A hidden room discovered in a residence in Beccar, Argentina, a suburb of the country’s capital, Buenos Aires, stored a trove of 75 Nazi artifacts, perhaps the largest collection ever found in Argentina’s history, according to the police. Among the finds stored in the room were magnifying glasses in boxes with swastikas on them, a medical device designed to measure the circumferences and other features of human heads, and a bust relief of Adolf Hitler.
ABC News reported that authorities in Argentina believe the Nazi artifacts are genuine, original artifacts that were owned during WWII in Germany by “high-ranking Nazis.” The Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said that the “first investigations” of experts who examined the 75 artifacts, found in a collector’s residence in Beccar, indicate they “are original pieces,” according to the Associated Press (AP). Some of the pieces in the collection, she said, also had old photos with them. She added that there were photos of Adolf Hitler with some of the objects in the collection.
The Bangkok Post reported that, according to Bullrich, items in the collection of 75 artifacts that are among the most disturbing are ones used in the indoctrination of children to help bring them up to continue the beliefs of the Nazis. She said that examples in the collection include “a box of harmonicas,” “a Nazi hourglass,” and a “statue of the Nazi Eagle above a swastika.” According to News.com.au, at a press conference, Bullrich called the 75 Nazi artifacts “emblems of a tragic time in history.”
One of the items the police commented on as being “compelling” and offering proof of the historic importance of the find of the hidden room and the artifacts discovered within it is a photo negative depicting Adolf Hitler. In the negative, Hitler has a magnifying glass in his hand much like the ones the police discovered within the boxes with swastikas on them in the collection.
Roncaglia, the head of Argentina’s federal police said, “There are no precedents for a find like this.” He said, “We have to get to the bottom of it.”
The investigation by the police that eventually led to the discovery of the hidden room storing the 75 Nazi artifacts began when artworks of a questionable origin showed up at an art gallery in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. Interpol then started to follow the collector of the Nazi artifacts and armed with a judicial order, on June 8, they conducted a raid of the collector’s residence.
Along with the Nazi artifacts, the police recovered Chinese art and ancient Egyptian and Asian artifacts, as well as various fossils. Besides the raid on the collector’s house in Beccar, Argentina, the police also conducted raids on a shopping center store and on a warehouse.
The agents conducting the raid became suspicious of a large bookcase or shelf, and found that behind it was a secret, hidden-away passage. The passage led to the room storing the 75 Nazi artifacts. The name of the collector has not yet been revealed by authorities in Argentina. The collector has not been arrested, but a federal judge has reportedly an investigation going on into his actions and the items found in the hidden room.
Authorities are attempting to piece together how the Nazi artifacts made it into Argentina. The leading hypothesis, so far, is that the times were brought into the South American country after World War II by either a high-ranking Nazi or by Nazis, at a time when Argentina was a refuge for Nazi war criminals.
One of the most famous World War II war criminals that fled to Argentina, and who lived there for almost a decade, was Dr. Josef Mengele. When he thought that Israeli Mossad agents were closing in on him, Mengele moved to Paraguay and then, eventually, to Brazil, where he died in 1979.
Stored in hidden room discovered in Beccar, Argentina, at the house of a collector, police found behind a large bookshelf and down a passageway a trove of World War II Nazi artifacts. Many of the 75 items had old photos that went along with them. One of the items, a magnifying glass inside a case with a swastika on it, was accompanied with an old photo negative of Adolf Hitler, holding the magnifying glass. The investigation into the artifacts and how they got into Argentina is ongoing.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Google Earth