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Why Did So Many German Officers Flee to Argentina after WW2?

in this article, we will talk about that Why Did So Many German Officers Flee to Argentina after WW2? after World War two thousands of German officers and wartime collaborators who supported the regime from France Croatia and other parts of Europe were looking for a new home with many of them knew that they might be trialed and judged for their crimes and actions their goal was to flee preferably as far away from the Nuremberg trials as possible well the question is not about the reason of their running.

Why Did So Many German Officers Flee to Argentina after WW2

which is obvious but why did so many of them choose Argentina as their new home when the Allies raised their Flags in Berlin and when the German instrument of surrender was signed on the eve of May 8 1945 one thing was clear for these criminals and collaborators Germany and even the whole European continent wasn’t a safe place for them to stay or hide.

even if the entire regime collapsed and the war was over in Europe that didn’t mean the entire network that they had garnered had collapsed former admirers were still there it’s not like World War two ended in one day in 1945 and suddenly everyone realized how horrible the regime had been even after their defeat there were many powerful men in Europe who had favored the cause and continued to do so just as an example Spain was a neutral country but was a friendly state and supporter of Germany Spain was ruled by Francisco Franco and had been a tired and neutral country.

because of its civil war for some time many fugitives would find themselves in a safe spot here but we’ll use Spain as a bridgehead to other destinations also some swiss important leaders had been outspoken in their support of germany these men were in a position to help out even the catholic church was helpful for some of these fugitives several high-ranking church officials actively aided in their escape there was a window of time to escape justice and possible trials.

those who wanted to flee had to consider their options in a short period of time in order to hide elsewhere and a topped new identities across the ocean in Argentina President Juan Domingo perón was more than ready to welcome those former access members with open arms President Peron was an admirer of the German ideology of that time.

he helped numerous war criminals to flee with the support of his own diplomats and intelligence agents deployed in Europe Argentine supported ways for their transit through passages from Italy in Spain to Buenos Aires during World War two Argentina clearly favored the access because of his president and probably because of close cultural ties with Germany Italy and Spain Argentina was a former Spanish colony and they achieved independence.

at the beginning of the 19th century through decades long migrations of Italians and Germans created strong ties to these European countries Argentina was a pro Italian and Probe Germany country and this was due to the fact that most Argentines were of Spanish Italian or German descent the German government saw their sympathy and the two countries created special links between each other.

German Officers Flee to Argentina after WW2

Many German Officers

in Argentina were many German spies and also Argentine officers and diplomats held important positions in Europe perón’s government admire some totalitarian behaviors and tried to lead his country more in the direction of large military parades and militarization many important and influential Argentines as wealthy businessman or members of the government were openly supportive of the axis cause even the president juan domingo perón himself had served as an adjunct officer in the italian army in the late 1930s.

thus there were special bonds between Germany Italy and Argentina but even in this situation Argentina would eventually declare war on the Axis powers within just a month before the war ended but some Argentine agents worked to help defeated German officers to escape after the war there was a financial reason for Argentina to accept these men some wealthy Germans and Argentine businessmen of German descent were willing to pay the way for escaping runners in 1945.

as the Allies were cleaning the last remnants of the axis for many its became clear that the next great conflict was come between the capitalist USA and the Communist USSR some people including Peron and some of his advisers predicted that a new world conflicts would break out soon between the Allies and the Communists this thought was seen so realistically by many and in this upcoming inevitable conflict third parties.

such as Argentina could tip the balance one way or the other Peron envisioned Argentina taking its place as a crucially important diplomatic third party in the war and emerging as an important actor on the world map knowing that these fugitive criminals were also anti-communist the Argentinian President thought that these men would come in useful in the possible upcoming conflicts between the USA and the USSR the Argentine president also sought to recruit more of these fugitives.

in particular those with military and technological expertise that he believed could help his armies and technological advances this thought was pretty much the same as in other cases an example could be the United States and the Soviet Union who both poached scientists to assist them in military and technological matters even if for so many Argentina represented.

German Officers Flee to Argentina after WW2

a new home a new way to live untouched and hidden but the situation slightly changed time had passed and the Cold War dragged on in time these men would eventually be seen as they initially were the support for them fled away with time but Argentina was not the only place in South America that accepted them many others eventually found their way to other countries.

in the region hundreds migrated to places like Brazil Chile Paraguay and other parts of the continent for those who are Janina became an option after nine 45 the situation changed just ten years later after perón’s government fell in 1955 there was a fear that the new administration might not see with good eyes that our existence on Argentine soil and could send them back to Europe mainly due to the new government’s hostility towards Peron and all his former policies over time.

the presence of so many became something of an embarrassment to the country by the 1990s most of these aged men were living openly under their own names a handful of them were eventually tracked down and sent back for trials many others have lost their mark and were assimilated into Argentina’s sizable German community and probably never talked about their past again runners escapes to Argentina and South America.

through a system of escape routes called rats lines these escape routes mainly leads towards Latin America particularly countries like Argentina Chile Paraguay Colombia Brazil Uruguay and others there were two primary routes the first went from Germany to Spain then Argentina the second one was from Germany to Rome to Genoa then South America this happened because of the willingness of some countries to accept.

these people and because some important figures who had a form of sympathy to them but there is also another big reason for their escape to Argentina geography looking at the map of 1945 we can see that Europe was obviously not a good place to hide even if some of these people found themselves in countries like Portugal Spain or Switzerland looking in the east there was the Soviet Union the conflict in China and Japan and some allied colonies looking South Africa was mainly a huge colony of France and Great Britain.


in the West there was the US and Canada but from the us-mexican border to the south the option to run seemed plausible considering all options Latin America was the only part of the world where true chances for a new life existed even if after some time residing there some of them were caught and from all these states Argentina seems the best option considering the openness of the Argentinian government at the end of the war to accept these criminals collaborators and others who fled.

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