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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2004
I have to admit, when I first saw this book, I HAD to buy it because it covers an area which is generally under-researched in Western literature. It skilly describes the escape route for many Nazis and their non-German collaborators after WW2. It is interesting to note how 100's escaped to Juan Peron's pro-Nazi Argentina, including members of the Belgian Rexist Party, French Vichy Regime and Croatian Ustashi.
It also demonstrates Pope Pius XII's connection to the Nazi escape routes, to a great degree organised by Catholic clergymen, such as Father Krunoslav Draganovic and Father Alois Hudal. Those who constantly claim that the highest elements of the Catholic Church weren't anti-Semitic and didn't support the Nazis are kidding themselves and are obviously refusing to acknowledge the truth, even when it slaps them in the face.
There is extensive evidence in Goni's book but also other books, such as Vladimir Dedijer's "Yugoslav Auschwitz", clearly demonstrating that members of the Croatian Ustashi were personally blessed by Pius himself in 1941 and unofficially supported the Ustashi's genocide of Serbs, Jews and Romanies in the Independent State of Croatia. So much for Catholic "morality" and "values".
I strongly recommend this book and the only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because there are a FEW points in the book where it becomes slightly tedious.
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The whole issue of leading Nazis fleeing to South America and Argentina in particular at the end of WWII given the long known admiration the Peronist leadership had for Hitler and the Nazis seems a ready made amazing latter day discovery and revelation story picked up on many years after the end of that war. Fiction such as Frederick Forsyth's The Odessa File had simply inferred the possibility this had all happened - what was missing was the hard evidence.

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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on 24 March 2016
Great book - a real eye opener. I knew of the link between Argentina and the Nazis but not to the extent of this book. How could so many people help those murdering savages? Millions died at the hands of these criminals.
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on 1 February 2013
This should be required reading for everyone in Argentina, including the decendents from the Nazis! A good insight into the 'quality' of president that unfortunate country was, and is, destined to have. It will never prosper while Peronism rules, or even exists. 'We cry for you Argentina'!!
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on 17 May 2013
This is one for anybody with an interest in this subject matter. Detailed and original writing with detailed facts - can be a little hard going in places otherwise I would have awarded 5 stars.
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on 3 April 2016
Very disappointing, the title is misleading. If I had browsed through this book in a book shop, I would not have bought it.
Well researched, Full of interesting facts but confusing to read as changes year & subject frequently.
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on 2 April 2010
I decided to read this after it was described as an "excellent book" and referred to as a source in the Philip Kerr novel "A Quiet Flame" featuring his quirky German policeman hero Bernie Gunther. The climax of Kerr's novel was the "discovery" of a concentration camp in Argentina where Jews had been murdered. Although it was presented as fiction Kerr said rumours had existed during the War of a concentration camp for Jews in Argentina's remote forests.

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.
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VINE VOICEon 3 May 2010
I found this book a more informative book and a better read than 'Hunting Evil' by Guy Walters. Both cover the subject from different angles but the end product is the same.

But as they say, each to their own.
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on 26 July 2010
A very interesting book which touches on the Nazi`s who have lived the last 50 years in freedom within South America.
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on 25 March 2014
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