Argentine Expedition 2014

 

SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition to Argentina January 2014

One might wonder why we begin this report with these photos of Juan Peron but look who he is within the two photos above and the one to the right. This is probably the greatest pilot ever; Hans-Ulrich Rudel and his wife.

Rudel was one of the Luftwaffe greats who came to Argentina to rebuild the Argentine Air Force.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel in the Luftwaffe and wearing the only award of its kind ever – the Knights Cross with Oak Leaf, Crossed Swords and Diamonds – in Gold!

This is Peron’s Presidential Palace and he made speeches from the balcony to some 14,000 or more on his return to power …and this house was literally back door to back door with…

We learned something else very interesting here. High ranking people like Juan Peron, Evita and others were treated by taxidermists when they died so their bodies could be viewed later for decades.

In 1987, someone broke into the tomb of Juan Peron – and cut off his hands! We have a short film clip of this and Peron is indeed, missing his hands. Why would anyone break into his tomb and take his hands? The theory is that his fingerprints would be required to access some of the secret bank accounts that he had filled with money from Bormann and the others of the Third Reich during his first Presidency when he was more or less selling protection to thousands who were escaping the crumbled. Europe.

We asked several Members who are medical doctors about this – and are no closer to the answer than before. 50% said that the fingerprints would have vanished by 1987 while 50% said that his fingerprints would still exist. We can think of no other valid reason why anyone would steal the hands of Juan Peron.

Join Sharkhunters as we learn more and more about the Third Reich in Latin America – predominantly Argentina.

 


 

SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 1

To form a foundation for our further research, we visit the graves of some notable men of the Third Reich as well as their homes. Come along with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any historian, even an amateur, knows the name Kapitän zur See Hans Langsdorff, Commanding Officer of the Panzerschiff GRAF SPEE. He shot himself in the Immigrant Hotel after destroying his ship. He has nothing to do with the men of the Third Reich who came here after the war, but it is important that we show this photograph.

Dr Carl Värnet was a Danish SS Sturmbannführer (Major) and the camp doctor at Buchenwald. He had conducted experiments on homosexuals in an effort to change their sexual preference. After the war Danish authorities were going to charge him with war crimes but he faked heart troubles and escaped – first to Brazil then to Argentina.

He operated a clinic in Buenos Aires, again in the attempt to change the behavior of homosexuals and we will see that building later.

Right – Doctor Carl Värnet
Right – Doctor Friederich Bergus
Doctor Friederich Bergius was a scientist who studied and improved the process of making fuel synthetically from coal.

He also worked on making sugar from wood.

Because he worked with I. G. Farben during the war, he was under suspicion and rather than face a long fight in Europe, he emigrated to Argentina and was Advisor to the Ministry of Industry.

Ludwig Freude was Director of the Banco Transatlantico Allemann, the German Overseas Bank and one of the ten wealthiest men in Latin America. He is indicated by the arrow in the above photo with his close friend Juan Peron (hand in his pocket). Freude was instrumental in helping a tremendous number of men escape the crumbled Europe and begin their new lives in Argentina. When the Allies wanted Freude deported to face chares in Europe, Peron more or less said that Freude was his personal friend and he wasn’t going anywhere.

Freude lived in the very upscale “el Tirge” district and Peron was a guest in his home many times. He was also instrumental in setting up “die Spinne” (the Spider), better known as Odessa.

Who doesn’t know of Doctor Josef Mengele?

It is well known that he came to Latin America and spent much of his time in Argentine.

Note the photo below left – that is Mengele on the front porch of the house of his friend Gerhard Malbranc in Buenos Aires.

Note the photo below – that is the same house and the photo was taken in January 2014 by Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER (1-LIFE-1983).

Above – The same house from another angle Mengele with the Malbranc family
You will remember that we said the Presidential Palace of Juan Peron was literally back door to back door with……………it was this palatial house of Doctor Josef Mengele! These homes were close enough to each other that one could throw a ball from one to the other.

This is only one of the homes of Mengele. He had several in Buenos Aires and other places as well.

…..and likewise, who does not know the name Adolf Eichmann? Unlike almost all the others who escaped Europe, Eichmann was relatively poor. He did not have huge reserves of money and in fact, worked in a factory and on weekends sold fruit juice at the beach.

His house was tiny. It stood on the property in the photo below left. He sold fruit juices at the marina and beach in the photo below.

Eichmann worked first in the FV Factory where they made accessories for toilets. His next job was in the factory at Orbis where they made water heaters and related equipment. His last job was at Mercedes Benz and he had to ride the bus for three hours each way.

This is the corner where he got off his bus and men of the Mossad were waiting on this embankment. They kidnapped Eichmann and took him to Israel.

This is the tiny house in which Eichmann lived with his two sons, the famous “House on Garibaldi Street“. After he was kidnapped, his eldest son reacted by flying the Swastika Flag and wearing the armband as seen below.

The photo above left is the shop of the tailor who made all of Eichmann’s suits. He talked with us for half an hour but insisted that we did not film or tape him. We complied with his wishes. During our time with him, Francisco told us that his kids played with Eichmann’s two sons when they were all young. He said that the sons referred to Eichmann as their uncle and said that their father was killed in the war – obviously meant to keep Eichmann’s identity a secret.

The youngest son was quite talkative and said on many occasions that before coming to Argentina, they stayed for some time in the Vatican and that they had met with the Pope several times.

Both of Eichmann’s sons still live in Buenos Aires but for obvious reasons, they refuse to speak with anyone and they have changed their names.

This sums up our first day in Argentina. We have seen and learned much, which will be covered more extensively in our book and in this book, we will also give the addresses of these houses. What book? New announcement will be forthcoming soon.

 


SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 2

We continue to form a foundation for our further research as we visit even more interesting places in Buenos Aires. Come along with us.

Our first stop was a vibrant shipyard where Argentina Navy and Prefectura (Coast Guard) ships are built and maintained. They repair and maintain merchant and civilian ships as well.

As you can imagine, we were not allowed to shoot photos of the submarines – especially the German design 209 Class ocean-going submarine they are building – but with a nuclear drive.

Inside – this shipyard was designed after a working German shipyard; it is very efficient. We were able to film the slipway outside, as long as we did not film the submarines.

We were allowed to film this boat, SAN LUIS. She is decommissioned and will soon be made into a memorial and she has a great history. This boat saw action in the war in the Falklands/Malvinas and she actually penetrated the Royal Navy’s ASW screen. She got into position and torpedoed several British ships. The problem was – they had the same experience with her torpedoes as the Kriegsmarine did and the US Navy did in the early days of World War Two. The torpedoes made a loud “CLANK!” as they hit – but failed to detonate. Maybe the result of that war could have been different; who knows?

Who doesn’t know the name “EVITA“? This was a woman who rose to power by marrying the strongman who took power in Argentina. She loved her people, especially the poor and impoverished workers whom she called “the shirtless ones“. She had offices in a massive building that is now the College of Engineering and we visit here. The dean of the college and five of his professors were our guides. Eight huge statues graced the upper portions of the college – six were ancient figures while one was Juan Peron and one was Evita. As Peron was being overthrown, the Air Force strafed this building and shot the head off the statue of Evita – and one of her fingers. By pure luck, a woman was on the sidewalk below and caught the finger.

The College of Engineering – at the top we see four dark places. This is where four of the eight statues stood. The other four were at the opposite end. This is the bathroom in Evita’s office. The original marble is still on the walls, the original bathtub and original faucets is still here.

In another building, Evita’s body was lying in state in this room for three years after her death. When Peron was ousted from power in the 1950’s, her body was ‘kidnapped‘ by the victorious junta and moved to Milan where it remained for twelve years. With Peron’s return to power her body was returned to Buenos Aires and placed in the Duarte family crypt in a beautiful cemetery in the city.

In addition, we visited many of the buildings that figured into the history of the Third Reich in Buenos Aires such as the Banco Transatlantico Allemann and the Banco Allemann where massive sums of money were laundered into Argentina from the Reich as well as tall buildings built by men who owned construction companies – who had been in the Reich until 1945 such as the Alas Building, the Martins Building, the Goethe Building and others of similar nature.

It was time for lunch and we were hungry, so we had our midday meal at the ABC Restaurant only a few blocks from my hotel. It was no accident or random choice – this is the restaurant where Doctor Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann frequently met for lunch. The decor inside has not changed since those days. It was a good lunch – and it was as if we had been transported back in time as we looked at all the Germanic paintings on the wall.

As the sun comes up over the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, we see just another way the Porteneos show their love for Evita.

It was less than two decades ago when it was a crime to even mention the name Peron, but now the Peronist Party is the biggest political party in Argentina and the images of Juan and especially Evita are everywhere.

Look on the side of this large downtown Buenos Aires building…….

This nine-story tall image of Evita depicts her during one of her many fiery speeches.

She packed a lot in her very short life…..

Thanks to Martîn Gomez for these photos.

 

Then there was Luna Park……….

This sports and event stadium is much like Madison Square Garden. Sports contests are held here and famous singers appear here as well like Madonna and Justin Bieber.

But in the 1930’s…………

We know that the Third Reich was very big in the United states and Fritz Kühn organized rallies for the Reich in places like Madison Square Garden……….but did you know the same held true for Buenos Aires in the 1930’s here in Luna Park?

One of the biggest rallies was to celebrate the Anschluß when Germany and Austria came together to form Großdeutschland (Greater Germany). There will be more about this in our book. What book? Watch for the announcement.

 

 


SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 3

We continue to form a foundation for our further research as we visit even more interesting places in Buenos Aires. Come along with us.

We drove quite a distance to a very nice section outside Buenos Aires as you see here.

This is a beautiful area and a park along the Rio de la Platte, but we did not come here for the scenic beauty. Werner Baumbach was one of a handful of bomber pilots to be decorated with the Knights Cross. He was Commander of KG 200, the most super-secret part of the Luftwaffe. In Kampfgeschwader 200 were all the secret planes and all under control of General SS Hans Kammler.

When World War Two ended, Baumbach was one of three top Luftwaffe pilots to come to Argentina at the invitation of Juan Peron to rebuild the Argentina Air Force.

Along with Hans-Ulrich Rudel and ADOLF GALLAND (2854-1993), Werner Baumbach made the Argentina Air Force one of the best in Latin America. On a training mission in which he was training two Argentina pilots in an Avro Lancaster, the big bomber went down in the river here. It is not clear if Baumbach was at the controls or if one of the student pilots but the end result is that the plane splashed down in the river and sank. Baumbach was unable to get out and he drowned. We are told that the bomber is still there on the bottom of the Rio de la Platte.

This old gate at the debarkation port is more than just an interesting old gate – Doctor Josef Mengele walked through this gate on his way to freedom in Buenos Aires as did thousands of men of the Third Reich and their families after the war.

This was their ticket to freedom and a source of revenue and labor to Juan Peron.

14ImmigGate1

The most magnificent hotel in Buenos Aires, probably in all Argentina. This was the Plaza Hotel. No, I am sorry to say, we did not stay there…………WAY too costly, however…..

…..someone very important did stay here decades ago. He walked in this very door with the name Plaza Hotel in polished brass above the door.

His corner room looked out over the beautiful Plaza San Martin as seen in the photo upper left.

He used this staircase daily.

I introduced myself to the lady at the reception deck, Señora Rodriguez, and told her that I was researching the men of the Third Reich who came here after the war and I was particularly interested in the Plaza because my research showed that Martin Bormann lived here for two years after the end of the war.

Normally one would expect a blank stare or other indication of “I know nothing” like Sgt. Schultz.

Yes, he lived in Room 470.” she told me.

My reaction was “HUH?” Then I said that my research indicated that Bormann lived in the Plaza for two years with two young senoritas right after the war.

She said that Bormann did live in Room 470, the Presidential Suite for a couple years, but she said she knew nothing of the two senoritas.

Next time I am in Buenos Aires, I hope my budget allows me to stay in Room 470, the Presidential Suite……….at least one night.

It was time for lunch so we went 21 stories in the sky over Buenos Aires to the very nice Deutsche Klub. Looking out the windows in one direction, we overlook the city sprawling beneath our feet. looking in another direction, there is the Rio de la Platte about ½ a mile away. The food was exquisite as one might expect in an establishment like this – but I asked the waitress why I was the only one in the restaurant who spoke German. She just smiled and shrugged.

All around the restaurant, the lounge, the hallways etc. we find such “Wappen” (Coats of Arms) everywhere. The food was great, the ambiance splendid and the view breathtaking.

The last stop of the day was one of the main train stations that had some unusual decor all around the station.

Are these stylized Swastikas or merely modern art? Whatever they are, there are thousands all around the railway station, the waiting rooms, the restaurants etc.

 


SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 4

We continue to form a foundation for our further research as we visit even more interesting places in Buenos Aires. Come along with us.

There are not so many photos today as we looked mostly at factories where Eichmann worked. He first worked at FV Manufacturing where they make toilet accessories. After this he worked at Orbis where they make water heaters. The Orbis factory was owned by Roberto Mertig, a good friend of Juan Peron. We also visited the Mercedes Benz factory far outside town that required Eichmann to ride the bus three hours each way. Looking at factories is not all that critical for photographs here.

If memory serves me correctly, our research in past years indicated that Kplt. Heinz Schaeffer, Skipper of U-977 that surrendered at Mar del la Platte three months after the war ended, was an executive here at Mercedes Benz.

Our late afternoon stop was to film the house where Croatian strongman Ante Pavelic lived for years after the war. He urged his followers to keep fighting even after Germany had surrendered. When he came to Argentina, he had few friends and very little money so he worked as a bricklayer but then a friend who was also close with Juan and Evita Peron introduced him and his fortunes took off. He soon owned a large construction company and build many of the impressive buildings in downtown Buenos Aires.

Pavelic’s Passport

Left – Pavelic the bricklayer
Above and both below – a family man

Pavelic moved through Europe on a Peruvian passport that identified him as the Roman Catholic priest Father Pedro Gonner. He travelled through Venice and Florence and eventually into Rome where he lived in the Vatican. While living in the Vatican he organized the Croatian State Committee but Communist dictator Tito confronted the Vatican, claiming that they were helping Pavelic to rebuild Nazism. Pavelic at that time was living in Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence. He then hid in a Jesuit house near Naples and Father Krunoslav Draganovic helped him obtain a Red Cross passport with the new identity of Pale Aranios, a Hungarian. Draganovic conspired with the authorities to turn Pavelic over to them for the reward, but Pavelic got wind of the plot and escaped, riding the Italian ship SESTRIERE to Buenos Aires.

Over the time he was in Argentina, Pavelis was involved in Croatian politics and helped form the Croatian Government in Exile.

10 April 1957 was the 16th anniversary of the founding of the Independent State of Croatia. It was also the day that Blagoje Jovovic, an agent of the Yugoslavian Secret Police, waited for Pavelic to get off the bus at the corner by his house. Jovovic shot Pavelic twice in the back, but the wounds were not fatal. Peron fell out of power while he was recovering from his wounds and Argentina was going to deport him but he escaped to Spain where he died two years later.

Above is the marker on the corner where Jovovic shot Pavelic in the back.

There is much more to the story of Pavelic but that is covered in our book. As we were photographing the house, the lady who lives there now (Monika) came out to ask what we were doing. I introduced myself and told her that I was researching the men who came to Argentina from the Third Reich and especially Adolf Hitler. She looked a bit surprised, and said;
“Looking for Hitler? Everyone knows he lived out his life in Argentina.”

She and her attorney husband now own the house, and she said that Pavelic held lavish parties and dances in the house and that the old lady across the street knew Pavelic very well so along with Monika, we crossed the street. The old lady was sitting by her open window and Monika introduced us and said that we would like to talk about Pavelic. The old lady said she would be happy to talk with us – but her daughter slammed the window. Guess that means the interview is finished…….


SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 5

The Next Day of this expedition takes us to Cordoba Province where we learn much more.

This is a copy of a letter from Adolf Hitler to Frau Ida Eichhorn. She was the wife of Walter Eichhorn, owners of the magnificent Eden Hotel and a devout supporter of Hitler, both in deeds and with money.

As we have seen in previous photos (our visits to this area in 2010), hundreds of people came to sit in the courtyard and listen to Hitler’s speeches. This was the only place for hundreds of miles where they could receive overseas radio broadcasts.

The Eichhorn family, Ida Eichhorn in particular, was quite enamored with Adolf Hitler and his message and so sent him great amounts of money.

In another FBI file which we have put on our website, the FBI was certain that the Eichhorn family was hiding Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun-Hitler. We are certain that the FBI was exactly correct – they were helping to hide Adolf and helped financially as well.

Thanks in large part to the Eichhorn family, not to mention “die Spinne” more commonly known as “Odessa“, Hitler and Eva lived out their lives in safety.

As a young woman, Catalina Gomaro worked for the Eichhorn family in their hotel and other buildings. In fact, she was almost a daughter to them. According to her, Adolf and Eva were in the hotel annex for some days in 1949 and that is covered in our new book, which will be available end of February 2014.

This is the annex on the property of the Hotel Eden, just a few hundred yards from the hotel itself. This was the guest house in which very special guests stayed back in the day. This is where we stayed for a week in January 2014 and the place just reeked with history!

The huge doors, the high ceilings, the old claw-footed bath tubs, the cabinets for clothes – it is all as it was seventy years ago.

Is this the annex where Adolf Hitler stayed in 1949? It is the most impressive of the guest houses on the property and it is known as the annex………. Did we feel the history in this beautiful old building? What do you think?

 


SHARKHUNTERS International Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 6

The BIGGEST Day of this expedition takes us to the hidden and secret complex where thousands had to go to receive their new identities, assignments, jobs etc. Hang on – this is powerful.

To reach what remains of this compound, now long abandoned, one must first know exactly know where to look for the entrance. While zooming along a modern four-lane divided highway, there is a momentary slit in the trees to the right. If you do not know it is there, you will never see it. We knew where it was and were on the lookout but we still flew past it, had to turn around and return, driving much more slowly…………… and here is what we saw!

We cut in and pass the empty building that once housed the first of many checkpoints. Look closely down the dirt road on the left – WAY down the road and you will the entrance to the tunnel.
If you came here “back then“,
this is what you would see.
Today it looks like this, taken January 2014
The security concerns were quite clear.
We drive a VERY long way down this really bad
dirt road, about two miles, and we come to…..
We begin to see buildings through the trees, right past the sign that says “Sharkhunters Welcome!” Actually, it says “No Pasar” which is the same as “Eingang Verboten“, right? We know that means that means “Sharkhunters Welcome!
Above left and right, are the “Banós Caldera” which means bathrooms with hot water………..maybe
Above – another look at the bathrooms past our “limousine”

Left – Surprisingly, the water still works!

Below left – We did not try out the showers…..

Below – COOPER at the washing sink.

This is what remains of the barracks

We climb the stairs to the barracks There are two sets of three-high bunks in each room
Above left and right – the walkway along the outside corridor of the barracks

Right – one of the group bathrooms in the barracks

We said this would open your eyes – and we are just getting started.

Above left – appears to be the mess hall

Above – When they had an Asado (cook-out), this oven was used.

Left – meals taken outside in the fresh air.

Above and below left and right – not sure of the function of these buildings in the HQ area
We are told that the men drilled on the “grinder” just to the right of these stone tables, and that they trained in jungle warfare as well as marksmanship and weaponry in the woods to the right; during AND after the end of the war.

The photos below would most likely be the HQ building and the Orderly Room.

Along this veranda….. …..and through these doors
The place could use some serious maintenance, paint and cleaning but structurally it is sound and could be rebuilt.

The Commandant had to keep warm??

We have seen the training and command facilities (all above) but what about physical training? Let’s not forget the spiritual aspect either. Only a very short walk from the compound we find the grotto.

Both above – the entrance to the grotto, a shrine to the Holy Mother, down a short flight of stairs

Right – a look inside

Okay – now we walk another 50 or so feet and come to…

The swimming pool. This is two or three times bigger than the standard Olympic swimming pool.

Now we head down the path past the swimming pool to the river which we are told, is a couple hundred meters away.


We walk along the path to the right of the pool, past the rusted remains of the diving platform into the woods.
On the path we pass this stone bench. Who sat on it? What stories could it tell? Let your imagination work.

Just past the bench we find this little structure (left) and beneath it (above) is a sluiceway from the river to bring water flowing rather quickly and forcefully, into a channel beneath the building…..
…..where it would turn a small turbine attached to a generator that produced electricity for the entire compound….back in the day. This entire compound was totally self-sufficient making its own electricity, growing its own food and even today, it is out in the country and difficult to find. In the 1930’s and 1940’s and being about 400 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, it gives new meaning to “remote” and “hidden”.

Everyone was safe here.

We promised that we would reveal the identity of this man at the left in this photo, taken in the late 1940’s (1949 we believe). This was at an Asado (picnic) at a location known as “El Chorito” behind the Eden Hotel. He was guest of Walter and Ida Eichhorn, making him instantly acceptable as part of the group.


We note many things about him.
* He is dressed in a different style than the others;
* His hat is at his familiar jaunty rake – this should trigger your thoughts;
* The Hitler Youth dagger in his belt with which he was cutting his meat.

……….and finally, look closely at his face. You should recognize him.

The world knew him better as “The Man in the Glass Booth” in Israel.

This was Adolf Eichmann!