BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Police in Argentina discovered original Nazi objects from World War II, including tools for Nazi medical experiments, at a house in Buenos Aires.
The objects were found Friday in a hidden room of the house in the northern part of the city. They are in the custody of the justice who is tasked with investigating the find.
“We are too shocked, too touched by the impressive finding, but also happy” to have made this discovery, Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said Tuesday in a statement accompanying a video published on her You Tube channel to show the objects. Bullrich called it “the biggest seizure of archeological objects and Nazi pieces of our history.”
The judge in the case is Sandra Arroyo Salgado, the widow of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Salgado imposed a gag order on the investigation, so no further details were revealed. But Bullrich said she will ask the judge to have the objects donated to the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires.
The Argentine Jewish political umbrella DAIA will hold a ceremony next Monday to honor the Security Ministry and the federal police division that undertook the investigation. The ministry also tweeted photos from the cache on its official Twitter account, including photos of the Nazi objects as well as Asian historical objects.
“The main hypothesis is that someone who was part of the regime entered into Argentina because the amount of objects of the same style is difficult to find in private collections that can have one or two objects, but not of this amount and of this quality,” a police officer who was part of the 9-month investigation told Argentine television.
The police officer said that some of the objects “were used by the Nazis to check racial purity.”
Nazi puzzles for kids also were discovered in the cache.
One suspect identified by the police is not in Argentina. There are Argentine and non-Argentinean suspects being investigated, but no further details have been provided.
In June 2016, a collector from Argentina paid $680,000 for Nazi underpants and other memorabilia.
Argentina was a refuge for Nazis after World War II. Adolf Eichmann was captured in the northern area of Buenos Aires in 1960. Nazi war criminals Joseph Mengele and Erich Priebke also chose Argentina as a refuge.
Argentina has had an anti-discrimination law on the books since 1988 that covers such objects. Three years ago, a Buenos Aires city court ordered a vendor of Nazi souvenirs and symbols to perform community service and take a course about the Holocaust.