Monday, May 07, 2007

Royal Dutch KLM Airlines Ignored Warnings on Flying Nazis to Argentina

Buenos Aires Herald
By Paul Scheltus
May 7, 2007

KLM airline knowingly airlifted fugitive Nazis to Argentina in the years following WWII, a Dutch television programme has revealed, prompting Dutch Parliament members to call for an investigation.
Hans van Baalen, legislator for the VVD-party has told Elsevier-website he was "shocked to learn that the national airline co-operated with the escape of war criminals." He says his party is calling for an investigation into the airline’s past to be carried out by the National Institute for War Documentation.

Although KLM’s alleged role in the transport of Nazis had already been documented by former Buenos Aires Herald journalist Uki Goñi in his book The Real Odessa (2003), the probe by television show Netwerk has gone even further in making the case against the Royal Dutch Airline.

In a phone interview Marc Dierikx, a Dutch historian specializing in the airline industry, commented to the Herald from the Netherlands on Netwerk’s findings: "If you look at the evidence you have to conclude KLM knew who it was they were flying to Argentina," he said.

That evidence includes documents which, according to Dierikx, demonstrate that KLM tried to persuade the Swiss authorities to turn a blind eye at border checks to Germans prohibited from travelling. Other findings, he said, point to numerous warnings by US authorities to the airline that it was transporting suspected war criminals. Those warnings were ignored.