London: An estimated 9,000 Nazis, including
Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann and Auschwitz Dr Josef
Mengele, fled to South America in the aftermath of World War
II post Adolf Hitler`s death, documents have revealed.
Some 5,000 Nazi war criminals went to Argentina, between
1,500 and 2,000 to Brazil, around 500 to 1,000 to Chile, and
the rest to Paraguay and Uruguay, according to the files in
Brazil and Chile recently accessed by German prosecutors.
According to the documents, the 9,000 war criminals
who escaped to South America, included Croatians, Ukrainians,
Russians and other western Europeans who aided the Nazi murder
machine, the `Daily Mail` reported.
These numbers do not include several hundred more who
fled to the safety of right-wing regimes in the Middle East.
Previous estimates as to how many Nazis fled to South
America have varied wildly from 5,000 to 300,000.
The files also showed that during World War II, Argentine
President Juan Peron sold 10,000 blank Argentine passports to
ODESSA -- the organisation set up to protect former SS men in
the event of defeat.
Kurt Schrimm, 62, head of the central war criminal
authority in Germany, is among the legal team sifting through
archives. He said: "These documents provide the hottest leads
we have had for years."