Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina's Holocaust museum takes custody of seized Nazi relics

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Media captionThe pieces were discovered behind a false wall in a collector's house

Argentina's Holocaust Museum has taken custody of a huge trove of Nazi artefacts seized in a house raid in the capital, Buenos Aires, two years ago.

A bust of Adolf Hitler is among the 70 items investigators had found.

Another was a head-measuring device - a relic of pseudoscience used to supposedly measure racial purity.

The items were found hidden behind a false wall at the home of a collector in 2017. He said they were replicas but experts say they are authentic.

It is legal to own Nazi objects in Argentina, as long as they are not used to incite hatred.

But the owner has been charged with "owning pieces of illegal origin" because they are suspected of having been smuggled into Argentina.

Historians believe as many as 11 million people were murdered across Europe during the Holocaust orchestrated by Germany's Nazi Party - six million of whom were targeted because they were Jewish.

After the regime fell in 1945, some of the highest-ranking Nazi officials fled to Argentina including the so-called "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele and Adolf Eichmann.

The Holocaust Museum in Buenos Aires says the hoard of items found in 2017 will be added to its exhibits.

The objects encouraged "hate, death and destruction," says Director Marcelo Mindlin, but will go on display "in the service of transmitting democratic values, education and the fight for memory so tragedies like the Holocaust are not repeated".

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