THE OFFICERS of the SS, Hitler’s feared paramilitary unit, were the most notorious war criminals of WWII. Some were brought to justice after the war, but many were able to escape from Germany. A massive secret organization known as Odessa was reportedly formed to help them flee and rebuild a new Reich that would again rise to power.
MysteryQuest investigates by following the path of feared Nazis from Germany, to Austria, and Italy. The team will also travel to Paraguay where many of the Nazis reportedly hid while plotting their new rise.
Odessa, an abbreviation of Organisation Der Ehemaligen Ss-angehörigen, (German: “Organization of Former SS Members”), was a clandestine escape organization of the SS underground, founded probably in early 1947 in Germany.
A large organizational network was set up to help former SS and Gestapo members and other high Nazi functionaries to avoid arrest, to acquire legal aid if arrested, to escape from prison, or to be smuggled out of the country. The main escape routes were through Austria and Italy, then to Franco’s Spain, to Arab countries of the Middle East, and to South America, especially Argentina and Paraguay, then under the right-wing regimes of Juan Perón and Alfredo Stroessner. The war criminal Adolf Eichmann was apparently aided by Odessa in traveling to the Middle East and then to South America in the immediate postwar years.
Odessa ceased to exist about 1952 and was replaced by an organization called Kameradenwerke (“Comrade Workshop”), which over the following decades sought to aid former Nazis overseas in avoiding capture and maintaining concealment. Whereas Odessa’s work was centred in Germany, Kameradenwerke’s operations were conducted in foreign lands, especially where governments were sympathetic to ultra-right-wing causes, as in Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile.
At Midnight on April 27th 1945 Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, and her brother in-law SS General Hermann Fegelein slipped away from the hell of the Führerbunker through a secret tunnel in Hitler’s personal quarters in the devastated Reich Chancellory to the Berlin Underground. They were replaced by doubles chosen by Reichsfuhrer Martin Bormann and his close associate SS-General Heinrich “Gestapo” Mueller. After five years of research, journalist, writer and film director Gerrard Williams, along with Military Historian Simon Dunstan, have finally pieced together the real story of the death of Adolf Hitler.