BUENOS AIRES — Archaeologists in Argentina believe a collection of ruins found deep in a remote jungle region may be the remains of a secret hideout built by German Nazis to flee to after World War II, a report said Sunday.
A team of archaeologists is studying the remains of three buildings located in the Teyu Cuare provincial park in northern Argentina on its border with Paraguay, the Clarin newspaper reported.
The University of Buenos Aires researchers have found five German coins minted between 1938 and 1941 and a fragment of porcelain plate bearing the inscription “Made in Germany.”
“Apparently, halfway through the Second World War, the Nazis had a secret project of building shelters for top leaders in the event of defeat — inaccessible sites, in the middle of deserts, in the mountains, on a cliff or in the middle of the jungle like this,” the archaeologists’ team leader Daniel Schavelzon told Clarin.
Ultimately, though, the hideout wasn’t needed.
Thousands of Nazis, Croatian Ustasha fascists and Italian fascists arrived in Argentina with the blessing of president Juan Peron, who led the nation from 1946 to 1955 and again briefly in the 1970s, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center.
In 1960, Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who helped organize the Holocaust, was captured in Buenos Aires by an Israeli commando team and tried in Israel where he was executed.
Among other Nazis who sought refuge in Argentina were Josef Mengele, Martin Bormann, Walter Kutschmann, Josef Schwammberger, Eduard Roschmann, Wilfred Von Oven, and Alois Brunner.