Obama brings two fuel-guzzling planes to serve as Air Force One in Argentina
By Dave Boyer – The Washington Times
March 24, 2016
President Obama brought along a second, smaller Air Force One for his family to enjoy a day of sightseeing in Argentina on Thursday.
After dancing the tango at a state dinner in Buenos Aires Wednesday night, the president and first lady Michelle Obama took their daughters aboard the government plane colloquially known as “baby” Air Force One Thursday to fly to the scenic town of Bariloche in southern Argentina. It’s a Boeing 757 used when traveling to places where the runway is too short for the primary Air Force One.
The larger Air Force One, a 747-200, was parked alongside the smaller plane at the airport in Buenos Aires, according to pool reporters traveling with the president. It costs about $206,000 per hour to fly the larger plane, which the president is expected to use for the 10-plus-hour flight back to Washington late Thursday night.
It’s common for the government to have a backup plane available when the president travels, although not often for a family sightseeing excursion.
Bariloche is a lakeside resort town nestled in the foothills of the Andes mountains, famous for its chocolates and Swiss-style architecture.
But Bariloche is more than that.
In Argentine Nazi Refuge Bariloche
Bariloche, a popular Argentine tourist resort ringed by the Andes, where Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke found refuge after World War II, has kept mostly silent on its long history as a home to Nazis. For 40 years, Priebke lived undisturbed among its citizens, until he was finally extradited to Italy in the 1990s over a World War II massacre for which he has never expressed regret.
Thousands of Nazis, Croatian Ustasha fascists and Italian fascists arrived in Argentina with the blessing of president Juan Peron, who led the nation from 1946 to 1955 and again briefly in the 1970s, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Working first as a waiter, then as owner of a delicatessen and finally as owner of a consulting firm, Priebke was liked and respected in the German community. He was the president of Bariloche’s German-Argentine cultural association and would celebrate Adolf Hitler’s April 20 birthday alongside the town’s other Germans….
Nazis in Bariloche
In 1995, Bariloche made headlines in the international press when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals, such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.
In his 2004 book Bariloche nazi-guía turística, Argentine author Abel Basti claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun lived in the surroundings of Bariloche for many years after World War II. Basti said that the Argentine Nazis chose the estate of Inalco as Hitler’s refuge.
Grey Wolf: The Escape of Adolf Hitler, a 2011 book (and subsequent film) by British authors Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams, proposed that Hitler and Eva Braun escaped from Berlin in 1945 and hid at Hacienda San Ramon, six miles east of Bariloche, until the early 1960s. These accounts are disputed by most historians, who generally believe that Hitler and Braun committed suicide in the last days of World War II, even though their bodies were never found.