SPECIAL INFORMATION BULLETIN
German Nazi politician, born in 1900, in Halberstadt, Magdeburg, Germany. Titular head of the National Socialist party. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to death, along with other criminals of the Third Reich. Came to Argentina in a clandestine manner, disguised as a Jesuit priest, arriving from Genoa, Italy, with false papers, around 1948.
1948 Bormann was seen and identified in the federal capital. (Information given by Doctor Pino Frezza, an Italian doctor who met Bormann on an occasion when Bormann accompanied the Fuhrer-- S.I.R No. 0318.) Bormann made contact with a h e r German army officer at the ABC Brewery, at 500 Lavalle Street, in the federal capital. (S.I.R. 01319. Juan Felisiak.)
1951 Bormann went to Parana, in Entre Rios province, where he was once again interviewed by the engineer Juan Felisiak, during a brief trip Felisiak made to Entre Rios Province, where Bormann was concealing himself by mixing with the abundant colony of Germans, Croatians, and Poles.
The same year, he went to Brazil. Existing versions show that he situated himself in the impenetrable jungle in Mato Grosso. In his comings and goings in Argentina, he used various pseudonyms, one of them being Juan G6mez. Under the cover of this name, in 1948, Martin Bormann received the bulk of the treasure that had made up the financial reserve of the Deutsche Bank, whose last owner, Ludwig Freude, had died of poisoning. Other pseudonyms were Jose Perez, Eliezer Goldstein, and Bauer. (Report S.I.R No. [?l 320, Tadeo Karlikosky.)
Martin Bormann had various children, one of whom, an ordained Jesuit priest, helped his father in his escape from Germany, even going so far as to claim that Martin Bormann had died in 1945-a lie calculated to interfere with the search for the war criminal.
It is known that even though Martin Bormann divided his permanent residence more or less between the states of Mato Grosso and Santa Catalina in Brazil, he made frequent brief trips to various localities, such as Paraguay; Valdivia, Chile; and Bariloche and Asochinga, Argentina. In the last-mentioned place, in the province of Cordoba, he made contact with the central command of Arana, an organization founded in a distant prisoner-of-war camp, among German prisoners, for the purpose of providing aid and protection to Nazis throughout the world and resurrecting the "ideal" of national socialism.
1953/54/55 and 56: In this last year, he was identified by a woman in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He visited Bariloche once.
1957 Bormann stayed in Brazil and curtailed his travels to Argentina, because in that year Israeli agents began infiltrating the last mentioned country in search of war criminals, who by now had begun to lose some of the support they once enjoyed.
1958/59 Bormann is now living on a solitary farm near Curitiba, Brazil.
1961 In this year, using the pseudonym Bauer, he attended the Ali Baba nightclub in Asuncion, Paraguay, apparently in the company of Mengele.
He was now lost to sight, disappearing into the area known as Swiss Chide. More or less bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Argentine border, and the cities of Valdivia, Chile, and Bariloche, Argentina.
SPECIAL INFORMATION BULLETIN NUMBER 3
He was born in Halberstadt, in the district of Magdeburg, Germany. He was leader of the Nazi party council. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal sentenced him to death.
He had various sons, one of whom, an ordained Jesuit, circulated the story of Bormann's death in 1945, a lie calculated to put an end to any search for the criminal.
His birth was registered in the year 1900. He was considered Adolf Hitler's right-hand man and was mentioned as a possible successor to Hitler, when the conflict ended.
Like other fugitives, he entered Argentina in 1948, coming from Genoa on a second-class ticket, with forged Vatican documentation. (This had all been made possible by an organization called La Esclusa, which facilitated the exit of various fugitives.)
Between 1943 and 1945, Martin Bormann had maintained contacts with Heinrich Doerge (councilor of the Central Bank of Argentina), Ricardo Von Leute (Director of the German. Trans- Atlantic Bank), Ricard Staud, and Ludwig Freude-names associated with the annals of Nazi treasure.
At the end of 1943, Martin Bormann prepared to put into force Operation Tierra Del Fuego, which involved transporting large quantities of gold, money, stocks, paintings, and other works of art to Argentina via submarine. However, owing to the staggering situation of the German armies, all terrestrial routes were cut off. Bormann therefore (counting on the collaboration of the Argentine government) decided that the transfer of this treasure should be accomplished via night flights from Berlin to Madrid and thence to Buenos Awes. (Even after the fill of Germany, submarines arrived at Mar de Plata and the vicinity of Patagonia and unloaded mysterious merchandise.)
At one point, Martin Bormann slipped his diary into the pocket of a cadaver, in an attempt to create the impression that he was dead. The subterfuge was discovered, however.
In 1948, it was noted that he passed through Buenos Aires. According to reports DAE 356148 and DAE 481150, he was observed in the street, when he ran into Doctor Pino Frezza, who recognized him, having met him in Germany (to be precise, in Berlin, during Hitler's visit to a brewery). The person who reported observing this chance meeting was an engineer, Juan Felisiak. The meeting took place at 500 Lavalle Street.
Later he went to the city of Parana, where Jan Felisiak saw him again. In Paran he called himself David. He stayed there until 1951.
Bormann moved to Santa Catarina, Brazil, where he used the pseudonym Eliezer Goldstein. Here, he was intensely active coordinating the activities of the German colonists in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. However, all indications are that his permanent residence is at Mato Grosso, where a large number of fugitives, refugees, and delinquents live. This is where Martin Bormann maintains contacts with couriers of the well-known organization called La Arafia, which is dedicated to providing help for all Nazi fugitives. In fact, Bormann is known as the Fuehrer of South America, since, according to various versions, he made it possible for the Nazis to salvage a great deal of money, gold, valuable objects, and works of art, with the result that fugitives who escaped from the tribunals and prisons of Europe are able to live without major difficulty.
At the end of 1954, Martin Bormann was seen in Mina Clavera, Cordoba, in the company of two men with Spanish surnames. He was calling himself Jost Ptrez. He arrived at the hotel in Mina Clavero suffering from stomach problems and requested that the hotel manager bring him medicine for gastritis. One of his companions, named Jimenez, made a trip to Rio Zeballos with the owner of the hotel. He took certain documents with him, and once there, he received documents for Martin Bormann-Ptrez.
The hotel manager overheard some conversations, in which the names of the cities of Bariloche [Argentina], Valdiva [Chile], and Sao Paulo [Brazil] were mentioned. Later, when he handed "Ptrez" a glass of milk, the hotel manager realized that this was actually Martin Bormann. The hotel proprietor began to think that these people must have very important characters backing them, so he made the circumstance known to an agent of the S.I.R. (Cordoba sector) and went with the agent to Rio Zeballos, where Bormann and his friends were headed.
With the fall of the Peronista government, an evident gathering of the Nazi element began to descend on Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil, particularly Brazil. So it was that in 1956 Martin Bormann was in Sao Paulo, where a large number of addicts of the Nazi philosophy were gathering, little knowing that they would not find here the accommodation they had so long enjoyed in Argentina.
In Sao Paulo, Bormann linked up with members of the Odessa organization, which existed to give aid to former SS soldiers. Odessa was a branch of La Arafia.
Martin Bormann now adopted the name Goldstein. He tried to hide permanently, since Jewish elements were frequently around, painstakingly looking for Nazi war criminals who were attempting to elude justice.
In the streets of Sao Paulo, Martin Bormann was recognized by a woman who knew him, so he rapidly left the city and the Nazi group that was developing power in the triangle of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil.
In 1957, he was seen in the city of Bariloche, where again he was developing and coordinating Nazi activities. He always hid under a Jewish last name, to escape the attention of the Israeli commandos, who operated more freely in Argentina now that the Nazis no longer enjoyed the support they had had during the Peronista era.
From Bariloche, Bormann went to Valdivia, apparently to acquire a farm or to establish contact with a secret Nazi organization that operated in the south of Chile.
In 1958, Bormann stayed at his secure residence in Mato Grosso, but the following year he went to Paraguay, where a former Wermacht member observed him in a meeting with Doctor Josef Mengele, a Nazi who practiced medicine in Argentina and who, like Bormann, was sought by the Israeli secret services. This meeting took place in Hohenau, a town practically founded by German colonists in this zone.
Bormann and Mengele headed for Asuncion, Paraguay, because Bormann was ill. His health became worse, and a doctor was called. Doctor Otto Biss, a resident of Asuncion, examined Bormann and Mengele. He observed that Bormann had a scar on his forehead and that, other than a recurrence of his gastritis, he was in good health. This is how it was established that Bormann was in Paraguay, well guarded by Colonel Arganas, who controlled all the contraband operations between Asuncion and Sao PauIo--operations conducted by former German flyers.
In 1961, Bormann went from Mato Grasso to the city of Iguazu, staying at the house of a former SS soldier. He stayed scarcely three days, since he never stayed in one place for long. He didn't trust anyone and nearly always traveled alone, seldom with a companion.
During the following years, apparently, the trail of Bormann was lost, even though there was always news of the activities of Doctor Mengele in Paraguay, where he developed intense activities. The situation with Bormann was quite different-he could rely on the enormous amounts of money he had invested in different firms, and therefore, he didn't have to work and could concentrate his efforts on staying hidden, protecting himself, and continuing to encourage the Nazi ideology. All those who had the opportunity to meet him agree that Bormann was a notably astute man.
It was evident that since the capture of Adolf Eichmann, another Nazi criminal, the activities of Jewish groups were intensifying.
In 1964, Bormann was again seen, in the area of Villa Ballester, at a brewery frequently visited by Germans. The informant in this case was T. Karlokowski, a well-known swindler who sold bogus gold coins. Karlokowski used to travel among these neighboring countries, and therefore, he was able to find out that Josef Mengele was well protected by Colonel Arganas of the Paraguayan army and that he was involved in selling agricultural machinery.
Karlokowski found out that it had been a long time since Mengele had seen Bormann. On an unusual occasion, however, the engineer Juan Felisiak, a friend of Karlokowski, told him that Bormann was in Villa Ballester. Karlokowski proposed a business deal with Bormann, since he had plenty of money, but the engineer was not agreeable.
In that event, they ultimately found themselves at the same brewery when Goldstein (evidently Bormann) appeared. He was accompanied by a young blond man, apparently a German. The salutations were short. Bormann said that on the following day they were heading south again, to a farm in Patagonia.
Again, Bormann's trail was lost. In 1968 he turned up in the medical offices of Doctor Francisco Ubistondo, on Arenales and Pueyrredon Streets. He was suffering with hepatitis-related pain. When Doctor Urbistondo commented on the German's case with the informant Zuccarelli, the latter reported it to agent Rodriguez. Rodriguez showed a photograph of Bormann and Mengele to the doctor, who identified Bormann as the sick man he had attended in his consulting office.
But his movements in more detail, as reported to me by trustworthy confidants, showed that Martin Bormann remained for only a short time in Buenos Aires. He moved to a mountain retreat in the Argentinian Andes, a 5,000-acre cattle and sheep ranch about 60 miles south of San Carlos de Bariloche, and lived there until Juan Peron was forced from power in 1955. At that time Mueller thought it advisable for Bormann to leave the mountain hideaway, so the party minister was transported over the Andes to Chide to another remote house for two years. Throughout this period, Mueller kept receiving information that Bormann continued to be the object of an international manhunt. British, American, and West German agents sought him, but not too hard. The Bormann organization had many commercial and political links to the capitals of these three nations, and real clout was available should the chase become too hot. The CIA could have pulled aside the gray curtain that obscured Bormann-at any time. But the CIA and Mueller's crack organization of former SS men found it to their mutual advantage to cooperate in many situations. There is no morality in the sense that most of us know it in the strange world of professional secrecy, and when it was to the advantage of each to work together they did so. For example, Klaus Altman, the so-called Hangman of Lyon, France, was recognized in Lima, Peru, as Klaus Barbie by a Frenchwoman who has made a career of pursuing Nazis, although she was only five years old at the time of the occupation when Altman-Barbie was an SS officer. Altman, upon his return to Bolivia, where he is a Bolivian citizen and director and stockholder of Transmaritime Boliviana, a shipping company partly owned by the Bolivian government, admitted that he was Klaus Barbie. But, he said, "I was an officer in a regular army in a formally declared war." He added that both American and French authorities had questioned him after the war, doing nothing to hinder his emigration to Bolivia in 1950. Yet he became a cause celebre after Mrs. Beate Klarsfeld, an official of the International League Against Anti-Semitism and Racism, announced his identity. Georges Pompidou of France was then forced to become involved and to take a stand, offering $4 million to the Bolivia government for the extradition of Barbie. It was refused. Babie had participated as a Gestapo officer in the destruction of the two underground resistance networks, "Prosper" and "Scientist," in 1943, which resulted in the death of Jean Moulin, a French resistance hero. In South America, Altman-Barbie was under the protection of General Heinrich Mueller, and in certain instances had worked for the CIA, so his sponsorship was impeccable and incontrovertible, and he continues to enjoy immunity from arrest.
Mueller never leaves Latin America, but his agents roam the Americas and Europe. They provide protection for the NSDAP leadership in exile who can still manage to travel to Madrid, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Italy, or North Africa, and they have been known to take on lucrative secret police assignments. When Colonel Nasser became president of Egypt, he asked the CIA for assistance in establishing a similar organization in his country. The CIA did not wish to become involved, and so referred him to General Gehlen, then chief of the West German federal intelligence organization, which was in fact maintained by the CIA. But Gehlen ducked the request, suggesting that former SS General Otto Skorzeny, son-in-law of Hjalrnar Schacht, one-time Minister of Finance for Hitler, should be approached. Skorzeny, who made his headquarters in Spain, did not want the assignment either, for he was doing too well as an engineer and businessman in Spain, and was also owner of a large farming establishment outside of Dublin. But, urged by Schacht, he had Heinrich Mueller in Brazil send him a team of secret police specialists, who all arrived in Cairo as a German mission led by Skorzeny, who promptly returned to Spain after introductions had been made. Mueller's team established such an effective intelligence service for Nasser, known as the General Intelligence Service, that Colonel Qadhafi of Libya, then the new revolutionary leader of his country, asked Nasser to make the German team of advisors available to him also. This was done, and upon arrival the Germans started with a thorough housecleaning of the Libyan secret police hired by the previous ruler, King Idris. Two thousand Libyan police were put in jail and continue to languish there today, and the Germans rebuilt from scratch. Today Libyan intelligence agents are stationed in all Libyan African and overseas embassies and consulates, and they are tough and ruthless., Perhaps as a quid pro quo to this service to Libya, the Colonel granted the West German racket company Ortag rights to a vast test range 600 miles south of Tripoli in 1980. An attitude of benevolence toward Bormann, the German who created so much commercial activity for them, is held by Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. In the last named country, the son of a Bavarian cavalry officer, President Stroessner, cooperates with the United States military authorities and with the CIA, as he does with Bormann and his representatives. During the Vietnam war, President Stroessner permitted the U.S. Army Chemical Corps to send in teams of 2,500 men and CIA agents to carry out field tests, in the Mato Grosso jungles of Paraguay, of chemicals for use in Vietnam. In one instance, several American soldiers became casualties when they were accidentally sprayed with the gas. They were taken to a Paraguayan military field hospital; the doctor who treated them was Josef Mengele, now a Paraguayan citizen and an officer in the Paraguayan Army Medical Corps. Under Mengele's treatment all soldiers recovered. None, of course, knew the true identity of their medical benefactor. The Israelis have tried repeatedly to extradite Mengele, who was the notorious doctor of Auschwitz concentration camp. But when President Stroessner is approached through diplomatic channels for such a purpose, he responds: "Shall I also expel the 1,500 Jews who have made a good life for themselves in Paraguay, and who have contributed so much to our economic growth?"
Despite the assistance Martin Bormann has received from various leaders in Latin America since his arrival, including help from members of U.S. embassies and consulates and several CIA station chiefs, Heinrich Mueller continues to exercise extreme caution in protecting Bormann. In 1955 and again in 1957, following the transporting of the party minister to new locations, he leaked the story of Bormann's "death," repeating the old ploy of providing a body in a grave marked "Martin Bormann." Each time an exhumation took place it was found to be the remains of a deceased Indian, although one was that of a Jewish person, an Israeli agent who had gotten too close to his target.
In 1957 Mueller established Bormann on a remote plantation at the southernmost tip of Brazil, at a point that touches Paraguay, one mile inland from the west bank of the Parana River and 15 miles north of the Paraguayan border. It was a drab, depressing plantation area, but a natural fortress, stretching in a rectangle 40 miles along the Parana River, 100 miles inland from the sea. To the east it was protected by the river, which at that point is ten miles wide. To the south it had the impenetrable jungle for protection; the all-but-impassable pathways one would take to approach the plantation were guarded by Indians whose role was to alert the SS guards. The settlement was known as Kolonie Waldner, and SS men I have talked with who were with Bormann then spoke of the heat and the general lassitude there. Food and other supplies were brought by river boat, then trucked inland to the colony. Visitors came and went by Piper Cub, which upon landing would taxi up to a large hangar and disappear from view. A bowling alley down one side of the hangar provided about the only recreation, but the SS men I interviewed said that the best German cooking in the world was provided by former SS mess sergeants, and that this was an incomparable feature of the dining room. To quote one: "Still, it was small consolation for being stuck in such a place. We worked to construct proper housing, but it was hard to put out of one's mind the memories and thoughts of Germany and the good days of long ago."
Martin Bormann continued to conduct his complex business affairs from Kolonie Waldner by remote control. A cadre of skilled professional business administrators would periodically return to this dismal, isolated area and make their reports on investments and on the prosperity and growth of the corporations they controlled in so many different countries. Bormann appeared very much the plantation overseer, with boots, white pants and shirt, and a wide-brimmed Panama hat. Such a hat, I am told, along with being protection from the ubiquitous hot sun, was also protection from poisonous spiders that dropped from trees. I asked one of my SS informants why they didn't use poison gas as the Americans had done in the Mato Grosso to defoliate the trees and exterminate the spiders. His bitter reply: 'We used up all our poison gas during World War 11."
The plantation stay finally ended, and Bormann was moved again to the high mountains of Argentina that border Chide. The hue and cry had died down. An occasional journalist would take up the hunt, but would be tracked by Mueller's men. At one point in time, NBC News in New York sent a news team to South America. But NBC News abandoned the principles of journalism when it made this a combined operation with Israeli secret agents and a Zionist organization in South America. It is probably still unaware that Mueller had penetrated the Zionist group, and that every step taken was known to him beforehand. It was quite impossible-and still is today-to surprise Mueller and therefore Bormann. They have a fail-safe system of protection that dates back to World War I1 when the espionage agents of Germany, Japan, and Italy were operating effectively throughout the Western Hemisphere; this is part of the infrastructure to which they became heir, which serves them today.
The German fifth column in South America was far-reaching and effective, and when the war ended in Europe agents and station chiefs were instructed to stay in position and await their orders. They were to continue in their commercial careers as cover for the work they would be called on to perform: assistance to the 10,000 veterans of the SS who would need relocation help as they poured into Buenos Aires and fanned out to various nearby countries, and full cooperation with Reichsleiter and Party Minister Bormann and the other 50,000 German VIP's of industry and research. All members of the NSDAP in South America were familiar with the Organization Book, which they had been receiving from Berlin for some years as leaders of local chapters of the (overseas) Auslands- Organization. A basic element in the book dealt with the relationship of members to the Principles of Obedience:
Through his incorporation in the NSDAP the brother or comrade (Parteigenosse) promises to maintain an unchangeable fidelity to Fuehrer Adolf Hitler and unconditional obedience to the leaders whom he shall designate.
How extensive this Nazi apparatus was during the war years, and how it was able to guard and assist Martin Bormann after his arrival in South America in 1947, was spelled out by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In a 1943 report prepared by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose wartime responsibility had been extended to spotting Axis agents and their activities in all Latin American countries by order of President Roosevelt, the FBI stated:
After the rupture of diplomatic relations with the Axis by various countries of Latin America, the Axis began to use Argentina as the base of its espionage and sabotage activities against all American nations. It had been established that from this base of operations the Germans have spread the net of their subversive organizations to at least ten American countries, and that as a result of their work a large number of American lives, considerable American property, and the lives and property of the citizens and countries of the united nations which are engaged in the struggle against the totalitarian powers have been lost.
Argentina was an ideal base for such espionage and sabotage tactics against other nations of the Western Hemisphere. The FBI also reported that "the following are the American republics and territories directly affected by the activities of the German espionage ring, directed from Argentina: Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, the United States of America, Mexico, Paraguay, Venezuela, Aruba and Trinidad."
The German espionage service in South America reported directly to the German High Command in Berlin, whence they received their instructions to send all possible information in the following main categories: ship arrivals and departures; movements of warships of the United States and England; imports and exports; U.S. armaments and industries; political data; weather reports; movements of American warplanes being ferried to Africa via Natal; operation of Pan American Airways; war effort of the United States; Panama Canal; defense measures in the United States and Latin American countries; sabotage of English ships; and convoys of merchant vessels.
The activities of German, Japanese, and Italian agents operating as separate cells in each country always revolved around an important clandestine radio station that transmitted their information in code to receiving stations in Hamburg, Germany. Japanese data was forwarded to their embassy in Berlin which then transmitted to Tokyo. Other information was sent by mail, with messages written in disappearing ink, or reduced to the size of a microdot on a written page. Nazi Party members and German commercial companies also served as transmission agents of espionage reports to the German High Command. By having agents working in tight groups in each of the countries, usually unknown to each other, the Germans had the distinct advantage that when the individuals of one group were identified by the FBI, or by the national secret police of a Latin American country, the other groups or cells were not generally affected, and were able to continue their operations without interruption. Brazil was at one time the center of Axis espionage, but when restrictive measures were taken by the Brazilian government, Argentina became the predominant center. Easy access to funds is vital to successful espionage, and when Brazil began to take countermeasures against this fifth column, the local field man for the FBI in Rio de Janeiro reported to J. Edgar Hoover in Washington that on October 3,1942, the sum of 638 million pesos had been sent by Axis agents from Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay for deposit in the Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires.
Germany, of course, had a profound and quite critical interest in the rising war production of the United States. Nazi agents infiltrated all U.S. plants in which bombers and fighters were being produced and the information gathered by these employees was transmitted to Buenos Aires, where it was relayed to the mammoth wireless receiving station in Hamburg that pulled in messages from agents throughout the world.
In Buenos Aires, an FBI field agent pinpointed the chief of the clandestine radio group in that major South American capital as "Friedrich von Schultz Hausmann, manager of the firm of Bromberg y Cia., at Bernardo Irigoyen 330."
In 1941 the German espionage service had transferred von Schultz Hausmann from Chile, where he had been manager of the Lloyd Norte Aleman in Valparaiso, while serving as head of German agents there. When he moved to Buenos Aires to assume a more important position, he informed his Chilean intimates that they could reach him through post office box number 386, the one used by Bromberg y Cia. He cautioned that they must write in secret ink or by cable code to his new cable address "Alegre." Hausmann's close friend in Argentina was Walter von Simons, head of the news agency Transocean, which Dr. Goebbels had used as a conduit to spread his propaganda to the newspapers of South America.
The Nazi Party was effectively represented in all Latin Arnerican nations. Mexico, as one example, had its German National Socialist Labor Party, which controlled the public as well as the private lives of all Germans living in Mexico. The party was illegal but active; it had divided the country into seven districts, each with its own local Gauleiter. While the NSDAP was outlawed in Mexico, it did have a legal front, the Deutsche Volksgemeinschaft, with the German ambassador, Baron Rudt von Collenberg, as honorary president. Thirteen German clubs of various types were committed to propaganda and espionage, but the overseeing element of all German activity was the Gestapo, under the direction of Georg Nicolaus, a dealer in machinery who took part in the attack on Poland and then was sent first to Colombia, next to Mexico City. The Japanese handled the military intelligence chores for the Gestapo in Mexico because German efforts were directed to the United States and to the more southerly countries of Latin America. To accommodate this additional work, Japanese tourists began arriving in great numbers in Mexico; some were assigned to other South American countries. In Tampico, Mexico, the principal meeting place for German, Japanese, and Italian spies was in the dental offices of Dr. I. Nishimura.
A sustained effort was made by the Germans to win over local folk. In Ecuador, for instance, they had two main objectives: to control the commerce of the country, in association with their compatriots, the Japanese, and to displace "Yankee and English imperialism." Observers of the scene reported that they achieved both, thanks to years of superior, overbearing, haughty attitudes that characterized the Anglo-American companies in their relations with the native population. The Germans arrived as businessmen, explorers, scientific investigators, university professors, and journalists. The German pedagogic missions that came to Ecuador before Nazism, cleared the way for the Third Reich emissaries. A German school served as the meeting place of the Ecuadorian intellectuals on Saturday afternoons, attended by lawyers, writers, and professors. The school's director was Dr. Max Witt, an Ecuadorian-born son of German parents, and a fervent Nazi. Dr. Witt was also a professor at the Mejia National School and a deputy in the National Congress.
In Colombia, Hans Baurnann, a Salesian priest, came to the attention of the FBI; J. Edgar Hoover passed on information regarding him to William J. Donovan, head of the OSS. Hoover reported that Baumann was carrying on activities in connection with an espionage ring that utilized the facilities of a clandestine radio station, PYL, in or near Santiago, Chile. Hoover attached a picture of Baumann and a photostatic copy of his party book indicating membership in the Auslands- Auweis organization. "The information concerning Baumann has been secured from a confidential, reliable source," Hoover wrote to Donovan.
Hans Baumann was born in Wiesent, Bavaria, on April 21, 1897, and during World War I served in the army, a companion of the young Adolf Hitler in the trenches. He emigrated to Colombia in 1932 and became active in education, achieving the directorship of the Colegio Pedro Justo Berrio of Medellin. During a return trip to Germany in 1937 he had lunch with Hitler and Martin Bormann; back in Colombia he engaged in NSDAP activities and espionage, and utilized the German firm of Fritz Fuhrop and Cie., a Nazi company that represented North German Lloyd, Hamburg-Amerika Lines, and the Nippon Yusen Kaisya Lines. The effectiveness of Baumann's work in Colombia was attested to by a further confidential field report to J. Edgar Hoover: "German Nazis have gained the friendship of many Colombians. It is understood that not only are these German individuals well liked by the Colombians but there is considerable sympathy for their cause. The wife of Schrader, manager of Steinwender Stoffregen Corporation in Pereira, said she hoped and prayed the Nazis would take over Colombia and that the United States would be 'sunk in the seas.'" The Axis population in Colombia at this time totalled 5,844: 4,113 Germans, 1,572 Italians, and 159 Japanese.
In their World War II drive to win the hearts and minds of Latin Americans, and to gain commercial ascendancy, these representatives of the Third Reich welcomed everyone to their ranks, and this included Jews. But the Jewish immigrants who had come to Colombia to start new lives could not be enlisted by either Germans or Americans. One FBI report stated, "Be cause of interest in their business they can't be won for the anti-Nazi fight." But there was the mysterious Jewish arms merchant, Luis Rothschild, who seemed to precede the advance of the German armies. He left Frankfurt for the Sudetenland and when German armies arrived went on to Prague, always wheeling and dealing. In Prague he transferred large sums of money through Switzerland to New York to Chile. In Santiago he made a business connection with the German import firm of Staudt and Company, Inc., and served this firm, which was on the Anglo-American blacklist, as "front man"; this enabled him to import textiles under his own name from New York and to sell the commodities to Staudt and Company. Front men were a common practice, enabling many German firms to continue doing business despite Anglo-American disfavor. From this group of front men, Bormann selected many who would serve as caretaker administrators of the new companies created for the flight capital program. In Buenos Aires, many members of the Jewish community owe their present prosperity to this predilection of the Bormann organization to use Jewish businessmen as cloaks for commercial operations.
Hoover sent along an FBI report to William J. Donovan:
A Dr. Bernhard Mendel, an Austrian Jew and a naturalized Colombian and also a very wealthy businessman located at Bogota, has been engaged in activities apparently directed toward sabotaging the intelligence efforts of the united nations in Colombia. According to the informant, Dr. Mendel is presently an agent for a German firm in Colombia and is the consignee of American-made products in that republic. While Dr. Mendel has on occasions professed to be an ardent anti-Nazi informant, his professed cooperation in combatting Nazi activities in Colombia has been of negative value. In view of the activities of Mendel, detrimental to the interest of the United States, the suggestion has been advanced that this individual be listed as an undesirable consignee and representative of American-made products in Colombia.
The major German firms of South America were invariably centers for espionage activities. The Bayer Company, a subsidiary of I.G. Farben, whose principal business in Chile was the sale of chemical products, was placed on the American blacklist and prevented from doing business with the United States.
However, it prospered elsewhere and meanwhile in June 1942 the FBI station chief in Chile reported to J. Edgar Hoover: "Werner Siering is the manager and head of the firm in Santiago. Numerous previous reports have been made concerning this individual, indicating that he is an active Nazi agent in South America. The principal directors of this firm are of German nationality and there are also 27 Germans employed in the office." The report went on to mention other German companies having active participation: Banco Germanico de la America del Sud, Compania Sud-Americana de Vapores, a steamship company, Siemans-Schuckert Limitada, Santiago Gas Company, and "Soquina, which is engaged in the production of gas from coal."
Argentina by this time was under great pressure from the United States to break relations with the Axis. Instead, she proclaimed her neutrality in 1942. However, in January 1944, Argentina broke off relations with Germany and Japan over the flagrant espionage that had been taking place within her borders. Still, this was not a commitment to war and the Perbn- Farrell junta was shocked into action when the United States and most other countries recalled their ambassadors in the summer of 1944. Then, three months before the German surrender, Argentina officially declared war on Germany and Japan on March 27, 1945, a symbolic gesture only, but it succeeded in normalizing relations with nations of the Allied world who returned their ambassadors, except for Russia. The German and Japanese diplomatic corps had to leave, however. But anticipating such action as a possibility since 1942, Baron Guenther Freiherr von Thermann, a former German ambassador, held meetings on his farm, Isla Verde, in Cordoba province, where an organization was formed that would represent German interests. The names of those constituting this group came into the hands of J. Edgar Hoover, and they show an interesting crosssection of commerce and banking.