As the war was rapidly coming to a close with disastrous results for Germany, work began rapidly on the estate called Inalco far up a finger of Lake Nahuel Huapi. This estate was built in 1942 for a German ‘entrepreneur’ then to Jorge Antonio, Perón’s frontman for German companies but in reality it was to be the home of Adolf Hitler. The only access to Inalco was by water, usually by boat but occasionally by float plane. To reach the estate from one direction, it was necessary to pass immediately off this watchtower as we see in this photo shot in 2008 from our boat passing under the tower. There were sleeping quarters and cooking facilities for a dozen or so men. Any boat that passed this tower was sure to be spotted and quickly reported to the security forces and definitely to Inalco.
If a boat would approach from the other direction, a bunker on a cliff overlooking that part of the lake would spot it and again, would report the presence to the security forces and to Inalco. The bunker is nothing but rubble now, being dynamited as ‘an Army exercise’ in the early 1960’s. Author Harry Cooper explores this bunker that housed a dozen or so men with bunk and cooking facilities and furnished security from that end of the lake.
The Remote and Hidden Estate Inalco Hitler’s Home for Many Years?
You have seen photos of the main house and the boat house in the preceding chapter ‘Half buried Hatreds’ but there were guest houses as well as support and servant’s quarters on the grounds. There are many more photos to be seen on our website at www.sharkhunters.com.
When our small group came in 2009, we used two small cabin cruisers to get to the now deserted estate. As we walked across the grass, one of the boat captains began goose-stepping with his right arm high in the air. When asked what he was doing, he said he knew who had lived here.
When asked how he knew, he said that his father was the caretaker here in the 1950’s and the captain grew up here. He smiled again and set off again with his right arm in the air, goose stepping across the grass.
Why This Little Town – and Who Else?
Kurt Tank, the brilliant aeronautical engineer who designed the Fw-190 fighter plane, escaped Germany via Norway to Argentina where he designed fighter planes for Argentina. He lived out his years in Bariloche.
SS Hauptsturmführer ERICH PRIEBKE (7598-2011) made it to Bariloche shortly after the war where he became Headmaster of the German School in that town. Even today, there is a large German School and a large German Cultural Center. PRIEBKE was brought back to Europe where he stood trial and was convicted. He served a life sentence under house arrest in Rome.
These men and others came to this tiny town, seemingly like a transplanted Bavarian village, at the foot of the Andes. They came because there was a large community of similar people from the Reich, because there was good security for them by their own forces, because it was so remote and hidden that no one would find them much less even look for them. And above all, this was like their beautiful Bavaria except for the reversal of the seasons.
Hundreds of former SS Officers lived in and around this little village of San Carlos di Bariloche and even some just over the border into Chile and all a short distance from Hitler’s estate and other places of importance.
A very short distance out of Bariloche stands this magnificent resort named Llao-Llao, built in 1938 with German money and reportedly the site of many celebrations by people of the former 3rd Reich, especially on 20 April, the birthday of Adolf Hitler.
And they had a guardian angel – Juan Domingo Perón!
Ike to Llao — Llao
The above photo shows U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower on a visit to Llao-Llao in 1960. The original of this photograph hangs in the lobby of Llao-Llao and we shot it from that.
One can only wonder what was the real reason an American President was at a resort so far from……..from anything shortly after the end of the war.
The German Nuclear Research Laboratory
The population of scientists, weapons makers, SS officers, high ranking men of the Party etc. quickly swelled the population of Bariloche in the months immediately following the end of the war – about the same time that Perón came to power. They came along what the Allies called ‘the Ratline’ out of Europe either by air to Brazil at the ‘bulge of Brazil’ at the area of Natal or more commonly by submarine, sailing ship, tramp steamer to the Golfo San Mathias while some came directly into Buenos Aires on board Italian cruise ships.
Perón was eager to help these men escape; principally for two reasons. First of course was the vast sums of money they brought with them but the second reason was more important – nuclear power! Nuclear scientist Dr. Ronald Richter (photo right with some of his scientific team) was one of Germany’s top nuclear scientists, now all but forgotten to history, and he came with his team to Bariloche to build their nuclear research laboratory complex on Heumel Island in the lake. The remains of the laboratory buildings and the reactor itself are there today as seen in these photos taken in 2008.
It was reported that Dr. Richter’s scientists achieved a cold fusion reaction that lasted a short few moments but it was supposed to remain a secret operation. Juan Perón however, wanted to make a spectacle and announced that Argentina was the first Latin American nation to be an atomic power. According to the book “Nazi International” by Dr. JOSEPH FARRELL (7353-2008), the shadowy figures behind the Reich in Argentina caused Richter to sabotage the tests conducted by an Argentine scientist who studied the laboratory and concluded there was no cold fusion – thanks to the sabotaged tests.