ODESSA

ODESSA

I have been following a documentary series on the History Channel called “Hunting Hitler” where they speculate that Hitler may have escaped rather then commit suicide, and that he ended up in Argentina, Although the evidence is compelling there is one big part missing and that is the Eye witness accounts of the staff who were in the bunker when Hitler killed him self,it’s nonetheless an intriguing notion.

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If Hitler did escape it would have been very likely he would have availed of the services of the organisation called ODESSA.

The ODESSA network (from the German: Organisation der Ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, meaning: Organization of Former SS Members) was a purported international Nazi underground organization set up towards the end of World War II by a group of SS officers with the aim of facilitating secret escape routes – later known as ratlines – allegedly to allow the SS members to avoid capture and prosecution for war crimes and to escape to Argentina, Brazil or the Middle East under false names.

The name Odessa first cropped up in Western intelligence reports in the aftermath of the war, but today its status as a real group is hotly debated.

Guy Walters, in his book Hunting Evil, claimed he was unable to find any evidence of the existence of the network although numerous other organisations such as Konsul, Scharnhorst, Sechsgestirn, Leibwache and Lustige Brüder have been named,including Die Spinne (“The Spider”) run in part by Hitler’s commando chief Otto Skorzeny.Historian Daniel Stahl in his 2011 essay stated that the consensus among historians is that ODESSA did not actually exist. However, books by T.H. Tetens and Joseph Wechsberg claim to have verified the organisation’s existence and provided details of its operations. Wechsberg studied Simon Wiesenthal’s memoirs on the ODESSA and correlated them with his own experiences in the book The Murderers Among Us.

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Today, ODESSA is best known from its appearance in spy novels and fictional movies.

Top secret US intelligence documents from 1944, which were uncovered in the late 90s, lend some credence to the existence of Odessa.

The documents detail a meeting held between leading German industrialists, bankers and SS officers in August 1944 at which plans were drawn to help high-ranking Nazis evade allied justice in the event of the then inevitable German defeat.

At the meeting, secret ratlines were mapped out of the country, designed to allow influential Nazis to flee Germany and secure false identities abroad.

Provisions were also made to move great sums of money outside Germany and camouflage foreign assets to create an underground Nazi empire, to be controlled by the SS once the Reich collapsed.

And it seemed to have worked. By the end of the war, and the start of the Nuremberg trials at the end of 1945, only 24 senior Nazis remained to face justice.

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Using the financial assets smuggled out of Germany, unrepentant former Nazis, operating under false identities, were able to build mini-empires in pro-Nazi right wing countries in South America.

It is alleged that they were aided by someone who was held in high esteem globally and even musicals and movies were made about her.

In June of 1947, Eva Peron, or as she is known to many, Evita, embarked on a tour of Europe fit for a movie star.  The truth behind the tour, however, was much more sinister than the media of the time would have you believe.

According to records now emerging from Swiss archives and the investigations of Nazi hunters, an unpublicized side of Evita’s world tour was coordinating the network for helping Nazis relocate in Argentina.

This new evidence of Evita’s cozy ties with prominent Nazis corroborates the long-held suspicion that she and her husband, Gen. Juan Peron, laid the groundwork for a bloody resurgence of fascism across Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s.

 

Senior SS officer and alleged Odessa founder Otto Skorzeny was especially influential in the immediate post-war period, helping launder this financial wealth through Evita Peron’s Swiss bank accounts and via several South American dummy corporations.

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As early as 1945, Eva Peron had an estimated $800m dollars in bank deposits, and vast amounts of gold and diamonds, much of it of Nazi origin.

This money helped former Nazis purchase huge tracts of land in South America and elsewhere and establish whole colonies amenable to German life — protected by former SS officers and Nazi sympathising local thugs.

Once such colony was Colonia Dignidad in Chile, then under the control of the right-wing fascist government of General Pinochet.

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Both the CIA and Simon Wiesenthal developed evidence for the presence at Dignidad of several at large Nazi war criminals including the notorious Josef Mengele — ‘The Angel of Death’, a senior Nazi and physician at Auschwitz who committed medical atrocities on inmates.

Some have suggested that Adolf Hitler himself fled to Argentina after the war, his apparent suicide in the bunker at the Reich building in Berlin a subterfuge to fool the Allies.

Whilst there is little doubt many small ad hoc groups existed which helped Nazis escape justice after WW2, most historians now doubt the existence of a large, coordinated and distinct entity such as the Odessa.

The name alone sounds unlikely — would a clandestine underground network of ex-Nazis name themselves the Organisation of Former SS Members, a name that would at least draw attention to their existence?

Some ex-SS officers who gave interviews in the 60s maintained Odessa never existed as the single organised global organisation as envisaged by Weisenthal.

They confirmed, however, that there were several smaller disparate group who helped Nazis after WW2, in conjunction with the Catholic church, several Latin American governments and even the CIA.

Odessa, then, may have existed in some sense, but perhaps not quite in the sensational way dreamt up by novelists and Hollywood screenwriters.

In the 1976 thriller novel by Ira Levin titled The Boys from Brazil, Dr. Josef Mengele, is involved in ODESSA. According to the young man, Mengele is activating the “Kameradenwerk” for a strange assignment: he is sending out six Nazis (former SS Officers) to kill 94 men, who share a few common traits. In the book the terms “Kameradenwerk” and “ODESSA” are used interchangeably.

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