A furious argument breaks out over a suspected German U-boat that could have helped the Nazis flee to Argentina
Furious row erupts when suspected German U-boat that could have helped Nazis flee to post-World War II Argentina is found off the coast of South America
- The 80 meter long wreck was found off the coast of Queque, in central Argentina
- Opposition leaders accuse President Alberto Fernandez of ‘postponing’ the investigation
A furious political row has erupted in Argentina over the wreckage of a suspected German U-boat that may have been used by Nazi leaders to flee at the end of World War II.
The 80-meter-long wreck was discovered last October off the coast of Quequen, a port in central Argentina.
Abel Basti, 66, leader of the Missing Link research group, which discovered the submarine, has suggested it may have been sunk with explosives after helping prominent Nazis – which may have included Adolf Hitler himself – escape to Argentina.
The Mail on Sunday this week was shown a confidential 24-page document that opposition leaders had sent to Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, accusing him of ‘postponing’ the official investigation.
Opponents claim his Justice Party – which supports former President Juan Peron’s politics – is trying to cover up the potential embarrassment.
The 80-meter-long wreck was discovered last October off the coast of Quequen, a port in central Argentina
“If this gets out, and if it’s a Nazi submarine, as everyone, including the president, suspects, it’s going to be a story with huge global ramifications,” said a source.
Peron served as president from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974. He and his wife Eva (known as Evita) were known as Nazi sympathizers who welcomed hundreds of Nazis and collaborators to Argentina to escape the Nuremberg war trials.
Argentina denies allowing German U-boats to unload known war criminals to its shores. A source said: “Any formal identification of the wreck as a Nazi U-boat could be extremely embarrassing for the ruling government.”
The government spent £250,000 last year on remotely operated vehicles that captured images at the wreck site.
Mr Basti hired two independent experts to examine the wreck, and both concluded that it appears to be a submarine. Experts identified what appears to be an “assault periscope” and SS-style lettering.
Peron served as president from 1946 to 1955 and from 1973 to 1974. He and his wife Eva (known as Evita) were known as Nazi sympathizers.
Mr. Basti claimed: ‘It is suspected that it arrived secretly in the winter of 1945… My hypothesis is that Hitler fled to Argentina. This would be the submarine that evacuated Hitler at the end of the war.’
Steven Woodbridge, history professor at Kingston University, called the discovery “intriguing and historically significant,” but added: “The allegations about Hitler’s escape are complete nonsense. But there are good indications that important Nazi criminals have found their way to South America.’
A spokesman for the German embassy said: “We have found no evidence that the wreck is a German submarine wreck.”