When WWII ended not all the Nazi criminals were apprehended and prosecuted. It has long been rumoured that many fled to Argentina where they found sympathizers. An Argentine archeologist has uncovered some stone buildings that date to that era. The area is in the jungle, isolated and with good escape routes.
The connection to fascists was made by the swastikas etched on walls, German coins with Nazi insignia and German made crockery. The complex was probably meant to be a bolt hole if Argentina proved hostile. It was isolated and within reach of Paraguay to the north.
As it happened, the fascists were welcomed by the Argentinians. The military dictator, Juan Peron, was in charge at the time.
"They didn't need to go into hiding deep in the jungle since they ended up living in Argentina with impunity and protection," Schavelson said. "They had passports and even used their real names."
German immigrants moved to the South American country early in the 20th century and currently many Argentinians trace their roots to German ancestry. Argentina is also home to a large Jewish population.
Argentina welcomed the war criminals, but it was not alone in doing so. One of the most notorious Nazi criminals, Adolf Eichmann lived in Austria until 1950 when he fled to Argentina. Agents of Israel caught up with him in 1960. Eichmann was executed in Israel two years later. He was one of the architects of the concentration camp, extermination camps of the Nazis. He was believed responsible for the deaths of five million people.
Another nightmare criminal who found sanctuary in S. America was Josef Mengele. He fled to Argentina in 1949 and lived for a time in the capital city. He later moved to Paraguay and then to Brazil. He escaped prosecution and drowned in 1979.