711.35/5–1347

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of River Plate Affairs ( Mann ) to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs ( Braden )

secret

Subject: The Present Status of Argentine Performance in Respect of the Deportation of Axis Agents.

Because of the extraordinary influence of the German colony, the pro-Axis sympathies of the extreme nationalist groups and segments of the Army, and the Government’s policy of “neutrality”, Argentina was the hemisphere center of Axis activities. There were more people in Argentina than in any other American State who genuinely merited [Page 201] deportation or criminal prosecution for their pro-Axis activities. Notwithstanding, Argentina has failed

a)
to make good-faith efforts to deport, prosecute criminally or vest the spearhead business interests of key Nazi agents (such as Freude and Martens) who are naturalized Argentine citizens;
b)
to deport, prosecute criminally or vest the spearhead property interests of aliens who contributed materially to Axis activities in Argentina of a non-espionage character.

The deportation program which we now have in mind is therefore limited and relates only to proven Nazi espionage agents.

Taking as a basis a list of candidates for deportation prepared in the Department in January 1946 and assuming the deportation of the 9 persons referred to in Buenos Aires telegram No. 567 of May 9, Argentina has deported approximately half of the Axis agents whom we have regarded as the most important. There are 13 agents presumably still in Argentina whom we regard as important and 8 others who are alleged to have escaped from the country. A fuller summary of the situation is given in the attached memorandum.52

The Argentine position appears to be that it has now substantially complied since it is unable to locate additional agents in Argentina. In view of the peculiar circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the agents, I find it difficult to believe that important agents such as Becker are really beyond the reach of the Argentine police.

T. C. M[ann]
  1. Not printed.