It has long been known that Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele, Erich Priebke, and many other war criminals found refuge in Argentina. Now, for the first time, a courageous Argentine journalist shows exactly how it was done. This riveting book is the first to map the precise details of the smuggling of Nazis into Argentina, an operation organized with the enthusiastic support of Peron's presidential palace. Using previously unseen archival sources, The Real Odessa covers a wide geography -- Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy -- and proves the complicity of the Vatican and the Argentine Catholic Church in one of the great postwar scandals.
Uki Goñi is an Argentine author, best known for his ground-breaking research into the roles played by the Vatican, Swiss authorities and the government of Argentina in organizing escape routes for Nazi criminals and collaborators.
He has participated in countless documentaries by the BBC, Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS and other media in the US and Europe.
He writes for The Guardian and The New York Review of Books. He has also written Op-Eds for the New York Times.
During Argentina's 1976-83 dictatorship he worked as a journalist at the Buenos Aires Herald, the only newspaper in Argentina to report on the "disappearance" of thousands of young people kidnapped, tortured and murdered by the military.
Goñi was born in Washington DC, growing up in the US, Argentina, Mexico and Ireland.
Uki Goñi has written a fantastic book with The Real Odessa. His research is considerable as he pieced together the secret trail that spirited Nazi war criminals and collaborators from post WW2 Europe to Argentina under its leader Juan Perón. Argentina at that time was deeply sympathetic to Nazi ideals and even joined the Allies in 1944 in a ruse to make it easier to help Nazis enter Argentina as they escaped allied advances as the Axis powers began to collapse. I’d never heard of a country being a secret agent, but that is precisely what Argentina was at that time pretending to be an Ally when in fact they were clandestinely supporting Nazi Germany. The covert measures worked and resulted in several secret networks being set up around Europe used to help hundreds of convicted war criminals escape to Argentina where they were welcomed by Perón. He saw these Nazis and their sympathizers as ardent anti-communists just as he was. He saw them as anti-capitalist just as he was as well. And they matched his strong anti-Semitic views additionally. So, they were a perfect match for the Peronista Argentina of that time. Even the Vatican, British, and Americans had a hand in supporting this network somewhat. It was a truly shameful coda in history to the most violent war the world has ever known — proving that war makes the oddest bedfellows and allies. While a little hard to follow at times, Goñi has written a brilliant history of this little known chapter of the war that is well worth the read.
It's similar to Ratlines except it's a bit more concrete.
I primarily bought it for the chapter on the Ustasha and the Catholic Church's involvement. The wealth the Ustasha amassed from murdering hundreds of thousands of people is staggering. Ex. 1100 carats of diamonds, 350 million Swiss francs, 350- 500 kilos of gold. Horrific. In Egon Berger's book, I found pictures of "vultures" extracting gold teeth from their victims. Now we know where it went.... It's enough to send a shiver up and down your spine and maybe might make your last meal come up. The Catholic Church helped the Ustasha stash and transport the assets.
This begs the question: where are our reparations? which must surely be in the billions if not trillions.
Goni distressingly notes that many of these fascists mass murderers are not only living in his country of Argentina- many are living on the same street as him! Unsurprisingly, the fascist mass murderers used the the plundered assets to start factories and businesses in Argentina to become even more rich.
"There is no doubt that the Franiscans ran the escape line."
Un libro difícil de clasificar con estrellitas. Con una prosa limpia y pocas impresiones personales, Goñi reconstruye a partir de entrevistas la infiltración de Astiz en el grupo de la Santa Cruz. A veces uno se olvida de quien es quien con tantos nombres, aunque el autor te lo recuerda de a momentos. Hay testimonios imperdibles, crudos y tristes. Otros, imposibles de creer. Un necesario de la historia nacional.
Książka to dziennikarskie śledztwo argentyńskiego dziennikarza Ukiego Gonii na temat ucieczek po wojnie nazistowskich, włoskich i chorwackich zbrodniarzy wojennych do Argentyny, jaki miał w tym udział rząd Juana Perona i Watykan. Największą wartością książki jest jej wiarygodność - autor prawie każde napisane zdanie potwierdza odszukanymi / odnalezionymi w archiwach dokumentami. Nie jest to kompletne opracowanie na ten temat - przedstawiony został ogólny mechanizm działania tych ucieczek i opisywane są dokładniej ucieczki kilkunastu zbrodniarzy na których autor się skupił (szacuje się, że do Argentyny uciekło/wyemigrowało po wojnie nawet kilkadziesiąt tysięcy Niemców, Włochów i Chorwatów). Minusem książki jest może niekiedy zbyt naukowy jej charakter - podawane są suche fakty i daty, dlatego czyta się to niekiedy dość ciężko. Książka warto jednak przeczytać - bo otwiera ona oczy na to jak po wojnie zwycięscy alianci przymykali oko na unikanie kary przez nazistowskich zbrodniarzy, jaka była ich moralność (lub jej brak).
This book is a very detailed description of the efforts of Juan Peron and the Argentine government to allow war criminals and collaborators to find refuge from justice in Argentina. Densely written, the book lays bare not only Peron's actions but also those of the Vatican/Catholic Church. The story is not an unfamiliar one, but the book provides additional and irrefutable proof of the whole sordid affair. Most notable to me was the scene in which Bishop Hudal greeted, literally with open arms and by name, the commandant of Treblinka (the death camp in Poland where at least 750,000 human beings, nearly all of them Jews, were methodically murdered), and helped him continue his escape to Argentina. Germans, Austrians, Croats, Belgians, Slovaks, French, Romanians; all the war criminals and collaborators make an appearance and are helped to safety.
As expected, this was a truly insightful read. Gōni exposed the bleak truths about the network that allowed hundreds of Nazi war criminals, including Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengele to flee to Argentina at the end of the war.
It is a remarkable and shocking research. I am lucky I haven't lived through those years, but I do suspect much more filth is around and working behind the scenes nowadays.
A detailed history of post WWII escape route to South America.
I found this book to be very informative but not an easy read. Extremely detailed and overly footnoted, it was much akin to a textbook. I like to read at night prior to sleeping and I found myself dozing on several occasions.
Great research and historical info Hard to follow all the different characters and paths by which the criminals escaped. Could have been better organized and written A more detailed final summary would have been helpful.
An in depth look at Argentina during the Peronista period and its relationship with Nazi Germany and all things fascist. It is based in the Catholicism of the country and the anti communist bias but it goes much deeper. The dealings with the Nazis precede the 2nd World War and it does well beyond its ending. It tells the story of how the different regimes in Europe were able to wend their way to a very hospitable Argentina, in fact they were courted and treated as brothers. All the top people, from France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Croatia who were not initially identified by the allies found escapes through Spain, Switzerland and mainly the Vatican. It is chilling that they were all accepted into Argentinian society and all given jobs. Many were employed by the government and almost all others were employed by industry that was government related. It is a really chilling tale.
I really enjoyed this book! It is an interesting investigative work and a great book that documents the first contacts between Perón and the Nazis based on unpublished documents and interviews with the people involved. Highly recommended!
Excellent although extremely detailed in parts. Did not understand the level of complicity of the Perons and moreover the whole of the Catholic church. Also was amazing to learn how to this day that denial of aiding nazi war criminals is still present in modern Argentina at an institutional level
Very well researched & therefore horrifying account of the ratline from Europe to Argentina, with massive help from Peron, the Vatican, former & current nazis, and the incompetence & disinterest of the Brits & the Americans. The fact that Mengele and Eichmann's families traveled to Argentina under their own names but no one put 2 +2 together is astounding. So many other nazi luminaries about whom I did not know much also made their way to a very comfortable haven in Argentina. The author is to be commended since brick walls were put up in front of him every step of the way.
Everyone has heard about the myth of Odessa, the secret organization with hidden contacts intended to provide sanctuary for the worst nazi criminals after the end of the Second World War After six of years of deep research in Argentina and Europe, Mr. Goñi shows clearly how the actual Odessa operated smuggling nazis from the Old continent to the South American secluded country, unveiling a contact network made by pro-nazi Peron Argentine government assistants, corrupted diplomats, first rescued nazi criminals with new identities back in Europe, far right Europe politicians acting as liaisons and priests of the Catholic Church in the Vatican
Every interview, record, event and character mentioned is cited with its reference source allowing the reader to delve further in every single topic of his choice
Many novels are written about the Nazi war criminals and their secrecy as a marketing tool in order to attract avid suspense readers and make run of the mill bestsellers, unlike those stories, this is an objective and factual work written as a documentary that can be used in any college course as a contemporary history text book.
This was referred to in Kerr's "A Quiet Flame" so I thought it would be interesting to read. It isn't a quick read, but is a well researched and fascinating study of a particularly murky episode in Argentine history - the setting up of the escape lines for various key Nazi figures after the war, and the complicity in the enterprise from a number of different sources. Worth persisting with if it's an area which interests you.
La storia della fuga verso l'Argentina dei criminali di guerra nazisti raccontata partendo da lontano e con una cospicua documentazione. Tanti nomi, tante storie, tanti alti prelati e frati francescani (!). Appena posso farò un salto in via Albaro a Genova a vedere dove si trovava l'ufficio da cui alla fine degli anni 40 transitarono tra gli altri Mengele (che fu pure arrestato, non riconosciuto e rilasciato) ed Eichmann
In Verbindung mit meinen Recherchen als Hobby-Historiker über die argentinische Zeit von Oskar Schindler stiess ich auch die Hilfsorganistion ODESSA, die zahlreichen Kriegsverbrechern die Flucht nach Argentinien ermöglicht hat. Ich fand aber keine Hinweise, dass Oskar Schindler als Judenretter dort Schwierigkeiten bereitet wurden. Dies ist ein Rezensionsband. Ich benutzte ihn als Quelle für meinen ZEIT online - Beitrag "Oskar Schindler und die ODESSA".
A mostly chronological, straightforward, this happened then this happened account of Argentina rescuing Nazi fugitives. We all now know this happened, but this book supplies the details. More of those details should have been cited, though. I'd skip this book unless you are studying the events.
Thoroughly researched and well-written, this book provides evidence of how governments, sympathizers, and even clergy joined forces to create an escape route for Nazi war criminals. A fascinating and disturbing read.