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Latin America: End of the myth of the Fourth reich

Nil Nikandrov

December 2006

In the 80s the destiny brought me together with an elderly German form the Venezuelan city on the Caribbean shore. From time to time, for my guests from Moscow, I used to buy from him – for souvenirs – carefully painted water-colors with sentimental-lyrical landscapes – palm trees, cosy fishermen huts, fishing boats against the turquoise sea background. He did not speak very much about himself, said that he had moved to Venezuela from Germany to restore his health and in search of inspiration. He was a sad, lonely person, not indifferent to alcohol.

Once having opened a newspaper I saw his face in a strange, frighteningly inverted perspective. The brief text read, that the artist in the years of the Second World war had been fighting in Waffen-SS units, and «might have been involved» in crimes against humanity, was suffering from heavy memories and that is why committed suicide. The author of the article did not fail to note that the police «so far» had no information about his affiliation to any organisation of the so called «The Fourth reich». However, the hint to the possibility that the artist led a «double life» was quite apparent.

The emergence of the myth about the «underground» Fourth reich that was created by the nazis, who had fled to the countries of Latin America after defeat of Germany, owes a lot to Ladislas Farago, an American of Hungarian origin. A journalist, writer and in the years of the Second World war a US Navy counter-intelligence officer, very efficiently used his military experience after the defeat of the Third reich: he started to write books on opposition of intelligence services and nazi criminals, who managed to escape the deserved punishment.

One of Farago's bestsellers «Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich»
One of Farago's bestsellers «Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich» caused much stir in the mid 70s: of course the author managed to prove that the closest to the «body» of Adolf Hitler person, chief of his secretariat, «power broker» Martin Bormann had successfully overcome all the traps of the allied forces and moved to Latin America, where he had peacefully lived to extreme old age and died in his own bed with the feeling of fulfilling his national-socialist duty. Farago gave a detailed description of his search, cited a lot of documents, gave details of talks with witnesses of Bormann's secret life and even with Bormann himself!

After such potent arguments there remained no doubts of miraculous salvation of the second person of the Reich, and statements that Bormann's skeleton was found during earthworks in Berlin several years after the war, turned out to be ungrounded journalists' inventions.

Naturally, in Farago's interpretation, Bormann being a convinced national-socialist, could not sit idle and devoted his after the war leisure to creation of the invisible but effective structure, composed of nazi brothers-in-arms and indigenous «sympathizers» that reflected the vertical line of the power, administrative and controlling schemes and security providing agencies after the model of the Hitlerite reich. The Fourth reich, according to Farago, was basically spread in Argentine, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, but its invisible bases also existed in other Latin American countries of the continent.

The version of Farago about the invisible reich used to be supported by certain progress of the so called «hunters for the nazis»: Eichman was caught, Barbie was deported to French authorities, it seemed that the nazi «experimentalist doctor» Mengele would shortly be found in his Brazilian or Paraguayan hide-out. A lot was written about Walter Rauff from SS, the one who ensured for continuous manufacturing of «mobile gas chambers» for einsatzgroups (einsatzgruppen) of the reich Security Service. Having escaped from Germany and «traveling» around the world he settled down in Chile, having found a job of «advisor» in DINA, security service of Pinochet. Rauff patronized «Colonia Dignidad», which was often called the «nazi enclave» in South America. The colony was headed by Paul Schaefer, admirer of Hitler, ex-Wehrmacht feldwebel, and who was in the hands of the Chilean justice at that time. If we think that the Fourth reich really existed, it was «Colonia Dignidad» that was its most effective acting «structure». But the time was passing, and on the boundary of 80-90s of the last century, it became apparent that the myth about the nazi-Teutonic-Gothic reich is gradually getting exhausted: those nazis, who really managed to hide themselves in Latin America, were over seventy and sometimes over ninety, and they were not interested in active protection of the Third reich ideals in banana-tropical conditions ...

On the eve of 2000 the partially forgotten problems of the nazi underground on the continent was taken by the Argentine journalist Abel Basti, whose two books created a furore among that category or readers that is fond of probing in the mysteries of history, especially the newest one. «The guidebook of memorial places of nazis in Bariloche» and «Hitler in Argentina» is a result, as claimed by the author, of extensive research, trips, talks with those, who «came across» Hitler and his wife Eve (the same one, whom he married in the Reichchancellery under the accompaniment of «Stalin pipe organs») during life of that happy married couple in Argentine.

Hitler in Argentina. Author: Abel Basti.

As per the scale of talent, imagination and ability to devise convincing proofs, Basti surpassed the late Fargo. It could never occur to him that Hitler could «personally head» the Fourth reich, and by this, lay the basis for continuation of struggle with plutocracy, bolshevism and jew-masonry. According to Basti the Fuhrer, Eve and some of his closest collaborators managed to fly away from Berlin to Spain, from where on 3 submarines took off across the Atlantic to the shores of Argentine. Sometime in July-August of 1945 Hitler and his retinue landed in the province of Rio Negro near the village of Caleta de los Loros.

I doubt that it is worth to narrate the plot of a weighty bestseller «Hitler in Argentina». It is sufficient to say that Basti quite convincingly described the itinerary of the nazi family across the country, peripeteia of Adolf and Eve married life, who, despite all the ordeal, gave birth to nice children to Fuhrer. The revival of Reich on the Latin American land might had failed, so Adolf paid more attention to intimate relations with his wife.

The books of Basti summed up the literature that cultivated the myth of omnipotent underground nazi state in Latin America. Despite the documentary style, pictures of elderly Hitler at the deathbed and other «proofs» of his stay in Argentine and Paraguay, - all this is a variant of «fantasy» bestseller exercises of the erudite person directed to commercially perspective subject. Nobody says that such literature is not needed. If somebody reads it, it means that others will write. And «fantasy» situation that is offered to the reader, when definitely «bad» high ranking nazis manage to escape the punishment and, in general, lead the rest of their lives at the South American resorts – Viña del Mar, Punta del Este or Bariloche, - suggests undoubted optimistic perspective for all potentially «bad» people of our epoch.

Martin Bormann. Photo from www.wikipedia.org
I cannot help but recollecting one more version of Martin Bormann destiny. Someone has even written a brochure, which said that the «power broker» was a Soviet special-service agent and after the war was safely taken to the Soviet Union. He was even seen at the stadium among the fans at the football match Spartak vs Dynamo. No doubt that Bormann rooted for Dynamo!

Caracas, December 2006

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