Was there a Secret Nazi Base in Antarctica?



The notion of secret Nazi fortresses in Antarctica and undercover submarine evacuations reads like something from a comic book. But there are numerous theories which coalesce and come together, often suggesting that not only was the Third Reich seeking to establish a base at the world’s southernmost point but that they may have attempted to evacuate Adolf Hitler to this base at the close of the Second World War. Could these theories have any truth to them?

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The stories started in 1938. With the Nazis firmly in power at the head of the German state, the rumors of an impending war were growing ever louder. But, while the most of the world was focusing its attention on Czechoslovakia and Poland, the Germans were not so transfixed.

One year before the full outbreak of the war, the German ship Schwabenland (named after a former duchy of medieval Germany) was sent to Antarctica. Its aim was to establish a military base, a mission conceived by Admiral Donitz. The ship landed at Queen Maud Land, which was promptly renamed for the ship; the Germans now call this part of Antarctica New Schwabia. Not content to set up base on the coast of the continent, the Germans delved deeper into the interior. There, they established a permanent base of operations, which was named New Berchtesgaden.

On the surface, the objective of the mission was said to be that the Germans were seeking out new territory for their whaling expeditions. By this point, however, the official documents begin to falter. While recovered documents describe the initial trip to the continent as outlined above, the outbreak of the Second World War complicated matters.

Many of the theories revolve around the possibility that the Nazis found something of interest during their expeditions. One of the most popular suggests that, on arriving inland, the scientists discovered a series of tunnels and underground rivers which stretched out below the cold surface of the continent. One of the tunnels may have reached down as far as twenty or thirty miles. As a response, the Nazis supposedly built a large base at the site, which was dubbed Base 211. Some even referred to it as New Berlin.

At the bottom of these tunnels, the theories suggest the Nazis uncovered something powerful. Many theories have been put forward that link this expedition with the discovery of alien technology or the means to communicate with extra-terrestrials. It is impossible to verify many of these theories, however, thanks in large part to the conclusion of the Second World War and the removal of the Nazis from power. Added to this, critics have noted the difficulty in establishing a large base in such a remote location and the failure of experienced teams from other nations to even build small domiciles in the region. The suggestion of alien tech being found may be impossible to prove.

Far more interesting, however, is the suggestion that the remote Nazi base played a role in the power politics following the war. It’s been well known that many high-ranking officers attempted to escape to South America towards the end of the war. There have been many reports of officers and politicians from the Third Reich seeking refuge in Argentina, for example. A secret Antarctic base would have provided an important base of operations for those traveling between Europe and Argentina/Chile who wanted to remain undetected.

One such theory revolves around the existence of the U-Boat named U-530. One of Germany’s most reliable submarines, U-530 is known to have conducted numerous trips to South America. Riding aboard the U-Boat would have provided the perfect means for a Nazi officer to escape the clutches of the Allies in the dying days of the war. Being able to stop and refuel or reassess at a German base in Antarctica would have been invaluable.

And this is where the story becomes potentially even more complicated. Certain people have suggested that one of the passengers on board that submarine was none other than Adolf Hitler himself. As the Russians stormed Berlin, the official story says that Hitler killed himself in his bunker, along with Eva Braun, and the bodies were burned before they could be recovered. Naturally, this has led many people to question whether Hitler escaped and was able to fake his own death. A journey on board a submarine to South America might have provided the perfect getaway.

A competing theory suggests that it was not a living, breathing Hitler who was on the submarine. Instead, a band of loyal Nazis was transporting their leader’s ashes inside a collection of lead-lined bronze boxes. Alongside other Nazi treasures, the ashes were stored at the Antarctica base before the Nazis escaped to South America.

Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to prove either theory beyond doubt. Instead, there are only a few known facts:

  • The Germans had a base in Antarctica.
  • The German U-Boat U-530 traveled to South America.
  • Hitler’s body was never truly recovered.

Armed with only the salient facts, we are forced to come to our conclusions as to the truth about the Nazis’ secret base in Antarctica.

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