The large influx of fugitive Nazis and collaborators in post-WWII Argentina created an environment that normalized the presence of such heinous criminals in society and by doing so facilitated the crimes of Argentina's own genocidal dictatorship in 1976-83. “If you're a neighbour to Adolf Eichmann or Josef Mengele, or just a random German that you knew did bad things during the war, what does this do to you? It means that once these things start happening in your own country, society has acquired the habit of coexisting with evil,” says Goñi. A witness to the erasure of truth as a measurable reference, of the moral decay and the normalization of violence that preceded Argentina's 1976 military coup, Goñi sees alarming parallels with the extreme views and abusive behaviour in current political discourse. The author believes the dictatorship survival skills he acquired under Argentina's military junta could prove useful in such an environment.
Uki Goñi is best known for his book The Real Odessa: How Nazi War Criminals Escaped Europe, augmented edition, Granta Books, London, 2022, resulting in numerous appearances in documentaries on the topic by the BBC, Discovery, Nat Geo and PBS. As a journalist he was written a series of stories on human rights and the environment for the Guardian, op-eds for the New York Times and essays on authoritarianism and racism for the New York Review of Books. Born in the US to an Argentine family, he was raised in Dublin where he lived until the age of 21. He resides in Buenos Aires.
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