MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, December 2nd 2020 - 06:29 UTC

 

 

Controversy in Argentina over a new bank bill with the image of a brilliant doctor with Nazi connections

Thursday, May 21st 2020 - 08:49 UTC
Full article 2 comments
Dr. Ramón Carrillo and Dr. Cecilia Grierson, Argentina's first woman physician. Carrillo was the first Healthcare minister of Argentina with president Juan Peron Dr. Ramón Carrillo and Dr. Cecilia Grierson, Argentina's first woman physician. Carrillo was the first Healthcare minister of Argentina with president Juan Peron
Carrillo's grandson, Ramon Carrillo, shared on Twitter a photo of a gift given to his grandfather in 1954 by Israel's then-health minister Yosef Serlin. Carrillo's grandson, Ramon Carrillo, shared on Twitter a photo of a gift given to his grandfather in 1954 by Israel's then-health minister Yosef Serlin.
British Ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent also expressed his outrage at the decision to put Carillo on a banknote. British Ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent also expressed his outrage at the decision to put Carillo on a banknote.

Argentina's Jewish community has expressed outrage at the decision to print a banknote bearing the likeness of a doctor who expressed support for Nazi ideology and even backed Josef Mengele's experiments on Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz.

Fueled by an economic crisis on the fringes of hyperinflation and the rise in the dollar exchange rate, the Argentine government has began printing new banknotes showing several influential people from the country’s history.

One of the notes, a new bill worth 5,000 pesos (approx. US$ 55), shows the image of Dr. Ramon Carrillo, a renowned doctor of sanitation also known for his support of the Nazis and Mengele’s brutal experiments.

Carrillo’s inclusion on the bill caused uproar among the Argentine Jewish community, anger shared by Israel's ambassador to the country Galit Ronen.

“When we say 'never again' in reference to the Holocaust, there is no point in commemorating someone who at least sympathizes with this ideology,” Ronen wrote in Spanish on Twitter.

Carrillo's grandson, Ramon Carrillo, hit back at the ambassador's comments, sharing on Twitter a photo of a gift given to his grandfather in 1954 by Israel's then-health minister Yosef Serlin.

Carillo was also Argentina's first Healthcare minister. He was a neurosurgeon, gold medal at the Medical School in Buenos Aires, but he is remembered for his brilliant sanitation campaigns. In his eight years as minister he opened 244 hospitals, ended malaria, helped to bring down TB death rate and eliminated an epidemic of bubonic plague in Buenos Aires. He spent four months a year travelling Argentina by train to extend health care.

But he also believed in eugenics, with the idea of achieving the perfect soldier, helped develop methamphetamine, or pep pills, which were instrumental in the combat resistance of German troops.

British Ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent also expressed his outrage at the decision to put Carillo on a banknote.

“Nazism was the greatest evil of the 20th century,“ he wrote on Twitter. ”It led to the Holocaust. The death of millions of innocents. We should not commemorate anyone who participated in this terrible episode.”

Sergio Pickholz, head of the Zionist Organization of Argentina, also joined the opposition to the move, along with the honorary president of the Holocaust Museum Claudio Abruch and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Argentina.

But the Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas, an umbrella group of Jewish organizations in the country, issued a lukewarm response, saying only that as long as the decision had not been officially released, they would wait before commenting on the issue.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center did condemn the decision, however.

“In addition to being a fan of Hitler, Carrillo also provided shelter to a Nazi physician from Buchenwald [concentration camp in Germany] and allowed him to continue experiments on homosexuals. We vehemently reject the choice of such a figure, who would tarnish Argentina with his image on its largest bill.” The physician was Carl Peter Vaernet, a Nazi of Danish origin.

Argentine government officials confirmed that the banknotes had been printed with the likeness of Carrillo. The bills are due out in June, but following the controversy there is no certainty.

Carrillo figures in the bill next to Cecilia Grierson, Argentina's first woman doctor. She belonged to an Irish-Scottish family, becoming a teacher and living in the province of Entre Rios and in Uruguay, before registering as the first woman at the all male Argentine School of Medicine. In the obverse of the bill is a picture of the Malbran Institute, Argentina's main microbiology laboratory.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • pgerman

    What's wrong with that?

    Eva Duarte, called “La Santa” by the wild mob, was a friend, an admirer and a political ally of the ultra-Catholic fascist dictator Francisco Franco, an ally of the Nazis himself. The image of Eva Duarte appeared on the Argentine 100 peso bills years ago.

    General J.D. Peron himself decorated Gral Francisco Franco (dictator of Spain), Alfredo Stroessnerr (dictator of Paraguay), Augusto Pinochet (dictator of Chile), Nicolae Caucescu (dictator of Romania), Batista (dictator of Cuba) and Gadaffy (dictator of Libya).

    J.D. Peron gave asylum and refuge, in complicity with the Vatican State, to hundreds of Nazi war criminals.

    In addition, the Peronist government of Isabel Peron organized and financed the “AAA”, a far-right terrorist organization. The first victims of forced disappearance were during the Government of Isabel Peron in the year 1974.

    The Peronist is the only Argentine political party with its hands dirty, very dirty, with blood.

    They are not at all concerned about including an admirer of the Nazis on the bills...most probalby they are proud of being admirer of the nazis.

    May 21st, 2020 - 02:46 pm 0
  • Pugol-H

    I seem to recall they also had a picture of Julio Argentino Roca on a banknote.

    I bet that went down well with the native peoples, what’s left of them.

    May 22nd, 2020 - 02:58 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!