Pic from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Without a doubt, World War II is my favorite era of history.
That much is probably obvious if you've been reading my blog for long.
That may seem atrocious on the surface, what with the egregious loss of human life. While it is a showcase of "man's inhumanity to man," it also has instances of great valor and sacrifice. At age nine I came across the How and Why Wonder Book of World War II. Reading that combined with the popular fiction that I consumed at the time (Captain America's origin, et. al.) and the era was pretty much cemented in my head. I still enjoy it as both a vast canvas with which to place written characters and as a milieu of intrigue and mystery.
Among such mysteries are just how many Nazis escaped unscathed as Berlin fell. While there are genuine cases of these men being tracked down and killed or apprehended in South America, other theories range from the sublime (they escaped to Antarctica and attempted a Fourth Reich) to the ridiculous (they made it to the Moon with Hitler's brain in a jar.)
Now there is a book that asserts that not only did Hitler escape Berlin in those final days of his Reich, but he lived to the ripe old age of 95.
Author Simoni Renee Guerreiro Dias claims that Hitler made his way from Germany to Argentina and then to Paraguay, until ultimately settling in Brazil. He lived under the pseudonym "Adolf Leipzig" but residents of the area are said to have referred to him as merely "the Old German." And get this: to further disguise himself, Hitler got himself a black girlfriend, a young woman by the name of Cutinga. Salacious! Perhaps I'm boring, but that isn't as interesting to me as wondering what happened to Eva Braun. Did he leave her back in the bunker? Did she die later on before he moved to Brazil? Did she dump his ass and move on, her silence on his whereabouts as part of the divorce settlement? The book may address such things but the article linked above doesn't.
So how did the murderer of millions live out his final days? Bingo? Shuffleboard? Nothing so banal according to this new text. Hitler became engrossed with hunting for buried treasure via a map given to him by his friends in...oh boy...the Vatican. I'm not touching that one.
If you're anything like me and I know I am, right now you're asking "where's the evidence for any of this?" Well one piece that the journalism student who wrote this book offers is that she found a grainy photograph of the "Old German" (see the photo at the link) and proceeded to Photoshop on a mini moustache. She was astounded by the results.
Well there you go, then.
As one might imagine, actual historians have been quick to condemn this book. They cite the obvious lack of substantive evidence and place it on the pile of other fantastic "Hitler got away" theories. Can't say that I blame them.
Let's suspend disbelief with steel cables and say that this author is correct. Hitler escaped and lived in Brazil until he died in 1984. It's not like he was able to do much after his escape. Granted he would have escaped justice for his heinous acts and that alone is a travesty. By the same token however, he was forced to live into his feeble years, watching as men like Rev. Martin Luther King Jr and women like Rosa Parks progressively sweep away his ideologies and see the world as a whole relegate Nazism to the garbage dump of history.
It couldn't have been fun for such an egomaniac.
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