How Did So Many Nazis Escape Justice? An Interview with Historian Gerald Steinacher
How did so many Nazis and Nazi collaborators manage to escape Europe after World War II? Who helped them flee and why? What routes did they take on their way to freedom?
These and other questions are answered in painstaking detail in a new book, Nazis on the Run: How Hitler's Henchmen Fled Justice, by Gerald Steinacher, an assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The book, originally written in German, was translated into English by Oxford University Press and hit bookstores last month. The Jewish Press recently spoke with Steinacher.
The Jewish Press: According to your book, a great many Nazis escaped Europe through Italy. Why Italy?
Steinacher: Because the Allies were in Germany and Austria but had retreated from Italy. There was no Allied government there after December 1945, so once you were in Italy, you were free. This is one reason. The other reason is that for many people from Eastern and Central Europe the ports in Italy were just the closest in terms of geography....
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