Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was handed thousands of digital World War II documents on Tuesday – the second day of his visit to Argentina – by Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri.
The two men spoke on a range of topics at a joint news conference with journalists following their meeting.
“This is truly the dawn of a new era,” Netanyahu said during the briefing, “and it should have probably happened before. I can guarantee you one thing; the next visit of an Israeli prime minister in Argentina will not take another 70 years – nor a visit by the president of Argentina to Israel! – and I take this opportunity to invite you, warmly, to come to Israel in your new position.”
Macri visited Israel previously as a mayor, a fact that both he and Netanyahu mentioned with smiles in their comments to media.
The five hard drives include nearly 140,000 photographs and secret files spanning the years from 1939 to 1950 and include reports, telegraphs and letters that were digitized by Argentina and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.
“We have delivered these digitized historical documents about the Holocaust so the State of Israel can make sure that they are investigated,” Macri said, after handing Netanyahu the box with the hard drives. “This is very important for us.”
Netanyahu began his historic visit to Latin America on Monday in Argentina, the site of two lethal terror attacks on that nation’s Jewish community and one of the refuges to which thousands of Nazi war criminals fled after World War II.
Although Argentina maintained neutrality throughout the war, that stance was dropped immediately following the conflict. Among the most prominent Nazis that found a warm welcome in the South American nation was Adolf Eichmann.
Nevertheless, Eichmann was eventually was tracked down and brought to justice by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency; and Argentina is the sole regional member of the United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (formerly ITF – the Task Force on International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.)