Tucked in the Amazon…
As covered by Atlas Obscura, the 9-foot tall cross shown above is that of a dead SS man and the tale associated with it is something right out of an Indiana Jones movie:
Known as the “Guayana Project,” it was a mission of exploration and a testament to just how grand the Nazi’s imagined their empire would be. As the report brought back to the Third Reich explained, “The two largest scantly populated, but rich in resources, areas on earth are in Siberia and South America. ‘They alone offer spacious immigration and settlement possibilities for the Nordic peoples… For the more advanced white race it offers outstanding possibilities for exploitation.”
In 1935, under the cover of collecting biological specimens, Dr Otto Schulz-Kampfhenkel (the expedition leader), Joseph Greiner and another Nazi soldier, as well as many hired locals – described in a letter back to the Third Reich as not being able to be “measured in civilized terms as we known them in Germany” – explored the region bordering French Guyana and sent back details about how the Nazi’s might infiltrate and begin colonizing the country for themselves. It was suggested that the country’s already existing Germans, roughly a million at the time, might become the start of what would be the great South American Third Reich Empire.
However, the expedition fizzled after Greiner died of malaria and Kampfhenkel’s report floated about as high as a lead balloon.
The grave and marker, however, is still apparently there.