Giant Nazi artefact stash found in Argentina
Argentinian police have uncovered around 75 Nazi artefacts (pictured) in a secret room in a home near Buenos Aires, including children’s harmonicas adorned with swastikas and a large relief of Adolf Hitler.
Argentina’s Ministry of Security said the pieces were all “of illegal origin and of great interest due to their historical value”.
Among the cache were firearms, ceremonial knives, military decorations, trinket boxes adorned with the Nazi imperial eagle, a Nazi sundial and a silver ouija board.
There are medical devices to measure heads as part of the Nazi eugenic studies on ethnic identity.
The home in Beccar, north of the capital, was raided as part of a larger investigation with the authorities saying “they suspect they are originals that belonged to high-ranking Nazis in Germany”. Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said the pieces included a magnifying glass accompanied by a photo of Hitler holding a similar object.
The combination of object and picture “is a way to commercialise them, showing that they were used … by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects”, the minister told the media
There is Roman-style Nazi eagle and an hourglass with Nazi iconography.
“There are Nazi objects used by kids, but with the party’s propaganda,” said Marcelo El Haibe of the federal police. “There were jigsaw puzzles and little wood pieces to build houses, but they always featured party-related images and symbols.”
Many senior Nazis fled to Argentina in 1945, including Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann and infamous doctor Josef Mengele.
Mengele, an SS officer and physician at Auschwitz who was known as the “Angel of Death” for performing deadly experiments on prisoners, lived in Buenos Aires while other Nazis were put on trial. He died in 1979 in the Brazilian city of Bertioga after suffering from a stroke while swimming.
Latin America provided a safe haven for Nazis seeking to escape prosecution. Christopher Klein of History.com said Juan Perón, the fascist-leaning Argentinian president, established escape routes to smuggle Nazis out of Europe.
The Washington Post said both men lived near the house.
The Argentinian authorities said they found artwork of “illicit origin” in a gallery in Buenos Aires and Interpol began following the collector, which resulted in the raid.
Picture credit: YouTube