Real Odessa: How Peron Brought the Nazi War Criminals to Argentina Paperback – 1 Jan 2003
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'Further research in the Public Record Office, done since the hardback, leads to his conclusion that Pope Pius XII was personally involved -- Sunday Telegraph
'Goni has filled in a missing chapter in the story of how the dying Third Reich threw its living tentacles around the world. -- The Irish Times
'We now have the full scandalous picture...Goni maintains his authorial composure in the face of some quite nauseating details' -- Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
Goni has had to dig deep in files so filthy he sometimes needed gloves and a facemask. -- Scotland On Sunday
Goni has powerfully exposed the deceits and conniving, and pierced what he calls the "wall of silence" -- Culture (Supplement to The Sunday Times)
About the Author
Uki Goni was born in 1953 and educated in Argentina and in Dublin where his father was Argentine ambassador from 1968-75. He is a regular contributor to the Buenos Aires Herald, Time magazine, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. He lives in Buenos Aires.
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Top customer reviews
Well researched, Full of interesting facts but confusing to read as changes year & subject frequently.
I had hoped to find some more information on this in Goñi's book but there was nothing at all. In fact, his account of how thousands of Nazis and collaborators from occupied countries found a welcome in Argentina is a dull read and consists of descriptions of how bureaucratic procedures were bent or broken to allow these individuals to get out of Europe and across to South America. I quickly grew impatient with the long list of accounts of Nazis getting exit or entry visas by bribing corrupt policemen or diplomats.
As the author is an Argentinean, the reader might have expected some insight into why his country and its dictator, Juan Peron, was so welcoming but we don't get it. Was it because Argentina was Catholic with close links to the Vatican? Was it because Argentina had a large influential population of German descent? Was it because Peron was a fanatic anti-Semite? Or was the whole thing basically done for money?
The author raises this final point and highlights how bribery was involved at every step and even Jews were admitted to Argentina after paying bribes. He should have followed these points up instead of constantly trying to persuade the reader of the importance of files he claims to have found during six years researching the book.
Turning dusty old files into an interesting read requires more talent than Mr. Goñi has.
Apart from Eichmann who due largely to his own personal failings was caught and smuggled back to Israel for trial, the later identification by Goni when acting as a journalist for the Sunday Times of the various trails that have long existed but have been ignored seems one of those stories that should by its originality have been a licence to print money! Alongside the history of the Nazi war criminals who fled a defeated Germany through a European network and settled in this part of Latin America, the depicting of the wider political scene of why Argentina and the post WWII politics of that country as it veered between outright military juntas and dictatorships versus being one of the most successful Latin American economies, cries out for a well written analysis in the English language.
Sadly, this book is not it though it covers in extreme detail many of the base points mentioned. The reasons for this are a very pedestrian writing style where like a policeman the author pieces together many events and meetings like a big evolving jigsaw puzzle. Sadly despite being a journalist he never seems able to rise above the detail and provide the bigger global and national picture analysis in a way that an European reader can easily assimilate. As a result I have ended up reading this book piecemeal as it just does not keep your interest, fascinating though a lot of the historical detail is. One is left wondering whether an non-Argentinian writer is finally needed to deliver the comprehensive over view (both European and Argentinian aspects) that this long overlooked and hidden subject requires?
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