Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker April 30, 1945, but ever since, rumors have persisted that he wasn’t really dead and had in fact fled Germany to avoid being captured by the Allied forces as Soviet troops took the city.
The FBI looked into information that claimed Hitler had escaped to Argentina on a submarine and U-boat five months after he was said to have died.
The declassified files include several letters between former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and his staff. The documents start from September 21, 1945, two weeks after Japan surrendered following the US dropping two atomic bombs on the country.
The theory was that Hitler was “hiding out in the foothills of the Andes” after arriving in Argentina with around 50 fellow Nazi leaders and their families. Hitler had “shaved off his mustache” and was believed to have been in bad health upon arriving, with asthma and ulcers, the documents read.
The source told the FBI that six Argentine officials were said to have helped shelter him.
A document from June 5, 1947 details reports that a woman suspected to be Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, was seen at a hotel in Casino. A man with similar characteristics to Hitler was also seen, along with an older man who the source suspected could be wearing make-up to appear older.
After investigating the story, the FBI was forced to conclude that there was “a lack of sufficient information to support the story,” and said that it was “impossible to continue efforts to locate Hitler with the sparse information obtained to date.”
While theories that Hitler managed to escape to Argentina have never been substantiated, the country did harbor some senior Nazis who fled the Third Reich after the war, including SS chief Adolf Eichmann.
More about: Hitler