“The documents I had before me… contained firsthand evidence that the Reichsleiter had survived the war and succeeded in escaping to Argentina. It was attested by the Argentine authorities themselves, in highly classified intelligence reports and positions papers drawn up for their own secret and official use.” Ladislas Farago, Aftermath
As the war turned irrevocably against the Third Reich, top Nazi leaders began to plan for the future, among them the Nazi Party’s Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, Adolf Hitler’s secretary and virtual shadow, and financial administrator of the Party’s, as well as of Hitler’s own personal and considerable, fortune. While much of this story is known to the general public in broad outline, few appreciate the degree of organization, planning, and success it had, and, unfortunately, may be continuing to have. Even fewer appreciate its significance, for what began in the secret societies of post-World War One Germany as the most explosive political movement in modern history would end by once again going underground, and operating behind a variety of false fronts that included corporations, black projects, secret societies, and criminal and paramilitary syndicates. It would thus exercise a considerable, though hidden, moral and cultural influence on the world that emerged after World War Two.
With the failure of the final large German offensive in Soviet Russia at Kursk in 1943, the Nazi leadership had but two courses of action: (1) continue the war and hope for the realization of their secret weapons projects in time to provide a military resuscitation, or (2) begin the process of moving capital, technology, and personnel to ensure the survival of the Party by other means. The Nazi leadership chose both courses of action.
At first the movement of resources abroad – monetary, technological, and human – proceeded haphazardly. Money and loot from a plundered Europe made its way into secret Swiss bank accounts, or in the case of hard assets – precious minerals, bullion, art, diamonds and other gemstones and so on – made its way overland through France into “neutral” but decidedly pro-Axis Nationalist Spain.
But it soon became apparent that haphazard efforts would not ensure the survival of the Party, nor the furtherance of its ideals, nor the spread of its power in the postwar world, nor the continuance of its research projects, which would have to be continued if it ever hoped to regain power and influence. Organization and long-range planning in depth and breadth had to occur if Nazism were to survive covertly. To this end, Reichsleiter Martin Bormann orchestrated a top secret meeting on August 10, 1944, at the Hotel Rotes Haus in Strassburg, in occupied France. Representatives of all the major German industrial and armaments firms were present, including the huge firms of Krupp, Thyssen, and of course, I.G. Farben. Also present were Bormann himself, Hjalmar Schacht, president of the Reichsbank, and his son-in-law, the famous SS commando, Colonel Otto Skorzeny, leader of the daring air mission to rescue Benito Mussolini in 1943. At this meeting, “provisions were made not only to move great sums of money outside Germany but also to camouflage foreign assets on paper for the resurrection of a financial-industrial empire, of sorts, once the Reich collapsed. This empire was to be controlled by the SS.” As a result of this plan, the well-known SS-run ratlines were formed to assist fleeing SS and other Nazis, to provide for their financial security, relocation, and false identities. The most famous of these was of course the ODESSA group, or the Organization Der Ehemahlige SS Angehorige, or “Organization of Former SS Members.” Another famous organization was “Die Spinne” or The Spider. In any case, under the Riechsleiter’s powerful protection, the SS, in concert with the Kriegsmarine, began to smuggle enormous quantities of gold, precious gems, art and both genuine and counterfeit cash out of Germany. To a lesser extent, machine tools, steel, technicians and other personnel began to be quietly siphoned off Germany industry and smuggled out of Europe.
The financial treasure trove was then laundered by the SS via a variety of methods, for example, through Evita Peron’s Swiss bank accounts, through dummy corporations, through the South American drug trade, and so on. During this immediate postwar period, most of this fortune was controlled by Otto Skorzeny.
The German industrialists who had been set up abroad with SS money dating back to the deal at the Rotes Haus in Strassbourg in 1944 were asked by Skorzeny to pay back their loans. Both Thyssen and Krupp did so, as presumably did others. To give the reader an idea of the sums collected by Skorzeny, Eva Peron alone had an estimated $800 million dollars in bank deposits, in 1945, and 4,600 carats of diamonds and other precious stones, 90 kilograms of platinum and 2,500 kilograms of gold.
With these Moines, the SS purchased huge tracts of land in South America and elsewhere, and large corporations were established in which “research which (sic) had begun in Germany could be carried through.” These “secure areas” or Sperrgebiete often saw the establishment of whole towns, airfields, highways and all the amenities of civilized German life. Local security was, of course, provided by the SS or “contract labor” from the host country. The most famous of these colonies, perhaps, is the Colona Dignidad in (Me, a “colony” notorious for the disappearances of the too inquisitive reporter, and implicated in the US overthrow of the Chilean Marxist government of Salvadore Allende in the early 1970s and the training of Chilean dictator Pinochet’s DINA “interrogators.” And of course, these secure areas in the Andes and other remote South American locations are also reputed to be the sites of secret Nazi laboratories continuing the research on “flying saucers” and other wartime Nazi black projects.
Whatever one may think of the truthfulness of the last allegation, it is true – and generally well known – that such colonies of Nazis did and still do exist in South America, with connections to the South American underworld and governments that one can only imagine. But there is good reason not to dismiss even t he “continued research” allegation too quickly, for it conforms to a well-known pattern of secret post-war West German corporate and military research on the continent on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Africa.
In the final months of his administration, President Jimmy Carter accused South Africa’s apartheid government of having tested an atom bomb in the Indian Ocean. German and American newspaper reporters quickly uncovered – in spite of Praetoria’s denials – a tapestry of corporations and dummy corporations that clearly led back to West Germany’s Bundeswehr, and to a multitude of personnel and military officers with ties to the Third Reich. The goal was clear: The Federal Republic was supplying massive technological assistance to South Africa (and to Israel as it turned out) in the areas of uranium enrichment and plutonium transmutation via centrifuges and other processes, in return for which uranium-rich South Africa bartered the raw atomic fuel itself. Germany could thus fulfill its postwar treaty obligations by not developing or deploying atomic, biological, or chemical weapons on German soil, while at the same time using South Africa to construct and test a bomb of essentially German design. If this sounds familiar, it is, for after World War One, Germany sidestepped the Versailles treaty – which forbade the Germans possession of tanks, aircraft, and heavy artillery beyond a certain caliber – by concluding a secret protocol in the Rapallo treaty with the other pariah of the day, the Soviet Union. Thus, as early as 1922, German officers were training in tank warfare in the Soviet Union with their Russian counterparts, among them the future Colonel-General Guderian who would lead the Second Panzer Army during Operation Barbarossa to the very gates of Moscow. In yet another important study challenging the standard assumptions of the origin and transmission vector of the human AIDS virus and the history of the discovery of HIV, Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz makes a solid case for its genesis within secret American biological warfare research at Fort Detrick, Maryland. But there is more to Horowitz’s investigations than this, for there is a German connection lurking deep in the background, and once again, it goes back to Bormann and presages the 1944 Rotes Haus meeting in Strasbourg:
In the Spring of 1944, Merck and Company, Inc. received a large cash infusion from Martin Bormann…. This at the time Merck’s president, George W. Merck, was advising President Roosevelt, and initiating strategies, as America’s biological weapons industry director. According to CBS News correspondent Paul Manning, the lion’s share of the Nazi gold went to 750 corporations, largely including Merck, to secure a virtual monopoly over the world’s chemical and pharmaceutical industries. This was done not only for Germany’s economic recovery, but to assure the rise of “The Fourth Reich.’
Merck, then, along with Rockefeller partner I.G. Farben, received huge sums of money from the Nazi war chest to actualize Hitler’s proclaimed ‘vision of a thousand-year Third Reich (and) world empire. This was outlined with clarity in a document called ‘Neuordnung,’ or ‘New Order,’ that was accompanied by a letter of transmittal to the (Bormann led) Ministry of Economics. ‘Bury your treasure,’ Hitler advised Bormann, ‘for you will need it to begin a Fourth Reich.’
Bormann apparently ignored his Fuhrer, and in a momentary burst of Christianity, heeded Christ by not burying his treasure, but investing and increasing it.
In any case, as late as 1988, as the Soviet Union was nearing its collapse, Russian premier Mikhail Gorbachev appeared to be trying to point a finger of blame for the AIDS epidemic in Africa in Germany’s direction. Via Russian diplomatic channels and contacts in the former Belgian Congo, now Zaire, the Russian government had learned of a Zairean physician who had formerly worked for the West German OTRAG corporation, or Orbital Transport and Missiles, AG. This doctor’s OTRAG laboratory had been tasked with isolating viruses from the African green monkey that were capable of such rapid reproduction that it could destabilize the human immune system. The laboratory’s assignment was to develop a mutant strain “that would be a human killer,” since the green monkey variety was harmless to humans.
But it is really the OTRAG establishment in Zaire that is itself of the greatest interest, for it fits the pattern of postwar SS relationships with South American governments and false from corporations. OTRAG was granted a lease by the Mobutu government to 29,000 square miles of Zaire, a lease that gave OTRAG “complete sovereignty and control over the area.” What was the purpose of this land? Ostensibly, it was to develop and test there cheap satellite launch capability for private industry, an application with obvious military overtones. In other words, what one has with the OTRAG-Zaire enclave is something like an Area 51, but owned by a private corporation. The enclave is nothing less than a testing facility for missiles and laboratories for biological, and presumably other types of weapons development. According to the German Information Service of South Africa, OTRAG executives included former Nazis, some from the wartime V2 rocket project. This in itself should give one pause, for it indicates that German rocket research was continued, not just by former Nazis working for Von Braun’s NASA in the USA, or building massive boosters for Korolev in the Soviet Union, but also for West Germany itself! Moreover, OTRAG’s shares were subsidized by the West German government, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s denials notwithstanding. Finally, in what is a clear indication that OTRAG’s purpose and goals were not simply to contrive cheap satellite launch capability, Penthouse magazine ran an expose of the German company, disclosing its ties to the Dornier and Messerschmitt-Belkow-Blohm aerospace and armaments firms which were quietly developing and testing German cruise missiles on OTRAG’s Zaire range, with the aid of cruise missile technology provided to them by the American Boeing Corporation. Dornier and Messerschmitt were, of course, clearly tied to the Third Reich’s war machine and had deep ties to its black projects.