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Documents show FBI fielding escape rumors after Hitler’s death

One of the FBI documents released in the National Archives blog.

In 1945, after the fall of Berlin, rumors swirled about what had happened to Adolf Hitler, and at least two reports were fielded by the the FBI that he had gone to Argentina.

The National Archives, as part of a series called “The Hunt for Hitler,” published two FBI reports today that discussed rumors that Hitler had gone to the South American country, rather than committing suicide in his bunker as Soviet forces approached.

The documents make for an eerie, fascinating read.

One document, sent from Buenos Aires on July 14, 1945, said “a source of unknown reliability” had said that “Hitler was landed in Argentina approximately June 20, that his face was disfigured” and that an Argentine army major planned to escort him to a “secret hiding place in Chaco territory.”

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“All rumors being investigated,” the document said.

A second document said a Hollywood movie actor had spoken to a man at a club in Hollywood who said he had a “tremendous problem that was bothering him.”

The man said he “was one of four men who met Hitler and his party when they landed from submarines in Argentina two and a half weeks after the fall of Berlin,” the report, dated Aug. 14, 1945, from the FBI in Los Angeles.

The documents were contained in “Hunting Hitler Part VII: The search continues June-September 1945,” part of a blog series by Greg Bradsher, an archivist at the National Archives in College Park, Md., who studied for his doctorate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Historians say that on April 30, 1945, Hitler shot himself at the bunker. His wife, Eva Braun, took poison, and, in accordance with his instructions, their bodies were burned, according to britannica.com.

Below, read an FBI document on Hitler in Argentina.


Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele

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