News this week of a massive treasure trove of Nazi artifacts in Argentina had war historians and conspiracy theorists alike buzzing with excitement, but not everyone was convinced that the find was authentic.
Behind a hidden wall in a home in Argentina, the cache of 75 or more artifacts purportedly from World War II’s most horrific entity made headlines around the globe. Not only was this one of the largest relic recoveries in modern history, but the placement of the items in Argentina was equally as intriguing, given the numerous theories regarding Adolf Hitler’s possible escape to the South American nation at the end of the war. Of course, this conspiracy would certainly be bolstered by linking the nation with unique, hidden piles of pilfered Nazi loot, including some of the most remarkably rare relics ever discovered.
One expert, however, is raining on the parade of these Hitler truthers.
“Leading a chorus of doubters, Panagopulos said the media and Argentine government were duped by the ‘carnival-quality garbage.’
“While he has only seen the video and pictures provided by police, he called the items obvious replicas. He also dismissed some of the items as historical fakes, such as the harmonicas and swastika-stamped calipers.
“‘Just imagine: Nazi-approved children’s harmonicas sold in boxed sets of six with what appear to be laser-printed labels, and presentation-cased, swastika-emblazoned medical measuring calipers,’ he mocked.
“Panagopulos also took exception to the sensationalizing of the story with no expert analysis.
“‘There are millions of collectors of historic Allied and Axis militaria worldwide and this breathless portrayal of an alleged criminal also collecting these historic relics tars everyone with a broad brush,’ he said.”
Hitler’s possible escape to Argentina has been the subject of more than a few books and television programs in recent years.
The general theory is that the Fuhrer was whisked away through Spain in April, 1945 to a waiting German U-boat that then made the clandestine Atlantic crossing. The continued presence of generational German families in Argentina, combined with a great many purported eyewitnesses, has lent a strange air of authenticity to the idea. Now, should this latest cache turn out to be hoax, many of the historians attempting to solve the mystery will be forced to crawl back into their bunkers an await further discoveries.