Former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler escaped Germany after the war and fled to Colombia where he continued to be idolised by former Nazis.
That’s a claim that was passed to CIA agents in 1955, ten years after the official version of events, which states the Fuhrer and his wife of just one day, Eva Braun, both died in a suicide pact in a bunker in Berlin.
The newly declassified CIA document dated 3 October 1955 provides details from a “trusted” informant who told an agent codenamed Cimelody-3 via a third party that Hitler was still alive. A handwritten note alongside the agent’s name declares him “fairly reliable”.
It names Phillip Citroen as the third party, identifying him as a former German SS trooper who claimed to have contact with Hitler around once a month in Colombia and who alleged that the former leader had left Colombia for Argentina in January 1955.
The report states: “Citroen commented that inasmuch ten years have passed since the end of World War II, the Allies could no longer prosecute Hitler as a criminal of war.”
A photograph purportedly of Citroen with the man he claimed was Hitler is attached to the document, inscribed on the back with the words “Adolf Scrittelmayor, Tunga, (sic) Colombia, 1954”.
The document remarks: “Neither Cimelody-3 nor this Station is in a position to give an intelligent evaluation of the information and it is being forwarded as of possible interest.”
A second document dated 17 October 1955 also references Citroen and his claim he met the man calling himself Hitler in Tunja, Colombia, “which is, according to the source, overly populated with former German Nazis”.
It goes on to say: “According to Citroen, the Germans residing in Tunja follow this alleged Adolf Hitler with an ‘idolatry of the Nazi past, addressing him as der Fuhrer and affording him the Nazi salute and storm-trooper adulation.’”
It also mentions the picture Citroen allegedly produced of himself with the man attached to the earlier document, though notes with scepticism “because of … the apparent fantasy of the report, the information was not submitted at the time it was received.”
On 30 April 1945, it was reported that Hitler died by a gunshot to the head and Braun was poisoned by a cyanide pill in a suicide pact as Allied forces closed in on Berlin.
Their bodies were then taken outside and burned by staff, before being deposited in a shallow grave, it is claimed.
But the newly declassified reports will add fuel to rumours among a growing number of conspiracy theorists who subscribe to the theory Hitler was among thousands of Nazis to seek refuge in South America.
Abel Basti is one of those to detail this hypothesis in his book El Exilio De Hitler (Hitler in Exile), a new edition of which was published in Argentina last year.
Basti, who has written extensively on the dictator, told Sputnik News: “There was an agreement with the US that Hitler would run away and that he shouldn’t fall into the hands of the Soviet Union. This also applies to many scientists, the military and spies who later took part in the struggle against the Soviet regime.”
The historian believes Hitler exited the bunker beneath the Chancellery in Berlin via a tunnel, which took him to a nearby airport from where he was spirited to Spain.
Basti claims that from there, Hitler travelled to the Canary Islands, where a U-boat waited to take him to Argentina.
The former Fuhrer died there on 3 February 1971, Basti believes.
Furthering the post World War II connection to South America, archaeologists in 2015 stumbled upon what they believed were the ruins of a secret jungle lair built especially for Nazi leaders of the Third Reich, should they have been forced to flee Germany.
A series of stone ruins located in Argentina’s Teyu Cuare provincial park in the north of the country with its border with Paraguay were discovered by researchers hacking their way through the undergrowth with machetes.
In the event, the lair was not needed, as Argentinian president Juan Peron welcomed thousands of Nazis and Italian fascists to the country with open arms.
Joseph Mengele, a doctor who conducted barbaric experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp and Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann, were known to have fled there.
Eichmann was kidnapped by Israeli agents in 1960, taken to Israel where he was tried and executed.
In 2000 Argentinian President Fernando de la Rua issued a formal apology for the country’s role in harbouring Nazi war criminals.