It is a well known fact that 1000’s of Nazi’s escaped after the war and fled to South America, what is a less know fact that some of them returned to Europe and the US and lived a good life. Here are just a few examples.
Otto Skorzeny (12 June 1908 – 5 July 1975) was an Austrian SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) in the German Waffen-SS during World War II. After fighting on the Eastern Front, he accompanied the rescue mission that freed the deposed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini from captivity. Books and papers written about him prior to the 2013 release of records pursuant to the Nazi War Crimes Declassification Act incorrectly refer to him as “Field Commander” of the operation. Skorzeny was the leader of Operation Greif, in which German soldiers were to infiltrate through enemy lines, using their opponents’ languages, uniforms, and customs. At the end of the war, Skorzeny was involved with the Werwolf guerrilla movement.
Although he was charged with breaching the 1907 Hague Convention in relation to Operation Greif, the Dachau Military Tribunal acquitted Skorzeny after the war. Skorzeny fled from his holding prison in 1948, first to France, and then to Spain. He later lived in Ireland.He was Hitler’s favourite Nazi commando, famously rescuing Mussolini from an Italian hilltop fortress, and was known as “the most dangerous man in Europe”.After World War Two, he landed in Argentina and became a bodyguard for Eva Perón, with whom he was rumoured to have had an affair.
So when Otto Skorzeny arrived in Ireland in 1959, having bought a rural farmhouse in County Kildare, it caused much intrigue.At 6ft 4in and 18 stone, known as ‘scarface’ due to a distinctive scar on his left cheek, Skorzeny was an easily recognisable figure as he popped into the local post office.
Friedrich Buchardt (17 March 1909 in Riga – 21 December 1982 in Nußbach) was a Baltic German SS-Obersturmbannführer (lieutenant colonel) who commanded Vorkommando Moskau, one of the divisions of Einsatzgruppe B. He then worked for MI6 until 1947, and then, presumably, for the CIA. Buchardt was never molested by the law, being one of the agents of more sinister reputation who was used by the West, and he died at the age of 73
From January to September 1942, he supervised the deportation of about 80,000 Jews and Romani to Chełmno extermination camp.
In February 1943, Buchardt succeeded Obersturmbannführer Wilhelm Wiebens as commander of Einsatzkommando 9 of Einsatzgruppe B. He was in charge of extermination actions nearVitebsk. The death toll perpetrated by Buchardt’s commando is likely to be in the tens of thousands. Buchardt was awarded the Iron Cross First Class, the War Merit Cross First Class with Swords, a Silver Badge of Courage, and an Infantry Assault Badge in Silver. In June 1944, he was promoted to Obersturmbannführer.
Nikolaus “Klaus” Barbie (25 October 1913 – 23 September 1991) was an SS-Hauptsturmführer (rank equivalent to army captain) and Gestapo member. He was known as the “Butcher of Lyon” for having personally tortured French prisoners of the Gestapo while stationed in Lyon, France. After the war, United States intelligence services employed him for their anti-Marxist efforts and also helped him escape to South America. The Bundesnachrichtendienst, the West German intelligence agency, recruited him, and he may have helped the CIA capture Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara in 1967. Barbie is suspected of having had a hand in the Bolivian coup d’état orchestrated byLuis García Meza Tejada in 1980. After the fall of the dictatorship, Barbie no longer had the protection of the Bolivian government and in 1983 was extradited to France, where he was convicted of crimes against humanity and died in prison of cancer
Although he was eventually imprisoned he had lived a life of luxury for decades.
Artur Axmann (18 February 1913 – 24 October 1996) was the German Nazi national leader (Reichsjugendführer) of the Hitler Youth (Hitlerjugend) from 1940 to the war’s end in 1945. He was the last living Nazi with a rank equivalent to Reichsführer.
In September 1931, Axmann joined the Nazi Party and the next year he was called to the NSDAP Reichsjugendführung[ to carry out a reorganisation of Hitler Youth factory and vocational school cells. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, he rose to a regional leader and became Chief of the Social Office of the Reich Youth Leadership.
Axmann directed the Hitler Youth in state vocational training and succeeded in raising the status of Hitler Youth agricultural work. In November 1934, he was appointed Hitler Youth leader of Berlin and from 1936 presided at the annual Reichsberufswettkampf competitions. On 30 January 1939 he was awarded the Golden Party Badge
During Hitler’s last days in Berlin, Axmann was among those present in the Führerbunker. During that time it was announced in the German Press that Axmann had been awarded the German Order, the highest decoration that the Nazi Party could bestow on an individual for his services to the Reich. He and one other recipient, Konstantin Hierl, were the only holders of the award to survive the war and its consequences. All other recipients were either awarded it posthumously, or were killed during the war or its aftermath.
On 30 April 1945, just a few hours before committing suicide, Hitler signed the order to allow a breakout. According to a report made to his Soviet captors by Obergruppenfuehrer Hans Rattenhuber, the head of Hitler’s bodyguard, Axmann took the Walther PP pistol which had been removed from the room in the Fuehrerbunker by Heinz Linge, Hitler’s valet, which Hitler had used to commit suicide, saying that he would “hide it for better
In May 1949, a Nuremberg de-Nazification court sentenced Axmann to a prison sentence of three years and three months as a ‘major offender’. On 19 August 1958, a West Berlin court fined the former Hitler Youth leader 35,000 marks (approximately 63,000, or $8,300 USD), about half the value of his property in Berlin. The court found him guilty of indoctrinating German youth with National Socialism until the end of the Third Reich, but concluded he was not guilty of war crimes. During his trial, Axmann told the court he heard the shot by which Hitler committed suicide. He also stated he had attempted to escape from central Berlin along with Martin Bormann, who he said had died during the attempt.times”.
After his release from custody, Axmann worked as a businessman with varying success. From 1971 he left Germany for a number of years, living on the island of Gran Canaria.[Axmann returned to Berlin in 1976, where he died on 24 October 1996, aged 83. His cause of death and details of his surviving family members were not disclosed.