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SHARKHUNTERS International

Expedition in the Land of the Gaucho

Day 4 of this expedition...........

We continue to form a foundation for our further research as we visit even more interesting places in Buenos Aires.  Come along with us.

There are not so many photos today as we looked mostly at factories where Eichmann worked.  He first worked at FV Manufacturing where they make toilet accessories.  After this he worked at Orbis where they make water heaters.  The Orbis factory was owned by Roberto Mertig, a good friend of Juan Peron.  We also visited the Mercedes Benz factory far outside town that required Eichmann to ride the bus three hours each way.  Looking at factories is not all that critical for photographs here.

If memory serves me correctly, our research in past years indicated that Kplt. Heinz Schaeffer, Skipper of U-977 that surrendered at Mar del la Platte three months after the war ended, was an executive here at Mercedes Benz.

 


Our late afternoon stop was to film the house where Croatian strongman Ante Pavelic lived for years after the war.  He urged his followers to keep fighting even after Germany had surrendered.  When he came to Argentina, he had few friends and very little money so he worked as a bricklayer but then a friend who was also close with Juan and Evita Peron introduced him and his fortunes took off.  He soon owned a large construction company and build many of the impressive buildings in downtown Buenos Aires.

 

Pavelic's Passport
     

 



Left - Pavelic the bricklayer
Above  and both below - a family man

     

 


Pavelic moved through Europe on a Peruvian passport that identified him as the Roman Catholic priest Father Pedro Gonner.  He travelled through Venice and Florence and eventually into Rome where he lived in the Vatican.  While living in the Vatican he organized the Croatian State Committee but Communist dictator Tito confronted the Vatican, claiming that they were helping Pavelic to rebuild Nazism.  Pavelic at that time was living in Castel Gandolfo, the Papal summer residence.  He then hid in a Jesuit house near Naples and Father Krunoslav Draganovic helped him obtain a Red Cross passport with the new identity of Pale Aranios, a Hungarian.  Draganovic conspired with the authorities to turn Pavelic over to them for the reward, but Pavelic got wind of the plot and escaped, riding the Italian ship SESTRIERE to Buenos Aires.

Over the time he was in Argentina, Pavelis was involved in Croatian politics and helped form the Croatian Government in Exile.

10 April 1957 was the 16th anniversary of the founding of the Independant State of Croatia.  It was also the day that Blagoje Jovovic, an agent of the Yugoslavian Secret Police, waited for Pavelic to get off the bus at the corner by his house.  Jovovic shot Pavelic twice in the back, but the wounds were not fatal.  Peron fell out of power while he was recovering from his wounds and Argentina was going to deport him but he escaped to Spain where he died two years later.

 

Above is the marker on the corner where Jovovic shot Pavelic in the back.

There is much more to the story of Pavelic but that is covered in our book.  As we were photographing the house, the lady who lives there now (Monika) came out to ask what we were doing.  I introduced myself and told her that I was researching the men who came to Argentina from the Third Reich and especially Adolf Hitler.  She looked a bit surprised, and said;
"Looking for Hitler?  Everyone knows he lived out his life in Argentina."

She and her attorney husband now own the house, and she said that Pavelic held lavish parties and dances in the house and that the old lady across the street knew Pavelic very well so along with Monika, we crossed the street.  The old lady was sitting by her open window and Monika introduced us and said that we would like to talk about Pavelic.  The old lady said she would be happy to talk with us - but her daughter slammed the window.  Guess that means the interview is finished.......

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