Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Why Did So Many Nazi's Find Safe Haven In Argentina?

thoughtco |  By 1945, as the Allies were mopping up the last remnants of the Axis, it was clear that the next great conflict would come between the capitalist USA and the communist USSR. Some people, including Perón and some of his advisors, predicted that World War III would break out as soon as 1948.

In this upcoming "inevitable" conflict, third parties such as Argentina could tip the balance one way or the other. Perón envisioned nothing less than Argentina taking its place as a crucially important diplomatic third party in the war, emerging as a superpower and leader of a new world order. The Nazi war criminals and collaborators may have been butchers, but there is no doubt that they were rabidly anti-communist. Perón thought these men would come in useful in the "upcoming" conflict between the USA and the USSR. As time passed and the Cold War dragged on, these Nazis would eventually be seen as the bloodthirsty dinosaurs they were.

Americans and British Didn't Want to Give Them to Communist Countries

After the war, communist regimes were created in Poland, Yugoslavia, and other parts of Eastern Europe. These new nations requested the extradition of many war criminals in allied prisons. A handful of them, such as the Ustashi General Vladimir Kren, were eventually sent back, tried, and executed. Many more were allowed to go to Argentina instead because the Allies were reluctant to hand them over to their new communist rivals where the outcome of their war trials would inevitably result in their executions.

The Catholic Church also lobbied heavily in favor of these individuals not being repatriated. The allies did not want to try these men themselves (only 22 defendants were tried at the first of the infamous Nuremberg Trials and all told, 199 defendants were tried of which 161 were convicted and 37 were sentenced to death), nor did they want to send them to the communist nations that were requesting them, so they turned a blind eye to the ratlines carrying them by the boatload to Argentina.1
 

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