Was there an Antarctic Nazi base

The legend of Neuschwabenland, the Nazi fortress in the ice

The starting point for all the myths about Neuschwabenland and the Nazi fortress in the eternal ice is December 17, 1938, when a German ship set off on an expedition to Antarctica in the strictest of secrecy, to an undeveloped part of what is now known as "Queen Maud Land" is. The captain Alfred Ritscher is a member of the Navy and has already taken part in expeditions to the Arctic. The 8,000-ton ship “Schwabenland” sets out with two flying boats on board to map and take possession of a stretch of land that will eventually be christened Neuschwabenland. But what do the Nazis want in the eternal ice of the Antarctic? Could they actually plan to build a secret fortress to hide from enemy access?

Nazis, extraterrestrials and the "Operation Highjump"

In the course of the decades after the German Antarctic expedition, speculations grew wilder and the theory of an actual Nazi fortress in Neuschwabenland solidified. It is claimed, for example, that the polar caps have entrances to the interior of the earth, and there was also talk of Nazi UFOs, the so-called Reichsflugplatten. It is also speculated that the Nazis would be in contact with them friendly aliens from the star Aldebaran.

After all, something happens in Antarctica between December 1946 and January 1947 that finally turns the alleged Nazi fortress in Neuschwabenland into a legend Ships also involved 4,700 soldiers. Although the mission is officially for research purposes, the conspiracy theorists are certain that the Americans attacked Hitler's ice fortress, allegedly after an offensive by the British against the Antarctic Nazi henchmen under the code name "Tabarin" was repulsed.

1958 came the absolute great moment of the Neuschwabenland conspiracy theorists: The USA detonated three atomic bombs in the southern hemisphere as part of Operation Argus - for proponents of the theory the reason can only be that the last resistance of Germany was broken in the eternal ice and the end of New Swabia should be sealed.

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The "Schwabenland" really existed

Anyone who now believes that it is all a pipe dream - the crazy story has a real core: So the "Schwabenland" actually set out for Antarctica in the winter of 1938, and the aim was actually to set up a German base there - but for whaling, because Germany urgently needed whale oil. From this an ingredient for the explosive nitroglycerin was obtained. But they were also needed for oil, lubricants and even margarine, so that at that time a total of 50 ships were hunting whales for Hitler. At that time England controlled large parts of the Atlantic in the area of ​​whaling, which is why Germany probably wanted to move to these remote waters.

Now to "Operation Highjump": Numerous conspiracy theorists had begun to fantasize about Nazi UFOs after the maneuver leader Richard Byrd had warned of a threat of an "invasion of enemy planes from the direction of the polar region". What was meant, of course, was Soviet planes. The operation was actually used for research purposes only. The Antarctic coast and parts of the inland were mapped through aerial photographs.

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was forced to comment

And what about the three atomic bombs that allegedly fell on Hitler's ice fortress in 1958? Well, there actually was. However, they were detonated 1760 kilometers southwest of Cape Town, at a distance of several thousand kilometers from Queen Maud Land / Neuschwabenland. Since the documents about Operation Argus were kept secret for a long time, the corresponding conspiracy theories probably also blossomed in the course of this.

They have been so persistent up to now that marine researcher Colin Summerhayes even published a 21-page article on the subject in 2007 in the journal “Polar Record” - in which, however, he exposed all theories as pipe dreams. In 2004 even the German Foreign Ministry felt compelled to take a stand on the question of Neuschwabenland. According to a report by WELT, the answer to an inquiry from the book author Heinz Schön at the time was: “The former German Empire did not raise territorial claims in the Antarctic.” And yet a bizarre myth has managed to persist to this day.

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