Mélyen az Amazonas esőerdejében Laranjal do Jari közeli temetőjében egy náci sír tallható, fölötte tornyosodik egy kereszt, horogkereszttel ellátva. A keresztre egy német név van rávésve: Joseph Greiner, aki 1936 január másodikán hunyt el a náci Németország szolgálatában, egy kísérlet közben.
Mit keres itt ez a sír, mit keresett itt ez az ember?
So what is it doing there? It’s the sole reminder of a little-known facet of history when Germany sought to found a colony there by bringing a swath of the Amazon River Basin into the Third Reich.
From 1935 to 1937, a team of Nazi explorers were in the region under the leadership of Otto Schulz-Kampfhenkel, a zoologist, documentary filmmaker, and member of Hitler’s SS. They chopped their way through the jungle around Brazil’s border with neighboring French Guiana. They collected indigenous jewelry, animal skulls, and studied topography along the 491-mile-long Jari River, an Amazon tributary.
He presented his plans to Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and the Gestapo, in 1940. The scheme was a way to curb the influence of the United States by taking control of French Guiana and the neighboring British and Dutch colonies. But the dream faded, and it might have been the expedition itself that doomed the venture.
Matters didn’t go well from the start. The expedition had a Heinkel 72 Seekadett seaplane, an example of Nazi industrial prowess – but it capsized after striking driftwood just a few weeks after the expedition started, National Post reported.
The mission was abandoned, and today only Grenier’s three-meter-high monument remains as the testament to their failed endeavors.