Adolf Hitler survived the bunker in Germany and lived to be an old man of 95 in South America. Fleeing Berlin, the former Führer escaped to Argentina along with other Nazi leaders. Restless, Hitler then moved to Paraguay before finally putting down roots in Brazil to hunt for buried treasure. The location of the buried gold and jewels was revealed on a map secretly given to him by allies in the Vatican.
If all of that sounds implausible, many scholars would agree. At the same time, other scholars and researchers find the theory entirely possible and one, Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias, has written a book about Hitler’s post-Germany escapades.
Adolf Hitler in Brazil – His Life and His Death
The book, titled “Hitler in Brazil – His Life and His Death,” challenges the traditional idea that the infamous dictator shot himself in his secure bunker in April 1945. Dias believes that Hitler eventually changed his name to Adolf Leipzig and lived in Nossa Senhora do Livramento, a village 30 miles from the Brazilian town of Cuiaba. Dias, a Brazilian originally from Cuiaba, says that Leipzig was known to locals as the “Old German.”
Her theory has gained enough credence that people are willing to invest time in proving her right — or wrong. A relative of Hitler’s, living in Israel, has agreed to donate a DNA sample to compare with DNA testing from the Leipzig’s corpse. The authorities in Nossa Senhora do Livramento, Leipzig’s final resting place, have given Dias permission to exhume the remains.
Dias’ suspicions about the true identify of Adolph Leipzig mounted after she found a grainy image of him and compared it to photos of the Nazi leader. According to Dias, a Polish nun recognized an elderly man who was hospitalized in Cuiaba in the early eighties as Hitler. The nun demanded that he leave the facility, but the nun was reprimanded by an official who claimed the man was there on Vatican orders.
Candido Rodrigues, a history professor at Mato Grosso’s Federal University says that there is nothing new with people coming up with the most bizarre theories about Hitler. Thousands of Nazis escaped Germany after the war, including Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele. Eichmann and Mengele, two of Hitler’s most trusted henchman, both lived in Argentina in the 1940s.
Eichmann’s stay was short-lived as he was kidnapped by Israeli commandos and taken back to Israel to stand trial. Eichman’s life, and subsequent arrest and trial, are the basis for the hit movie, The House on Garibaldi Street.
Investigators probing the death of Hitler, over the years have been stymied by the lack of any physical evidence. In 2009 skull fragments were found near the bunker and initially thought to belong to the dead dictator. DNA tests ended up revealing the skull belonged to a female.
Rochus Misch, Hitler’s former bodyguard, has often been identified as the last man to see the Führer alive. Misch, lived with Hitler and Eva Braun in the underground bunker as allies closed in. Misch claims to have seen Hitler slumped over his desk after hearing a gunshot behind the closed-door. Misch died in September 2013.
Nazis in Argentina
At the end of World War II, thousands of Nazis and other wartime collaborators from Croatia, Belgium and various parts of Europe were looking for a new place to live. Desiring to get as far from the Nuremberg Trials as they could, they found Argentina was waiting with open arms.
The Argentine President, Juan Domingo Peron, did everything that could be done to get the Nazis to South America’s second largest country. Argentine agents were sent to Europe to make passage easy by providing falsified travel documents and, in many instances, travel expenses were covered. Even Nazis accused of the most horrific crimes, such as Mengele and Eichmann, were welcomed.
During WWII, Argentina was solidly on the side of the Axis powers. Argentina historically had close ties with Germany, Spain and Italy as many immigrants had come from those three countries. Nazi Germany realized this and nurtured the sympathy.
Peron, an ego-centric man, was a fan of the trappings of Nazi Germany. Fancy uniforms, parades and rallies all were attractive to the Argentine leader. Peron had served as an officer in Mussolini’s Italian arm in the late 1930s and his personal sympathies remained with the fascists. While Argentina would come to declare war on the Axis powers, they waited until a month before the war’s end.
While Adolf Hitler might never have made it to South America, scores of other Nazi’s lived, and died, in Argentina. The House on Garibaldi Street tells the story of Eichmann’s arrest by Israeli forces. Others got away.
By Jerry Nelson