The Simon Wiesenthal antisemitism organisation has blasted the new design of an Argentinian bank note which features a man they say was an avid admirer of Hitler.
They also say he created an ideology to reject ‘racially irregular’ recruits from entering the army.
The new 5,000-ARS (60 GBP) bill was apparently commissioned to try to cut down on money printing costs.
According to local media, the country is reportedly suffering from the rising cost of goods and a deterioration of the exchange rate during the coronavirus lockdown and was hoping that the new notes, among other initiatives, could help boost the economy.
On the front of the note are the faces of the first female doctor Cecilia Grierson, who fought for women’s rights and former health secretary Ramon Carrillo.
As soon as the new design was published, however, it was publicly rejected by the Simon Wiesenthal organisation, an institution dedicated to the memory of the holocaust and combating antisemitism.
The Latin American director of the organisation, Ariel Gelblung, wrote about Carrillo saying: “This is not a person we feel comfortable about.”
The institution has asked the government to remove the face of health secretary Ramon Carrillo in a public plea.
Gelblung said: “Although they are two prominent doctors, Ramon Carrillo was also an admirer of Hitler and took photos with him.”
Carrillo was born on 7th March 1906 and became a neurosurgeon and the health secretary for the controversial president Juan Domingo Peron. He is remembered in history for building 234 hospitals, eradicating malaria and reducing the mortality rate of tuberculosis.
However, in the words of Gelblung, the doctor has “a very dark side.”
Gelblung went on to say: “It was him (Carrillo) who thought of the concept of the ‘ideal soldier’, to reject recruits who were considered to have racial or gender irregularities.
“He also gave refuge to a Danish fugitive and doctor Carl Peter Vaernet, and permitted him to continue his experiments on homosexuals to ‘cure’ them.
“Moreover, he even assigned him homosexual recluses of both sexes so he could try to ‘make them normal’.
“In general, all the figures chosen to illustrate the notes have pros and cons. From the centre we emphatically reject the selection of Ramon Carillo.”
The current president, Alberto Fernandez, has since dismissed the possibility of the new note being issued, which he said “was an idea which circulated, but we are not going to go ahead”.
He went on to say that the note had been designed to honour Argentinian doctors and scientists.
Juan Domingo Peron, the controversial president and husband of Eva Duarte (Evita, famously played by Madonna in the film of the same name), was reportedly drawn to Hitler’s ideologies, which he discovered when serving as a military attache in Italy at the beginning of World War II.
According to history author Chris Klein: “Argentine President Juan Peron secretly ordered diplomats and intelligence officers to establish escape routes, so-called “ratlines,” through ports in Spain and Italy to smuggle thousands of former SS officers and Nazi party members out of Europe” and into South America.
Peron allegedly wanted to recruit Nazis with particular expertise to help his country.
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