A collection of Nazi artifacts, including a magnifying glass directly linked to Hitler, were discovered in a secret Argentine room in 2017. NPR

2. How did Nazi artifacts connected to Adolf Hitler end up in Argentina?

In the spring of 2017, Argentine authorities announced that a secret room had been discovered in a house not far from the capital in Buenos Aires. In the room were numerous artifacts from the Nazi era, including items used to indoctrinate children into Nazi philosophy, a bust of Hitler, medical devices, daggers with SS markings, numerous small statues and bas-reliefs of Hitler, and intriguingly, a magnifying glass in a leather bound case. Photos of Hitler examining maps and documents using a magnifying glass were examined by forensic scientists. The consensus among the scientists was that it was the same magnifying glass as that in the photos. In other words, it may have belonged to Adolf Hitler. Since Hitler was studying maps in his bunker up until the day before he was said to have died, it may have been in the bunker with him.

How it traveled from Berlin to Buenos Aires, and why, is a mystery. Those who believe that Hitler escaped from the bunker to Nazi enclaves in South America were quick to claim it was evidence that supported their theory, though anyone fleeing the bunker after Hitler’s death (or before) could have easily grabbed it as a souvenir, a keepsake of their time with the Fuhrer. Nonetheless, the fact that the glass and the other artifacts remained hidden, despite their obvious value to those who collect Nazi memorabilia is a mystery. Argentine authorities allowed photographs of some of the objects to be published, while others were shown to photographers from organizations such as the Associated Press with the proviso that no images were to be taken. Included in the artifacts were devices used to measure head size and dimensions, an important determinant of Aryan ancestry in Nazi belief.