He's Alive: The CIA's less-than-enthusiastic investigation into whether Adolf Hitler survived World War II

He’s Alive: The CIA’s less-than-enthusiastic investigation into whether Adolf Hitler survived World War II

In 1955, the Agency’s South American station chief received what was purported to be photographic evidence Hitler was alive and well in Argentina

Written by
Edited by Michael Morisy

In 1955, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)’s chief of Western Hemisphere Division (WHD) received a SECRET memo whose subject line no doubt caused them to sit up in their chair: “Operational: Adolf Hitler.”

In the memo, the acting station chief in Venezuela claimed to have received an extraordinary tip from one of his contacts: Hitler was alive! And living in Argentina!

(Also, war crimes have a surprisingly tight statue of limitations.)

Included in the memo was what purported to be photographic proof of the claim …

As the memo helpfully points out, Hitler’s supposed to be the one on the right - though if you really needed another clue, apparently he was going by the pseudonym “Adolph Schuttlemayer.”

Way to keep a low profile there, Hitler.

The WHD chief followed-up on the memo by reviewing the Agency’s files, and sure enough, the year before there was a report from the contact’s source, which not only made the same claim regarding Hitler not being dead, but also that there was a whole colony of Nazis in South America, hanging out and saluting each other.

Again, Simpsons did it.

A few days later, the understandable agitated station chief wrote the WHD chief again, asking if they wanted to do anything about this Hitler thing or not.

Seeing as it was shaping up to be a whole lot of work just for something as minor as determining if Hitler was still alive or not, the WHD recommended the whole thing just be dropped.

And dropped it was. As for Hitler, depending on who you ask, he either continued to be dead, or he is doing just fine at 128.

The original memo is embedded below.


Image via 21st Century Fox