KLM accused of helping Nazis to flee to South America

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BRUSSELS -- The Dutch national airline is facing calls for an inquiry into its role in helping Nazis to flee to South America, after the discovery of documents suggesting that it played an active role in smuggling suspected war criminals out of Germany.

KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, has always denied that it had a policy of assisting Nazis to escape justice at the hands of the Allies after the Second World War, when hundreds escaped to Argentina.

But papers revealing the activities of a mysterious Herr Frick in trying to help Germans to cross into Switzerland then to fly to Buenos Aires have raised fresh questions about the behaviour of one of Europe’s best-known airlines in the mid-1940s.

''The documents give the distinct impression that KLM was intensively involved in transporting Nazis,'' said Marc Dierikx, an aviation historian at the Institute for Netherlands History in The Hague.

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