAN CLEMENTE DEL TUYU"
From Central de Reunión to Argentine Navy Ministry
18 April 1945
[Facsimile appears in Ladislav Farago: "Aftermath, Martin Borman and the Fourth Reich", Avon, New York, 1974]  

This long document states that shipments from Spain to Argentina by U-Boat began in August 1942 and were continued at six-to-eight week intervals during 1943 and 1944. The rendezvous point was off Punta Norte near the Cabo San Antonio lighthouse, this headland being the demarcation point between the River Plate and the South Atlantic. The nearest town to Punta Norte is San Clemente del Tuyu. It seems that a single submarine made the trip each time having sailed from Rota near Cadiz. Former 'Admiral Graf Spee' officer Fregattenkapitän Ascher arranged the meet in Argentina. The report continues: 

"By the mediation of our agents monitoring the operations of Ludwig Freude, agent of the Third Reich, it is known that he has made very substantial deposits in various credit banks in the name of the well-known radio-theatrical actress Mari­a Eva Duarte Ibarguen. Freude stated to our agent "Natalio" that on 7 February 1945 a U-Boat [a submarine of Admiral Dönitz' Fleet] effected transport 1.744 bringing to Argentina huge funds to help in the reconstruction of the Nazi empire. Subsequent investigations have revealed that the cases disembarked were consigned to a Lahusen ranch, bore the stencil "Geheime Reichssache" and arrived in various lorries on the night of 28 March 1945. The deposits were made in Banco Aleman, Banco Transatla¡ntico Alema¡n, Banco Germa¡nico and Banco Tornquist, all in the name of the lady named above. The investigation is continuing. Signed: Niceforo Alarcan, Principal Officer". 

The French journalist and former Deuxieme Bureau agent Alain Pujol published a long article in the newspaper "Le Figaro" on 1 September 1970 reporting on his investigation into the above document. The recipient is better known as Eva Peron of course. The amounts involved are:

German RM 187 mn
US dollars 17.5 mn
Pounds sterling 4.6 mn
Swiss francs 24.9 mn
Dutch florins 8.39 mn
Belgian francs 17.2 mn
French francs 54.9 mn
Platinum 87 kilos
Gold 2511 kilos
Diamonds 4638 carats 

(2) THE U-BOAT LANDING AT NECOCHEA, BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE, 27/28 JULY 1945

At 0930 hrs on 28 July 1945 at Punta Negra, Necochea, police agent Ricardo Montero (badge no. 9179) saw offshore at an estimated distance of 4 kilometres a black shape which appeared to him to be the conning tower of a German submarine. He kept it under observation for a period of 30 minutes before it submerged.

On 30 July 1945, Capita¡n de Fragata Matias Lopez, Prefect for the Rio de la Plata region reported:

"In company with the Necochea City Commissioner don Luis Mariotti, I went to Punta Negra for the purpose of verifying the exactitude of information which the Commissioner received yesterday from police agent Montero [badge no. 9179]. After speaking with said agent, the latter retracted his report and agreed with don Luis Mariotti that he must have mistaken a fishing boat for a submarine. Most of the fishing vessels which sailed for the grounds yesterday were heading south, and that was not unusual."
[EMGA-AG Memorandum, N.S. No 246, 30.7.1945] 

In 1952, a congressional judicial committe of enquiry was set up to investigate official collaboration with the Nazis. CEANA [Comisian de Esclarecimiento de las Actividades Nazis en la Argentina] took depositions from three former 'Admiral Graf Spee' crewmen then living in Argentina and who had absconded from internment in 1941 to assist German naval intelligence in Argentina during the Second World War.

Rudolf Dettelmann [d. 2 March 1991, radio telegraphist] and Alfred Schultz [d. 18 February 1987, engineer officer aspirant] stated on oath that on 28 July 1945 two U-Boats arrived on the coast to unload. They received their orders from FregKapt Walter Kay, former First Officer, 'Admiral Graf Spee', who administered a naval discipline office sub-let by the Banco Germa¡nico in central Buenos Aires, and were taken to a ranch owned by the Lahusen corporation. They assisted in unloading many heavy boxes from the U-Boats. The boxes were taken to the same ranch in eight lorries. Later 80 persons came ashore in rubber dinghies".

A third ex-Admiral 'Graf Spee' deponent, Willi Brennecke, stated that the ranch was near Necochea, one of the Lahusen estates not monitored by the Comisian de Vigilancia de Propiedad Enemiga. [Although one of the principal German conglomerates in Argentina with seven floors of offices in the centre of Buenos Aires, 100,000 hectares of property in Patagonia and a thousand employees, the Lahusen corporation was never subjected to control by the commission set up after the declaration of war on Germany in March 1945].

In the absence of declassified files and papers, and the intimidation of police witnesses [agent Longhi, see Part I, and agent Montero, see above], after due investigation CEANA admitted into evidence the following statement while protecting the identity of the author:

"In 1945 I was aged 18. I was the son of an officer of the provincial police attached to Necochea police station.

"At 1800 hrs on Saturday 27 July 1945 a police sub-officer called at our house to advise my father that the Commissioner, don Luis Mariotti, needed to see him urgently.  

"My father returned an hour later to change, telling my mother that he would not be dining at home that evening, and that according to information received a vessel had been detected offshore making morse signals in code towards the beach at Necochea, and that these signals were being answered from a sector of the beach.

"Upon hearing this I urged my father to allow me to accompany him. We went to the beach in three private cars and saw the alleged exchange of light signals. Police agents were sent out to various sectors of the beach to arrest those signalling, and a German artesan who made tourist articles was found and taken into custody.

"After an exhaustive interrogation at Necochea police station the man confessed that the vessel in question was a German submarine which had been damaged and wanted to put ashore at some safe place on the coast to unload.  

"Late next morning it was decided to comb several kilometres of beach, both north and south, and eventually the group accompanying my father [four agents, a corporal and a corporal 1st class] found a place where there were many tracks leading from the sea to the shore made by launches or rubber dinghies. We followed the tracks through the sand to the entrance to a ranch lined with many tamarind trees. This was a large farm called Moromar whose proprietors at that time were Germans.

"Having found proof, and also signs of heavy boxes having been dragged towards lorry tyre tracks, my father sent for the Commissioner urgently since he was intending to enter the farm without a warrant.

"He had gone a couple of kilometres inside when he came to a rise in the terrain which surrounded the main building. At this point he was challenged by four Germans armed with sub-machine guns who menaced the officers violently. Lacking a warrant he decided to retire with the group to Necochea.

"Upon his arrival the Commissioner don Luis Mariotti telephoned the Chief of Police at La Plata. The call was taken by the Chief's secretary who told him to take no action and wait by the telephone. Two hours later he was ordered to stand down and return to normal duties". 

-- Main sources for text and facsimile documents: Salinas and De Napol: "ULTRAMAR SUR", Norma Ed. Buenos Aires 2002, and Camarasa, Jorge: "PUERTO SEGURO", Norma Ed., Buenos Aires, 2006.

Hitler escaped to Argentina?
By Giuliano Guzzo
15 March 2014 

The official version is known: isolated in his Bunker, with a lost war and now the Soviet troops on his doorstep, Adolf Hitler committed suicide together with Eva Braun.

"Adolf knew that he would not try to escape, certain that his destiny was fulfilled," writes the historian Antonio Spinosa, recounting what happened in the Bunker on 29 April 1945.

-- "Hitler", Mondadori 1991

The next day, 30 April, would thus occur the suicide. 

We use the conditional tense because a definitive certainty about this version of events -which also enjoys historical officialdom and was confirmed by several witnesses- was never reached.  And some people even say that not only did Hitler not die that day and in that way, but has fled to Argentina, where he would live for more time.

But first things first and we start with the first doubts on the official version cited.  The first concerns the identification of the corpse: given that the portion of the skull attributed to Hitler and preserved in the Archives of the Russian Federation State -according to the analysis carried out by Professor Nick Bellantoni- corresponds to a female skull [not traceable as that of Eva Braun].

The appraisal made by the Soviets in the first half of May 1945 on the outskirts of Berlin reported a supernumerary tooth and a missing testicle.  Too bad that the three German doctors who visited the Führer in his last years revealed no abnormalities of the genitals, nor did his personal dentist Hugo Blaschke, ever speak of the presence of a fifteenth tooth in the lower jaw.  Soviet doctors error or corpse exchange?  The possibility that there was a look-alike?  These are questions that deserve attention

Also, because it was none other than General Dwight Eisenhower, during a press conference in June 1945, who declared verbatim:

"The Soviet investigations have found no traces of the remains of Hitler, nor the positive proof of his death".

Attention to the dates: these words date back to June 1945 - they are certainly posterior to expert opinions. 

So did Eisenhower lie, was he misinformed or, more simply, telling the truth? 

"When at the Potsdam Conference, again in 1945, US President Harry Truman asked Josef Stalin whether Hitler was dead, the Soviet dictator replied bluntly: "No".  He added that the Nazi leader had fled by submarine to Spain or Argentina".

-- "The Journal"  20 May 2012. 

To confirm the hypothesis of an escape to Argentina by the German dictator, has been the long investigative work carried out by by journalist Abel Basti.

After years of investigation, which culminated in the publication of the book "Tras the pasos Hitler" [In the Footsteps of Hitler] Basti has come to the conclusion that Hitler not only did not die on 30 April 1945, but would have fled to Argentina, where he would live for many more years and died on 5 February 1971.

Currently, according to this reconstruction, he was buried in Paraguay, in the crypt of an old Nazi Bunker, now replaced by a luxury hotel that every year would close to customers in the first week of February,  specifically to allow a privileged group Nazi to be able to pay homage to the myth on the anniversary of his death. 

What is historically proven is that Argentina was an ally of Germany, so much so that he gave shelter to many of Reich officials.  Similarly, it is established that in Argentina, in July 1945, two German submarines, the U-977 and U-530 arrived. 

Yet, even though the Argentine government continues to reject further requests on possible other opposing views of state secrecy, "the possible arrival of a number of U-Boats in Argentina was reported at the end of the conflict, by fishermen, military and residents of coastal villages.  Sightings were concentrated in the Gulf of San Matías, and in particular in Caleta de los Loros.  Episodes continued to occur after the surrender of 977 and 530..."

"Corriere della Sera", 10 July 2009

And if on board one of these other mysterious submarines there was, maybe in disguise, Hitler?

To further increase the mystery is the presence of declassified FBI documents, which are now circulating the Web, which demonstrate positive attitude with regard to the hypothesis that Hitler did not die in the famous Berlin Bunker in April 1945. 

To this another detail of no small importance is added, that one of the most cited historical works on the suicidal death of the German dictator is "The Last Days of Hitler", by Hugh Trevor-Roper.

He was a first level scholar but he was co-operating with the British Military Intelligence, taking orders from Churchill, who would understandably have had all the historical and political interests to declare  the Nazi enemy finally defeated and dead. It must not be forgotten that Trevor-Roper did not fail to incur gross errors, for example by authenticating, as he did in 1983, he forged "Hitler Diaries".

It should, however, be said that in addition to Trevor-Roper, many scholars agree with his version of the death of Hitler in the Bunker, if only for the consistency this would have with the tragedy embodied by his figure.  Conversely the theses of Basti, and others, though fascinating, feed themselves no little doubt, by the fact that, if what they claim  were true, we would be faced by one of the most colossal hoaxes of all time, one that would have had to rely on the faithful complicity of a number of very high subjects. 

Of inconsistencies, in the accounts of what happened in April of 1945 and soon after, there is no shortage.  So it is permissible to express doubts, conduct more research and try hard not to recognize that,  so long afterwards, the shadows on the end of the Führer still remain, leaving us with the feeling that basically we'll never know what really happened. 

Hunt for "Hitler's Children"
The Daily News [Perth, WA]
11 June 1945

LONDON: Russian, English and American officials in Germany are searching for a five-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, reported to be the children of Hitler and Eva Braun, says the "Daily Express" man in Stockholm.

The children are reported to be staying with a distant relative of Eva Braun's mother in Southern Bavaria. A member of the Swedish Legation who recently returned from Berlin said that Hitler married Eva Braun to purify his legend. He knew his love affair would become known as soon as Germany collapsed and wanted to go down in history with a spotless personal record.

The "Daily Express" man in Germany says that according to Hitler's Butler, Arthur Kannenberg, Hitler passionately and faithfully loved Eva Braun.

Arthur Kannenberg, as managing director of "Pfuhl's Wein- und Bierstuben", which well-known Nazi greats such as Josef Göbbels and Hermann Göring frequented, met Hitler, who offered him the direction of the Kasino of the Party Center "Braunes Haus" in Munich. He assumed this position in 1931. As a result, he was also entrusted with the management of the canteen of the NSDAP Reichsführerschule in Schwanthalerstrasse.

After Hitler became Reichskanzler in 1933, Kannenberg became Butler in the Reichskanzlei. There, supported by his wife Freda, he organized the running of the Führer's household. This included, in particular, the recruitment of staff, the supply of food and beverages, the preparation of food plans, as well as the organization of the catering at the Reich Chancellery,  as well as, occasionally at the Berghof. During the war he was then employed in the Führer's headquarters [FHQ] Wolfsschanze and finally in the Bunker of the Reichskanzlei in Berlin.

In May 1945, he was interned by the Americans and released on 25 July 1946. The "Spiegel" reported in issue 39/1948, that Kannenberg succeeded, after his denazification, becoming Maître d'hôtel and Chef at the American officers' mess at Schloss Stein near Nurnberg, which, at that time, catered to American court officials.

The next years of his activities are in the dark.

In 1957 he took over the "Schneider-Wibbel-Stuben" in Düsseldorf. According to contemporary portrayals, he served "an excellent cuisine" and entertained his guests through accordion play and singing. When he was interrogated by the CIC, he said that he had often entertained Hitler with the accordion.

Christa Schröder, one of Hitler's secretaries, describes Kannenberg as an "excellent solo entertainer, who was blessed with the proverbial Berlin wit and humor".

"She was a sensual woman, with a thick, provincial accent, speaking only the Munich dialect".

"I tell you this," said Kannenberg, "because I want the world to know that Hitler was a normal man who sought peace in the arms of the woman he loved.

"He was abnormal only in that he disciplined that love.

"Hitler carefully kept his 'Evi' secret from the German people and visiting celebrities. Everybody in Germany whispered about Hitler's inner life, as he worked hard to foster the belief that he was married only to his country.

"Eva Braun's age was a secret, but I judged her to be about 35.

"Hitler first met her in the Munich house of his greatest friend, official photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, to whom she was secretary.

"He carried her off to Berchtesgaden, where she was given a large boudoir adjoining Hitler's bedroom.

"She was also provided with a suite in the Wilhelmstrasse, Berlin, although she was seldom permitted to appear there until late in the war. Then she went out to the theatre or the opera every night but never with Hitler.

"The couple's only quarrels were over drinking. Eva Braun liked her whisky and champagne. Hitler was a strong teetotaler.

"She had no fear of him because she knew he loved her".

Boy's Photo in Hitler's Papers
Townsville Daily Bulletin [Qld]
3 January 1946

NUREMBERG: A boy whose photograph was discovered with Hitler's documents at Tegernsee is now believed to be Bormann's son.

Hitler's photographer, Helnrich Hoffmann, when questioned in Munich Gaol yesterday, said he believed the 12 year-old boy in the picture was Bormann's son, whose description corresponds to that of the boy in the photograph. Hoffmann added that he was certain that Eva Braun, whom he introduced to Hitler, never had any children of her own, although she was very fond of children. She was often photographed with Bormann's children.

 
Eva Braun with Martin Bormann's children on the Berghof Terrace

Czechoslovak Intelligence officials who interrogated the boy, touched up photographs of Hitler, in which bis moustache and lock of hair were obliterated, in an endeavour to find out whether the boy resembled Hitler.

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