After the fall of Germany during WW2, many Nazis fled to Argentina and other parts of South America. It was no secret that President Juan Perón was a Nazi sympathizer.
Nevertheless, president Perón allowed for the passage of the high-ranking officials of the Nazi party and permitted safe passage into Argentina. Most of them chose Bariloche to settle down.
To this day, the rumors of Bariloche being a Nazi haven still haunt this area of Patagonia. Germans initially occupied Bariloche in the 1800s; the town of Bariloche was founded by a German named Carlos Wiederhold.
When the war ended, Bariloche became an obvious choice for those in the Nazi party to move and settle. As Perón would allow safe passage and the town of Bariloche was already inhabited by the germans and other german-speaking immigrants.
The high-ranking officers that escaped to Argentina are the following.
Adolph Eichmann was appointed to coordinate the identification, assembly, and transportation of millions of Jews from occupied Europe to the Nazi death camps, where Jews were gassed or worked to death. He carried this duty out with horrifying efficiency, and between three to four million Jews perished in the extermination camps before the end of WW2.
Eichman lived in Argentina for ten years before the authorities made them aware that he was living in an area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was captured and brought to Israel to serve his punishment for war crimes. He was sentenced to death and hung in Tel Aviv on May 31, 1962.
Joseph Mengele is known as the ¨angel of death¨. It is because he conducted macabre experiments among the prisoners at the Auschwitz death camp.
He fled to Argentina and lived in Buenos Aires, but once he heard of Eichmann's capture, he went underground, residing in Brazil and Paraguay. He was pursued for years and eventually drowned; he had changed identities and was confirmed by dental records in 1985.
Walter Rauff An SS colonel, Rauff was instrumental in constructing and implementing the mobile gas chambers responsible for killing an estimated 100,000 people during World War II.
He escaped to Chile and was arrested in 1962. However, he was freed by the Chilean supreme court. He lived in Chile until he died in 1984.
Franz Stangl was directly responsible for the Nazis' second-deadliest camp; 900,000 prisoners were killed under his order.
He was arrested in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in 1967. He was sentenced to life in prison but died of heart failure in 1971.
Josef Schwamberger personally executed 35 people at Przemyśl, shooting them in the back of the neck, and dispatched Jews to the Auschwitz death camp. Then, in Mielec in 1944, he cleansed the city of Jews. "His path was littered with corpses," said the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
He fled to Argentina in 1948. He was arrested in Argentina in 1987 when there was a 300k reward for his arrest. In 1992 he was sentenced to life in prison and died at 92 in prison in 2004.
Erich Priebke participated in the 1944 Ardeatine Caves massacre in Rome, in which the Nazis slaughtered 335 people in retaliation for killing 33 German SS members by Italian partisans.
He escaped a British prison and fled to Bariloche, Argentina. He used an alias until he was captured in 1994. He was tried in Italy for war crimes and sentenced to life in prison, carried out as house arrest. He died in 2013 at the age of 100.
Gerhard Bohne was among the leaders who conducted systemic extermination to purify the Aryan race and avoid state expenditures on those with mental and physical disabilities. The program killed 200,000 Germans with incurable diseases, mental illnesses, and other handicaps.
He fled to Argentina in 1949 under the disguise of a technician for the military. Under Perón and was given papers under the direction of Perón.
He was captured after a coup that questioned Perón and was brought to Germany; he was released on bail and fled back to Argentina. Three years later, he was extradited from Argentina; he was the first Nazi criminal surrendered by Argentina. Declared unfit to stand trial, he died in 1981.
It is said that Perón allowed the passage of over 1300 Nazis into Argentina, but Argentina was not alone. Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru also allowed the passage of Nazis.
Why did Perón permit so many? Was it for the money or because he felt they were following orders?