Chilean police are declassifying numerous files on Nazi spy plots and their supporters in the country during World War Two.
The files revealed a special police unit called Department 50, which was created in 1941 by the Chilean government to track Nazi groups and thwart their activities.Department 50 broke up two
Nazi spy rings where they seized weapons, thousands of dollars, and discovered plots to bomb mines in northern Chile. They uncovered a plot to destroy the Panama Canal, which could have changed “the history of the world,” said Hector Espinoza, the director of Chile’s investigations police.
The files also revealed Nazi spies and supporters were able to intercept Chilean Navy radio communications, encrypt the messages and send them back to the Third Reich. Furthermore, Department 50 learned children of German descent in Chile were undergoing paramilitary training.
During World War Two there was significant support in Chile and Argentina for the Axis powers, and many Nazi officials fled to these countries after the war.
“Until yesterday, this was a state secret,” said lawmaker Gabriel Silber. He continued on to say, “Maybe, from today, we are going to recognize an uncomfortable truth that unfortunately some political and business figures in Chile supported the Nazis.”