DISTINGUISHED SPEAKER SERIES: "NAZIS ON THE RUN"
Topic: History and Current Issues
Region: North County Coastal
After World War II, rumors circulated that a secret organization named "Odessa" had smuggled Nazi war criminals out of Europe, a rumor further fueled by the wildly popular novel The Odessa File. But "Odessa" was nothing more than a myth. Now, in Nazis on the Run, historian Gerald Steinacher provides the true story of how the Nazis escaped their fate.
Steinacher not only reveals how Nazi war criminals escaped from justice at the end of the Second World War, fleeing through the Tyrolean Alps to Italian seaports, but he also highlights the key roles played by the Red Cross, the Vatican, and the Secret Services of the major powers. The book takes a hard look at the International Committee of the Red Cross, proving that identification papers issued by the Red Cross made it possible for thousands of Nazis, war criminals, and collaborators--including Adolf Eichmann and Josef Mengale--to slip through the hands of justice and to find refuge in North and South America, Spain, and the Near East. Steinacher underscores the importance of the South Tyrol as a "ratline" from Germany to Italy and also reveals that many figures in the Catholic Church--sometimes knowingly, other times unwittingly--were involved in large-scale Nazi smuggling, often driven by the fear of an imminent communist takeover of Italy. Finally, the book documents how the Counter Intelligence Corps and later the CIA recruited former SS men to advise U.S. intelligence agencies and smuggled them out of Soviet-occupied areas of Austria and Eastern Europe into Italy and on to South America.
Based on extensive research in newly opened archives, Nazis on the Run is the first book to provide a complete picture of this little-known story of justice denied.
Days: Monday Time: 7:00 PM May 14, 2012
Tuition: Ticket prices:$12/JCC Members; $14/Non-members
Site: Carlsbad Dove Library
1775 Dove Lane
Carlsbad, CA 92011
For more information: tickets.lfjcc.org/
Telephone: (858) 362-1348
Special Notes: This lecture is part of the 2011-2012 Distinguished Speaker Series, presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture.
Lead by: Gerald Steinacher, University of Nebraska
Gerald Steinacher is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was a Joseph A. Schumpeter Research Fellow at Harvard University during 2010-2011 and in 2009 a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He lectured at the Universities of Innsbruck (Austria), Luzern (Switzerland) and Munich (Germany). In 2006 he was a Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. From 2000 to 2011 he worked as historian at the State Archives of Bolzano in Northern Italy.
Prof. Steinacher studied at the Universities of Innsbruck, Trento (Italy) and New Orleans and received his PhD in 1999. He is the author of numerous publications on German, Austrian and Italian twentieth-century history, with main focus on Italian Fascism, National Socialism, the Holocaust and intelligence history.