Argentina turns over tens of thousands of Holocaust-related material to Israel
Wed, 13 Sep 2017
Argentine President Mauricio Macri presented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with discs containing five terabytes of Holocaust-related archival materials totaling 139,544 documents on Tuesday in an effort to shed light on Argentina’s role in sheltering Nazis following the end of the Second World War.
“I gave to the prime minister an historic Argentinean documentation digitalized about the Holocaust for the use of the State of Israel to investigate and spread the information. This is very important for us,” Macri said at a meeting of the two heads of state in Buenos Aires this week.
According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the documents include communications between Argentina and other countries involved in the conflict as well as cables from the Argentine embassy in Berlin. Argentina stayed neutral throughout much of the war but eventually joined the allies.
In July, the Argentine government has donated nearly 40,000 World War Two-era documents to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, including some with information regarding war criminals.
According to the JTA, the digital copies are primarily letters, newspaper articles and reports and were produced by the Foreign Ministry between the late during an 11-year period starting in 1939.
Around 5,000 former Nazis who escaped Europe made their way to Argentina with the aid of former Argentine President Juan Peron, whose government established escape routes through Spain and Italy. The most famous of these was Adolf Eichmann, one of the primary organizers of the Holocaust. He was kidnapped by Israeli intelligence in 1960 and brought to the Jewish state, where he was subsequently tried and executed.
Argentina’s connection to these former Nazis made the news recently when a cache of Nazi paraphernalia was discovered during a police raid in Buenos Aires. They were later declared fake by a prominent auctioneer specializing in Nazi memorabilia.
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