When I was in Brazil last Christmas, I met a friend of the family who was a semi-retired French-Brazilian film director, Olivier Perroy who’s had a very successful career, directing television commercials, Brazilian novelas and feature films. For a time, he ran a film production company with Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren’s film producer husband.
In 2011, Olivier had looked very deeply into the “Hitler in Argentina” story, traveling there several times, meeting with witnesses. He was surprised to discover that there was a lot to this story, especially based on the testimony of an unassuming, retired tax assessor, who had maneuvered himself, during 30 years of appraising the huge plantations of dozens of escaped Nazis into possessing a suitcase that Josef Mengele took with him everywhere. The story of how this happened appears below.
On February 7, 1979, while visiting his friends Wolfram and Liselotte Bossert in the coastal resort of Bertioga, Brazil, Mengele suffered stroke while swimming and drowned. As his death was unexpected, his perfectly intact suitcase contained an amazing cache of documents, which proved the entire history of how over 30,000 Fascists escaped to Patagonia in southern Argentina via submarine, with the help of the Catholic Church, The Red Cross and KLM Airlines in what was called “Project Odessa”.
While the project continued through the 1950s, at least 14,000 Nazi Party members were issued fake IDs by Argentina’s President, Juan Perón. For his help, Perón was given the equivalent of US$250,000,000 deposited into a Swiss bank account by his wife Evita Perón, which he later tried to retrieve without success (more details about this escapade, below).
Below, I’ve translated Olivier’s initial treatment for a Brazilian TV series into English and decided to publish it here today. It contains many hair-raising allegations, which he says are fully documented by his Argentinean production partners, investigators and witnesses, including the claim that Nazi operations worldwide were funded by Bolivian cocaine via Klaus Barbie and Pablo Escobar. One route was via shipments of apples from an orchard owned by the German-Argentinean liaison who’d enabled Hitler’s escape (a PDF of this article is here).
Long before the end of the World War II, some senior Nazi leaders had already been meeting to determine escape routes, in the likely event that the Nazis would lose the war. One such meeting was held in secret at the Maison Rouge in Strasbourg. One of the most important planners of these escape routes was Martin Bormann, in what would eventually be known as “Project Odessa”.
Bormann was a member of the Nazi Party and was uniquely-positioned as the financial manager of all funds, gold, jewelry and works of art for the Adolph Hitler Foundation, in charge of managing the money stolen from all the Central Banks of Europe and managing the loot stolen by Nazis from national museums and from the homes of thousands of Jews.
Bormann filled a power vacuum around Hitler that occurred toward the end of the war, left behind by Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Wilhelm Canaris and other important Nazi leaders. At the very end, there were only Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann, besides Admiral Karl Dönitz, who at the last minute was appointed to succeed Hitler.
In the second phase of Project Odessa, these massive financial assets were put into use, along with a precious collection of strategic scientific projects, to be used as bargaining chips, to negotiate with the Allies and with Argentine President, Juan Perón, in exchange for escape routes and safe haven for Nazis – including for the Führer, himself.
Many German scientists and Nazi projects were thus taken over by the British, the Americans and the Russians. (Please refer the case of the German U-Boat 234, which was “delivered” to the US Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire .
There are some who suspect that this “bargaining-chip” German technology led to the quick completion of the atom bomb by the Manhattan Project, as well as to the development of jet planes, among other technologies.
Even the Argentines were given access to these technological assets. One example was the Pulqui jet plane, created by Kurt Tank, the celebrated Nazi aeronautical engineer who lived in Córdoba and whose designs were publicly presented by Perón at the Aeroparque in Buenos Aires in 1951.
TO FOUND A 4TH REICH
The hope was that, with all of these resources it would be possible to found a 4th Reich somewhere. Although the existence of Project Odessa has never been irrefutably proven, it’s been alleged to have been the secret organization created to expedite the escape of Nazis, with the help of the Vatican, through the German Bishop Hudal, who was very close to Pope Pius XII.
Several historical researchers have found plenty of evidence that Perón opened the doors of Argentina for Nazis on the run, distributing approximately 14,000 fake identity documents, providing assistance, jobs and everything necessary for the exiles to be safe and well protected.
In compensation, Perón is said to have received $250 million, deposited in Switzerland by his famous wife, Evita in 1947. He would later attempt to recover this money from Swiss bankers, without success.
Perón’s “excuse” for this shameless harboring of Nazis was that there was already a huge colony of Germans in Argentina. The
truth, however was that the dictator had been deeply sympathetic to the Nazi cause, as well as to the Fascist faith, since long before the war, starting when he was military attaché for Argentina in Italy under Mussolini. The longstanding proximity of Perón with Nazis has been extensively proven: his personal Private Secretary and Head of Security was Rudy Freude, a Nazi Argentine who was always present in photos with the dictator and Evita.
Rudy was the son of billionaire Ludwig Freude, a personal friend of Perón and Argentina’s largest contractor and banker of Nazi funds (Banco Alemán Transatlántico), and considered the true unofficial ambassador of Germany. He was investigated repeatedly for spying by the Americans and was also blacklisted by the US. It was Ludwig Freude who bankrolled the presidential campaign of Perón in 1946.
The names of numerous war criminals, sought under the Nuremberg Principles and hiding comfortably in South America are well known, including Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele, Klaus Barbie, Erich Priebke, Heinrich Müller, Peter Baumbart, Eva Braun among others, some of whom, years later were located by Simon Wiesenthal and convicted. Many others were arrested and died in prison, while awaiting their death sentences. Others, however went on to live peacefully in Argentina, many providing consulting services to the military dictatorship of that country.
THE UNSUSPECTED NAZI
In order to efficiently and discreetly deploy this escape plan, it was essential that there be an agent on Argentine soil, a highly competent “manager”; someone who was audacious but with a low profile, yet well-connected. We are confident that this person was Albrecht Alvaro Bohëme, a Mexican-born German, fluent in Spanish and a former pilot in the Luftwaffe in a special tactical airborne unit, the LF 200 and the nephew of the Major General of the SS or Wehrmacht, Franz Bohëme.
Alvaro Bohëme was not cited by the Nuremberg Principles for having committed any war crimes, so it was he who became the agent above any suspicion, the “Unsuspected Nazi” who facilitated the safe passage to Argentina and the provision of some 14,000 Argentine IDs to SS Officers and other top Nazi personnel.
How we can safely endorse this hypothesis?
Researcher Alberto Aragon who now lives in Catamarca , a remote region of Argentina, where there are many abandoned mines has been investigating the Nazi presence in Argentina for over 35 years. We videotaped a long interview in High Definition with Aragon, speaking of various Nazi puzzles.
Prior to Catamarca, Aragon lived for a long time in Rio Negro (in the same province as San Carlos de Bariloche, 300 km away) and as an agricultural inspector and tax collector for the Argentine government, Aragon was familiar with a certain 200-acre property that had been producing apples and grapes.
In the town of Cervantes, where Bohëme was respected and well-connected, as the Founder and President of the Lower Rio Negro Association of Fruit Producers. Gradually, Aragon became a close friend of Bohëme, who over the years, told him many stories about the Nazis in Argentina and showed him a profusion of documents, correspondence and authentic objects.
When he died in 1986, Bohëme left everything to Aragon, including an old suitcase that had belonged to Joseph Mengele and which was ultimately used for the latter’s criminal identification.
The absolute confirmation that Bohëme was the secret Nazi operator in Argentina, came from the notebooks inside Mengele’s suitcase which was left to Aragon and which contained the names of many of the most important Nazis (many of them presumed dead, such as the powerful Martin Bormann).
The notebooks contained the addresses and locations of escaped Nazis in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Germany. There was also an abundant cache of correspondence. One of these letters, which stood out was authenticated to 1950, written by General Seydlitz to Bohëme in German, giving updates from Europe and also expressing happiness that Hitler would be living under Bohëme’s refuge in beautiful Patagonia. At the end of the letter, Seydlitz sends greetings to the beloved Führer for his birthday. Bohëme went to Bariloche very often, where evidence suggests that Hitler was hiding in a vast, hidden property, guarded by 90 security agents called “Inalco”, and then later, at the La Clara resort until his death, in 1962.
Inalco, the probable refuge of Hitler, is an imposing property that remains intact and was for sale [as of 2011]. Included in the property is a ramp and a hangar for seaplanes, as it is located on the shore of Lake Nahuel Haupi.
Bohëme was married to Elfriede Larch, a confirmed Gestapo agent but who was given a new identity. The two circulated freely in Argentina being that they had no convictions; often returning to Germany throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, from where they returned always accompanied by groups of ex-Nazis, carrying their “special” documents, issued by the Perón government or by the Red Cross in Europe.
Bohëme was considered a very wealthy man, possibly due to a well-organized cocaine trafficking operation. He allegedly would receive cocaine shipments sent by Klaus Barbie from Bolivia, using caravans of unsuspicious mules, which were then transferred and hidden in boxes of apples and exported in large quantities. In those times, virtually all of Bariloche and Rio Negro Province was predominantly a German community and it included many hidden Nazis.
In the years between 1945-1950, all of Patagonia became the scene of landings of cargo and people in boats and submarines, which were anchored and hidden in large German-owned property known as the giant Flugell resort, as alleged by many serious scholars of this topic.
The Consul of Patagonia, a Nazi, himself was charged with recording both the lists of crates and their cargo of prized possessions and the names of people landing by submarine, in the dim light of the southern dawn.
THE CONSULAR DOCUMENTS
These Consular documents went missing for a long time but Aragon finally located them in the possession of the Nazi Consul’s niece, who now lives under an assumed name in southern Chile and who is currently [as of 2011] negotiating their sale.
These documents prove many facts, which are generally still considered to be legends, including the use of U-boats, crates containing gold and jewels, stolen from all over Europe and brought to the shores of Patagonia to be loaded onto trucks and hidden in the remote, abandoned mines of Catamarca. (See the excellent Argentinean documentary, ‘El Oro de los Nazi’).
Aragon is convinced of the existence of these treasures there and is actively exploring these various mines, which are now closed. With the help of a metal detector, he found surprising evidence of two containing ancient gold jewelry of and another full of cut diamonds, some of which were found on gravel near the gated entrance of one of the old mines, lending credence to the stories that jewelry was unloaded there. Finding the exact locations of all the treasure has become his obsession.
As a consequence of his stubborn research, he met a lady named Chiquita, a local journalist and the mistress of a Catholic Father Confessor to many old Nazis in a nearby parish. One of them, spent part of his life guarding mines and handed him a map drawn in pencil with geographic coordinates. Thanks to his unlimited patience, Aragon got these maps from Chiquita. Aragon has plans to set out on a new round of explorations, using more precise equipment when he’s able to gather the necessary resources and time for this.
MENGELE’S FINAL MURDER: OF A FEMALE MOSSAD AGENT
When asked about Mengele, Aragon is always extremely cautious and wary, as to why he had left the suitcase, with such sensitive personal information behind.
Aragon said then that in one of the parties held by the Nazi community in Bariloche, many saw Mengele dancing with a beautiful woman who claimed to be a journalist and who wanted to interview him. He agreed to the interview on the afternoon of the next day in a park in Bariloche. Before leaving her however, he saw that she bore a numerical tattoo, characteristic of the victims of the German concentration camps inside the palm of her hand. He noticed it but said nothing. The interview was conducted and two days later, the woman was found murdered at the base of the cliffs beside Lake Nahuel Huapi.
She was, in fact MOSSAD agent, 47 years of age, named Nora Eldoc, who had gone to visit her mother, a Jewish escapee of the death camps, who also lived in Bariloche. It was a shocking event at the time.
The police examined the scene of the crime and suspicions fell on Mengele but he had long since disappeared. Mengele hid for a time at Bohëme’s farm, 300 km away. Three months later he left, leaving behind the incriminating suitcase, which would certainly do him no good on his person, should he be apprehended while on the run. This is the suitcase that Aragon inherited from Bohëme.
There are numerous other fascinating stories, including some involving renowned, powerful Nazis, like Adolf Eichmann, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Peter Baumbart, Otto Skorzeny, among others.
All of this could be developed into a TV series. The relatively recent discovery in 1996 by an American TV reporter, which led to the arrest and extradition of war criminal, Erich Priebke is an amazing and shocking story. There are so many similar stories like this to choose from, which have never been aired on national television.
© 2011 by Olivier Perroy. (Translated from Portuguese by Alexandra Bruce).
ENDNOTES //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-234 – Capture
 Catamarca is described as the site of an abandoned mine which was blocked by a highly-effective and robust door,
resembling that of the most secure bank vaults.