April 21, 2006

The opening of German archives may shed light on the destiny of Argentines citizens exterminated during the Holocaust.

On April 18th, 2006 Germany has agreed to open the Nazi archives on 17 millions of Jews and forced workers, who were persecuted and ill-treated by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust.

Ms Brigitte Zypries, Justice Minister, pointed out that Germany will work together with USA to ensure the opening of the archives, which are stored at Bad Arolsen, in order to allow historians and survivors to have access to 30/50 millions of documents. Up to this moment, Germany has denied the access to such documents, alleging private considerations.

This news may also be of interest to Argentina, since this country suffered the loss of dozens of its citizens killed in Nazi extermination camps.

According to the historian Haim Avni in his book ”Argentina and the Jews”, Germany offered Argentina ”the only neutral and pro-Axis Country in the American Continent”, to repatriate its Jewish citizens living in France, Holland, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Germany and other territories controlled by the Reich.

Avni asked: ”Why Argentina did not take advantage of such considerations from Germany?”, ”Why the argentine government refrained from rescuing Argentine Jews when it was already clear that it was a death or live question?”.

Very little is known about the destination of these Argentine citizens, although it is assumed that most of them were exterminated. The announced opening of Bad Arolsen archives may shed light on the identities and destinations of the killed Argentines.

Translation: Cristina Méndez