BUENOS AIRES: Argentine police have seized more than 200 Nazi publications and book covers and arrested the owner of a printing press run out of a home in suburban Buenos Aires, authorities said Wednesday.
After two years of investigations, police raided the home in San Isidro, where they found publications bearing swastikas and markings of the SS paramilitary group which played a key role in enforcing Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler’s ideologies.
“We are stupefied by the amount of material. It is historic. This is a true printing press for the dissemination and sale of Nazi symbols, books, and indoctrination,” police chief Juan Carlos Hernandez told a press conference.
He said the “high-quality material” had been openly sold on e-commerce websites “with a high level of purchases and inquiries.”
“We do not rule out that it is the tip of an iceberg. For now, we have cut the distribution lines, but the law also punishes those who consume” such material.
Hernandez explained that even exhibiting Nazi symbols was against Argentine laws because it “justifies, vindicates and even venerates the atrocities committed by the Nazi national socialist regime against the Jewish community.”
After World War II, Argentina became a haven for Nazis, many of whom fled there with the blessing of president Juan Peron, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center.
They included top war criminals such as Adolf Eichmann – considered a key architect of Hitler’s plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews – who was captured in Buenos Aires in 1960.
The country is also home to Latin America’s largest Jewish population, which has suffered attacks such as the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre that killed 85 people and left 300 injured.
It came just two years after the Israeli embassy was bombed, killing 29 and wounding 200.