Following the end of World War II, many members of the Third Reich fled Germany, and relocated to Argentina this had all been planned as it became more and more clear that the Nazi Regime would not be successful. The ultimate plan was to lay low for a while, and then form a new Third Reich, or more likely the Fourth Reich. The main figures of the Third Reich were given new identities and smuggled out as soon as they could. It is unknown just exactly how many made it out, but files discovered in Argentina reveal the names of 12,000 Nazis who lived there in the 1930s, many of whom had Swiss bank accounts.
The Jewish people were understandably furious at not only the atrocities that their people had been subjected to, but the fact that with the escape, the fact is that many of the Nazi criminals would never answer for what they did, much less be punished for those atrocities. Nevertheless, the initial intent was to seek justice.
So, on December 13, 1949, Mossad was established. It later became the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations. While Mossad has many uses today, it was primarily designed to go out and get the war criminals who were in hiding in Argentina and other parts of South America, where there was no extradition. Mossad planned to go in without authorization, kidnap the Nazi war criminals, and take them to Israel to stand trial.
Some people may assume that Israel’s vaunted Mossad intelligence service devoted a great deal of energy to hunting for Nazis to seek revenge for the Holocaust. That was not the case. The desire to bring the murderers of Jews to justice was not deemed as important to Israel’s leaders in the early years of statehood as more pressing issues directly effecting the nation’s security. One of those issues, was preventing Nazis who went to Egypt from aiding in Nasser’s development of missile technology.
There were a few of the war criminals that the Mossad brought to Justice. One well known criminal was Adolf Eichmann, the man who engineered the Final Solution. His “contribution” to the atrocity that was the Holocaust was one of the most heinous. In 1960, Mossad tracked Eighmann to his home in Argentina, kidnapped him, and brought him to trial in Israel. He was convicted of war crimes and was actually the only person ever sentenced to death in Israel. The Argentinian government was furious because their no extradition policy was violated by Mossad. The immediately demanded that Israel return Eichmann, and then asked for reparations for Eichmann’s seizure by Mossad agents in Buenos Aires. Nevertheless, on August 2, 1969 the dispute was resolved by Israel keeping Eichmann, but acknowledging that Argentina’s fundamental rights had been infringed upon. No further repercussions were given.