To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Nazi era, perhaps the most powerful man in the Nazi party after Hitler himself, was a strangely faceless, almost obscure figure. Although generally presumed to be dead, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the international war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg on Oct, 1,
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To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Nazi era, perhaps the most powerful man in the Nazi party after Hitler himself, was a strangely faceless, almost obscure figure. Although generally presumed to be dead, he was sentenced to death in absentia by the international war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg on Oct, 1, For nearly 30 years since then the circumstances of his death, or survival, have remained shrouded in mystery.
Escape was by no means a hopeless quest—a number of Nazis achieved it. Axmann saw him lying on his back on the Invalidenstrasse, close to the Lehrter railway station. He seemed to be dead, although Axmann could see no sign of a wound. Axmann supposed that he had been shot in the back; others have suggested that he swallowed the poison capsule that most Nazi leaders carried.
Because all other evidence supplied by Axmann was proved to be accurate, Professor TrevorRoper was inclined to accept his statement about Bormann.
But he admitted that it was not conclusive; night had already fallen and Axmann saw the body by moonlight. To support the facts relating to his present whereabouts, and to his domicile during the past quarter of a century in half a dozen South American countries, the author has quoted copiously from the documentation of Argentinian Government offices and intelligence agencies. Bormann, according to Farago, has been one of a very great many Nazis who found their way to South America—some of them with the help of the Vatican, but mostly under the aegis of exNazi and S.
What, then, is the truth about Bormann? This, at all events, is the story that Farago has pieced together. By March, , he was somewhere in the vicinity of the town of Merano, in the Italian Tyrol, where his wife was dying of cancer.
He stayed on in the area, living in or around Bolzano under the name of Luigi Bogliolo, and was shipped to the Argentine in May, , traveling with a Vatican passport made out in the name of the Reverend Juan Gomez.
In Buenos Aires he registered with the Papal Nuncio as Eliezer Goldstein, and was given a permit of permanent residence by Argentinian authorities on Oct. Both his escape from Europe and his establishment as an Argentinian resident, in fact, owed much to the help of the Vatican.
According to Farago, Bormann has since then lived in at least six South American countries. Thus his first move was to Brazil, where be acquired a new identity, that of Jose Perez, a man who had in fact been born in Bolivia in —a year later than Bormann himself. He was in Chile once more at the end of , after medical treatment in Buenos Aires where he apparently underwent grafting treatment for cell renewal. Farago maintains that Bormann and other leading Nazis smuggled vast sums of money with them into exile in South America.
The money was a part of the loot which the Nazis collected from occupied Europe, and it has enabled German war criminals to live in luxury for the rest of their lives. They have, of course, had their worries; Allied and Israeli intelligence officers have searched high and low for them, but only a handful have been extradited.
Of those wanted for bestial crimes, Adolf Eichmann was successfully kidnapped by Israeli agents, and Cukurs was killed by unknown assailants.
What has happened in South America is an intrinsic part of the overall scarcely satisfactory picture of war criminals and their retribution. According to the records of the Ludwigsburg Center for the Investigation of Nazi War Crimes in West Germany, just half of the , German war criminals faced trial, and only 5, were given sentences. Of the sentenced to death, were executed.
Witnesses were hard to find or had genuinely forgotten exactly what had happened 30 years ago, and the criminals themselves were usually old men with nothing much left to Bormann, of course, falls into a special category; for that reason, he has already been condemned to death and for that reason, in turn, he has lain very low indeed—if he has in fact been living all this time.
Farago has an imposing list of sources, but he has not used his documentation altogether systematically. Yet the case that he has made out for Borman still being alive deserves the closest attention, and what be has written about other Nazi war criminals is often based on incontroverible fact.
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