By Uki Goni
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Extra resources for The Real Odessa: How Peron Brought the Nazi War Criminals to Argentina
6 After Perón’s death and following the overthrow of his vice-president wife ‘Isabelita’ in 1976, a new military dictatorship set up Nazi-style death camps across Argentina. The generals were intent on defending what they considered to be the country’s ‘Western and Christian’ lifestyle. Their instruments were electric torture prods and mass killings. Instead of gassing their victims, the generals slit their stomachs open and threw them alive from planes into the freezing South Atlantic. That way they sank faster.
It also overlapped at strategic points with French-speaking war criminals, with Croatian Fascists and even with the SS men of the fictional Odessa, all in order to smuggle Hitler’s evil minions to safety. But in Argentina the Odessa trail was growing faint, and was in danger of being erased altogether. This trail led back to the presidential office of General Juan Perón; it could therefore conceivably tar the figure of his beloved wife Evita, who remains an icon of almost saintly devotion to her compatriots even today.
Anywhere else, people would have mocked loudly, but in Argentina nobody laughed at all. My attempts to discuss the ring with friends invariably foundered – met with blank stares. The ring’s message, I soon learned, was self-fulfilling. A line had been drawn. 6 After Perón’s death and following the overthrow of his vice-president wife ‘Isabelita’ in 1976, a new military dictatorship set up Nazi-style death camps across Argentina. The generals were intent on defending what they considered to be the country’s ‘Western and Christian’ lifestyle.