Nurita Eldodt, an elegant blue-eyed Israeli who may have been an intelligence agent, romanced her way into a relationship with Dr. Josef Mengele during the Nazi mass murderer's 10-year hideout in Argentina.
But, according to government intelligence files, the strategic seduction ended when Eldodt plunged to her death from a cliff, raising the suspicion among Argentine investigators that Mengele arranged Eldodt's murder.Details of the Eldodt affair, which unfolded just months before the 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina by Israeli commandos, emerged in interviews and from scrutiny of hundreds of pages of Argentine police and intelligence files first made public this month.
Mengele arrived in Argentina in 1949, traveling under an assumed name, but in 1956 his true identity became obvious to authorities when he petitioned the Federal Police to change his name to Mengele, the records show.
Mengele lived in several elegant Buenos Aires residences and earned a comfortable living from his partnership in a pharmaceutical company, the records show.
In 1959, Eldodt took a secretarial job in a legal office run by Jose Moskovits. She came to Argentina ostensibly to visit her parents but instead began to track Mengele, Moskovits recalled last week in an interview.
"She went to places where Mengele went, cafes, restaurants. She looked for ways to get close to him," Moskovits said.
In early 1960, records show Mengele traveled to the mountain resort of Bariloche. The police files leave no record of any meeting between Eldodt and Mengele there, but it was in Bariloche that Eldodt died in a plunge from a cliff after disappearing from a mountain-climbing excursion on March 12, 1960.