Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele, Klaus Barbie, and Erich Priebke: These names are exemplary of the Nazi criminals who found refuge in South America after 1945. There, they either remained untroubled or were only made accountable for their crimes many years later.
Investigations into their whereabouts in South America – when they were still alive – were conducted painstakingly among others by Simon Wiesenthal as well as the Klarsfelds. Since then, many publications by historians and journalists have dealt with the biographies of individual former Nazis (with the focus always lying on men), their escape routes, their acceptance into their destination countries, and partly also with their political activities in their new homelands.
Aside from the prominent perpetrators and their thoroughly researched biographies, there were numerous other cases of more or less influential (former) Nazis and Nazi sympathizers who ended up in Argentina, Chile, and other South American countries. Their life trajectories and professional as well as private activities in their new homes have hardly been subject to systematic research to date. Their biographies and their new lives in South America will therefore be the focus of this workshop.
Now, more than 75 years after the end of the Second World War, the aim is first to take stock of the state of the field. On this basis, we wish to address new research questions and to identify hitherto unmined source bases and new groups of individuals to be researched. The objective is thus to redefine the research field focusing on German and Austrian Nazis in South America and their (inter-)national connections. We will discuss new insights on the forms, paths, and networks of flight and migration and will raise questions such as: which conditions did the (former) Nazis and Nazi sympathizers encounter in South America? Which opportunities were offered by the destination states and the local societies for their integration and who were their individual and institutional cooperation partners? In which professional areas could they establish themselves? Can we detect continuities from the Nazi-era and what impact did they have on their post-war careers? What was the relationship between the (former) Nazis to locals and what mutual influences can we observe, especially within the elites?
More information and registration:
Datum: 31. March 2022 – 1. April 2022
Ort: Vienna Wiesenthal Institute / Research Lounge, 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor