Flight of the Nazi Bell

           A Junkers Ju-290 very similar to the six engined Ju-390 which evacuated the Nazi Bell

Anyone from the former Third Reich who might know anything was interrogated to piece together the facts and undoubtedly there was some awareness of Projekt Thor, but not a thorough grasp. It is from various interrogations that we have our clearest view. Three primary soures referred to:

  1. SS Lieutnant General Jakob Sporrenberg, Police Chief (ie Gestapo) Lublin (occupied Poland)
  2. SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Rudolf Schuster, from interrogation report at Berlin Document Centre
  3. Dr Wilhelm Voss, Chief Executive of Skoda Works, Czechoslovakia given to Tom Agoston     

Kammler oversaw removal and evacuation of the Bell project. He was frequently at Gross-Rosen concentration camp which supplied labour for an immense underground construction in the Eulengebirge Mountains. There is said to be a vast complex of tunnels over 35 square kilometres of territory. Today several tunnels are privately owned and open for tourists. Others are flooded and impossible to access. The existence of this complex is confirmed in a Polish document dated Warsaw 6 May 1947 "Action for De-Arming Oder Line" which speaks of the removal of huge quantities of machinery from the interior of this location before it was destroyed by explosives.

In April 1945 the Nazi Government in Berlin was preparing to evacuate key personnel and records from the capital. A vast armada of transport aircraft was required for this task. On 17 April 1945 Kammler responded to Berlin's request for use of transport aircraft under his command. Kammler refused.

Betr: LKW Junkers

Gemaess Führerbefehl gehen Massnahmen Strahlflugzeug Militärischen voraus.  Bin deshalb nicht in der Lage gewesen, gewünschten LKW freizustellen. Bau-Insp. der Waffen-SS Reich Süd, Gez. Kammler

translated as: 

Re: Lorry Junkers


In accordance with Führer-Order jet aircraft measures take precedence over military. Have therefore not been in the position to release the lorry you require. Bau-Insp etc, signed Kammler.

Lorry was simply code for the Junkers aircraft. This gives us an approximate date for the Bell's evacuation. About 17 April 1945. Below is an excerpt from a Soviet military map at the time:

As the story is told, In April 1945 as Soviet forces closed on Schweidnz (modern Swidnica). At an airfield merely described by Rudolf Schuster as "West of Opole" the Bell was loaded on a Junkers Ju-390 aircraft. Other sources suggest the airfield may have been Bystzyca Klodzka airfield situated in a valley within the Eulenbirge mountains themseleves and indeed west of Opole.
  Bystzyca Klodzka was connected by narrow guage railway with the Wenceslas mine at Ludwikowice.

Schuster noted the Ju-390 aircraft was hidden under tarpaulins at the airfield, but beneath those tarpaulins it was painted in pale blue with markings of the Sweedish Air Force. It departed with passengers engineer SS Mjr. Kurt Debus, mathematician Elizabeth Adler & scientist Dr Herman Obeth, for Bodo in Norway. Elisabeth Adler has proven impossible to identify with certainty, but she appears to have been Prof Walther Gerlach's previous laboratory assistant Elisabeth Borman. She was a mathematician in her own right. 

At this point German sources fell silent however in 1993 under pressure from the US Government a new administration in Argentina convened a Parliamentary Commission to investigate wartime support for the Nazis. A previously classified report of the Economic Ministry disclosed intelligence about a multi engined german aircraft arriving at Entre Rios province (northern Argentina) in May 1945. There it unloaded a device described only as a Bell. The report itself was not published.

Many years later,
Abel Basti's 2004 tourist guide to "Bariloche Nazi", disclosed the report's claims about the Bell arriving in 1945. Basti probably obtained this document by giving numerous undertakings to the Argentine authorities. This is not an abnormal procedure in this country. The Argentine Government does not wish to have sensitive matters involving its Nazi past given official airing, but occasionally Argentine authors are allowed to see documents unofficially. Undertakings usually include promising not to publish any photocopy, not to show the copy to anybody else, not to quote the issuing office, and to change important sensitive details - in this particular document it is not clear whether the aircraft landed in Uruguay, or Argentina because the location is deliberately obscured and confused.

At this point Witkowski re-enters the trail of evidence disclosing sightings witnessing a six engined Ju-390 aircraft being dismantled at a German owned ranch in Paysandu Province. The farm described is in an
area east of Paysandu on the road east to Rivera at the village of "19 de abril" about 60 kilometres out of town. From there local inhabitants recall the aircraft's parts were taken away and dumped in the River Uruguay which is two kilometres wide at this point.