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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# deep cover
Secret Nazi jungle hideout discovered by archaeologists
Three stone buildings have been excavated in the Argentinian jungle complete with swastikas on the walls.

ODN / YouTube

AN ARGENTINE ARCHAEOLOGIST has discovered what he thinks was a hideout built for German Nazis to flee to after World War II.

Daniel Schavelzon went public and revived uncomfortable memories for Argentina, a notorious refuge for Nazi war criminals

He claims that the mysterious ruins deep in the jungle were planned as a Nazi hideout.

Excavating at the three stone buildings, his team found a swastika etched in the ruins, German coins stamped with the Nazi symbol and a fragment of porcelain plate bearing the inscription “Made in Germany.”

But research at the site has only just begun, said Schavelzon, head of the urban archaeology centre at the University of Buenos Aires.

“We brought out lots of material to study and there’s more to excavate,” he told AFP.

“Analysing the material could take many months. It’s even possible there are other buildings we still haven’t found. It’s a complicated area to work in, with lots of vegetation, impenetrable.”

He said he needed to find more funding to continue researching the ruins.

Schavelzon spent two weeks excavating at the site in northern Argentina near the border with Paraguay.

He suspects it was part of a project to build shelters for top Nazi leaders in rugged, inaccessible locations with easy escape routes.

“These buildings date from the mid-20th century. At that time, nobody could reach this spot. It was all jungle. That shows the secrecy of the place,” said Schavelzon.

“In five minutes you can get to another country. You cross the river and you’re in Paraguay. It’s a strategic, very well thought-out site.”

The nearest town, San Ignacio, some 60 km away, did not exist then, he said.

The buildings were made from large stones typical in the area, with high foundations, he said. One, situated higher than the others, appears to have been a lookout post.

nazi Youtube / ODN Nazi coins were found among the ruins. Youtube / ODN / ODN

‘Impunity and protection’

Ultimately, however, Nazi leaders didn’t ever need a remote Argentine hideout.

“They didn’t need to go into hiding deep in the jungle since they ended up living in Argentina with impunity and protection. They had passports and even used their real names,” said Schavelzon.

Thousands of Nazis, Italian fascists and Croatian Ustasha fled to Argentina with the blessing of late president Juan Peron, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In 1960, Adolf Eichmann, one of the masterminds of the Holocaust, was captured in Buenos Aires by an Israeli commando team and tried in Israel, where he was executed.

Other Nazis who sought refuge in Argentina include Joseph Mengele, the Auschwitz death camp doctor who performed atrocious experiments on prisoner.

Josef Schwammberger, a concentration camp commander and Erich Priebke, an SS officer convicted of massacring civilians were also found in Argentina

Argentina also has the largest Jewish community in Latin America, at about 300,000.

© AFP – 2015

Read: Photos of the abandoned Olympic Village built for the 1936 games in Nazi Germany will give you chills >

Read: Holocaust survivor: ‘I’m starting to see nasty things happen again in Europe’ >

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