The discovery of a hoard of Nazi artefacts in a house outside Buenos Aires this week has given new life to a theory that refuses to die: Adolf Hitler and his girlfriend faked their suicides, planted dead lookalikes in their Berlin bunker, and hotfooted it to the sunny climes of Argentina.
Found in a hidden room, the haul included knives emblazoned with swastikas, a medical device used to measure head size and a bust relief of Hitler.
It is believed the 75 original pieces were brought to Argentina by a high-ranking Nazi official following the end of World War II.
Ariel Cohen Sabban, president of the Delegation of Argentinean Israeli Associations (DAIA), a political umbrella for Argentina’s Jewish institutes, told the ABC the findings “could offer irrefutable proof of the presence of top leaders who escaped from Nazi Germany”.
Only four days before the Nazi memento discovery was announced by local police, an even more astonishing claim was made to a tabloid news site – a purportedly 128-year-old man, from a northwest province in Argentina, put his arthritic hand up and declared himself the Fuhrer, alive and not so well.
The man, who has a German name, Herman Guntherberg, said he’d lived in hiding for more than 70 years and had only outed himself because Israel had run up the white flag on hunting down old Nazis.
So he thought he’d say hello world, no hard feelings.
However, the man’s wife told the World News Report that she wasn’t convinced her husband was in fact Hitler, and she suspected him to be suffering dementia. The woman also claimed not to be Eva Braun. Well, she would … wouldn’t she?
Still, if you don’t like Herman for Hitler, and resent him for living so long, consider the UK Express story from March last year: “The INCREDIBLE picture that ‘proves’ Adolf Hitler lived to 95 with his Brazilian lover.”
This Hitler had first landed in Argentina, moved to Paraguay before settling in Brazil, where the beaches were better. There he’d taken the name Adolf Leipzig and settled down with a black girlfriend, Cutinga. The fuzzy photograph used in the story was allegedly taken two years before Hitler died peacefully in 1984.
The idea that Hitler survived the Russians and started a new life has been driven by two things: a fervent, even maniacal desire to see the mastermind of World War II publicly humiliated and punished for his crimes; and two reported anomalies in the faux Hitler corpse.
The body contained an extra tooth not listed in Hitler’s dental records, and a missing testicle that his personal doctors chose never to mention.
Two recent reports present conflicting views at the involvement of US intelligence organisations.
According to Intellihub, the FBI was aware of Hitler making his escape from burning Germany in a submarine, understood he’d been welcomed to Argentina by the government of the day and had settled down to a quiet life in the Andean foothills.
Israeli news site Haaretz in 2012 unveiled FBI documents that showed J Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, had been obsessed with tracking down Hitler, whom he believed had survived the war, and was possibly living in the United States.
The following quotes come from a March 3, 1948, FBI report, after two agents, following a tip-off, joined a train in New Orleans on which Hitler was said to be travelling: “Two Special Agents, [censored] and [censored], had got on the train and had closely observed the person in question and his woman companion.
“It was so obvious to the agents that this person was not Adolf Hitler that they did not make a positive determination of his identity, feeling that it would possibly create a situation causing absurd publicity.
“He stated that the person in question was not more than 42; that instead of a foreign accent he had a very pronounced southern accent; he wore a brown moustache; and his general appearance and over-all description precluded any possibility of his being identical with Adolf Hitler.”