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The Ratlines

Adolf Eichmann, “the architect of the Holocaust,” escaped from Europe after World War II and remained hidden for 15 years before being captured. Germany holds a cache of sealed files detailing this history and is fighting to keep it secret despite critics’ objections. Some observers believe the documents would shed embarrassing additional light on German-Vatican collusion on the “ratlines,” an already proven postwar operation to protect Nazi leaders. Following are a few excerpts from the 1992 book Unholy Trinity, written by Mark Aarons and John Loftus, describing this important chapter in German-Vatican history.
 

It is absurd to believe that 30,000 fugitive Nazis escaped to South America on the few U-Boats remaining at the end of the war, or that they all made their own travel arrangements. Modern popular culture has presented the escape of the Nazis in an adventurous, almost romantic light. The most popular Nazi smugglers are odessa and Die Spinne, although other mysterious groups are also mentioned from time to time. But in the main these stories owe more to the fertile imagination of scriptwriters and novelists than to historical research and accuracy.

The truth is much more ordinary, almost mundane. It is all the more shocking as a result. For whatever successes odessa achieved, they were mere amateurs at Nazi-smuggling when compared with the Vatican. Draganovic’s Ratline [the name given to the Vatican’s smuggling operation] was truly professional, ensuring that many guilty war criminals reached safe havens. Often they did not end up in the remote jungles of South America, but settled instead in Britain, Canada, Australia and the United States. …

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