- Declassified CIA report details claims that Hitler lived in Colombia in the 1950s
- Phillip Citroen, a former SS officer, told agents the dictator was living in the town of Tunja, 85 miles north of Bogota, among a group of former Nazis in 1954
- Citroen said the men called him The Fuhrer, gave him Nazi salutes and ‘afforded him storm-trooper adulation’
- He even provided a photograph showing a man with a strong likeness of Hitler
The CIA was told about a man claiming to be Adolf Hitler who lived in Colombia among a community of ex-Nazis during the Fifties, declassified documents reveal.
Agents did not take the claim made by a former SS soldier seriously, however the station chief in Caracas did forward the claims to superiors complete with a photo.
The files show Phillip Citroen approached agents in 1954 to say he had met a man claiming to be Hitler and living in the town of Tunja, north of Bogota.
His claims have resurfaced now after after Colombian journalist Jose Cardenas tweeted the files from the CIA archive that were declassified in the Nineties.
Phillip Citroen (left), a former SS soldier, went to CIA agents in 1954 to say that he had seen a man claiming to be Adolf Hitler (right) alive and living in Colombia
Citroen said ‘Hitler’ was living in a community of ex-Nazis in the town of Tunja, near Bogota, under the name Adolf Schuttlemayer
Citroen claims to have visited the town while working for a railroad company where he was introduced to a man ‘who strongly resembled and claimed to be Hitler’.
The document says: ‘Citroen claimed to have met this individual at a place called ‘Residencies Coloniales’ which is, according to the source, overly populated with former German Nazis.
‘According to Citroen, the Germans residing in Tunja follow this alleged Adolf Hitler with an idolatry of the Nazi past, addressing him as Elder Fuhrer and affording him the Nazi Salute and storm-trooper adulation.’
Citroen even showed agents a photograph of himself sitting next to a man that bears a strong resemblance to the Nazi dictator in an attempt to prove his story.
Agents wrote the story into an informal memo, the documents show, but largely dismissed it as a fanciful rumor.
But in 1955 a second man, identified only by his code name of Cimelody-3, approached agents with the same story, which he said Citroen related to his friend.
Cimelody said Citroen, who by that time was living in Venezuela, had claimed to be in contact with ‘Hitler’ around once a month on his regular visits to Colombia while working for the KNSM Royal Dutch Shipping Company.
Citroen said the former Nazis called the man The Fuhrer, offered him Nazi salutes, and ‘afforded him storm-trooper adulation’
Thousands of Nazis fled Europe for South America after the Third Reich collapsed, mostly to Argentina, though some were found living in Colombia. Pictured is the town of Tunja, where the man claiming to be Hitler was living
Cimelody also provided agents with a photograph purporting to show Citroen with Hitler, who was named on the back of the image as Adolf Schuttlemayer.
According to Cimelody, Adolf left Colombia in January 1955 for Argentina, though he does not say exactly where.
After speaking with Cimelody, agents decided to write the information into a formal report which was sent to their superiors ‘as of possible interest’.
However, the report was accompanied by another letter which says: ‘It is felt that enormous efforts could be expended on this matter with remote possibilities of establishing anything concrete.
‘Therefore, we suggest that this matter be dropped.’
Thousands of Nazis are believed to have fled to South America after the collapse of the Third Reich, including Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s Angel of Death, and Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust.
The routes they took became known as ‘ratlines’, which generally led to either Spain or Italy, where prominent figures were able to smuggle them to South America.
Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia are known to have housed former members of Hitler’s regime.
However, Argentina is the best-known destination for former Nazis, as President Juan Perón was a known sympathizer of Hitler and actively sought to rescue members of his regime from Europe.
In the Alpine-themed town of Bariloche, Argentina, they even felt secure enough to recreate Hitler’s holiday home of Berchtesgaden.
The home, along with plentiful Nazi artifacts uncovered there over the years, has led many to believe that Hitler himself visited it.
Author Abel Basti claimed in his book Hitler In Exile that the Fuhrer escaped his bunker in Berlin via a secret tunnel before being taken to Spain.
From there Basti theorizes he was taken to the Canary Islands where a U-Boat was waiting to bring him to Argentina.
Basti believes Hitler died there in 1971 and was buried in a secret bunker in the city of Asuncion, underneath what is now a hotel.
However, most respected historians – including eminent Second World War writer Guy Walters – who once described the notion that Hitler escaped Germany as ‘2,000 per cent false.’