Super Nazi Crawls Out of a Hole Inside America – The Great Papago Escape

Super Nazi Crawls Out of a Hole Inside America - The Great Papago Escape

It was 1944, and World War 2 was raging across Europe and the Pacific. By then, both Allied and Axis forces had captured many enemy soldiers thanks to their various military operations across the globe.

The significant increase in the number of prisoners of war led the U.S. military to establish incarceration facilities in the most inhospitable places inside the U.S. mainland to secure the prisoners and avoid escapes.

Camp Papago Park, built in the middle of the Arizona desert on top of some of the country’s hardest and most compact soils, was one of such facilities. These conditions, in addition to a fearsome system of barbed wire fences and watchtowers, made an escape attempt highly unlikely.

Still, U.S. officials were not counting on the wit and determination of Nazi Commander Captain Jürgen Wattenberg, who, after arriving at Papago Park, started orchestrating what would later be known as the Greatest P.O.W. Escape in American Soil during World War 2.

After three months of arduous planning, the scheme resulted in 25 prisoners of war escaping into the Arizonian desert through a 178-foot log dirt tunnel. The feat led to what the Phoenix Gazette called: (QUOTE) “The greatest manhunt in Arizona history.”

The U.S. now had to deal with a feared “Super Nazi” loose within its own borders…

– As images and footage of actual events are not always available, Dark Docs sometimes utilizes similar historical images and footage for dramatic effect. I do my best to keep it as visually accurate as possible. All content on Dark Docs is researched, produced, and presented in historical context for educational purposes. We are history enthusiasts and are not always experts in some areas, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with corrections, additional information, or new ideas. –


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  1. Really cheesy footage that purported to show Germans, but were actually a mix of actors playing US soldiers and US war games with Aggressor forces (not the helmets with a "comb" on top). Better to just tell a story than to show fake footage without explaining what it was…

  2. There are many small rural towns named after German immigrants that prisoners settled in after deciding to stay in the states, rather than go back to Germany. Lots of people in those towns still spoke German and that made it easier for the released prisoners to become acclimated with their new home country.

  3. The best story was the POW camp in gravenhurst Ontario when the germans were rioting heavily armed Canadian soldiers were called to quell the uprising upon arriving the Canadians put down all their weapons before entering the compound and rolled up their sleeves about 20 minutes later the donnybrook was over and the Canadian sergeant said to the German commander "good fight eh?"

  4. Captain Jürgen Wattenberg may have been kept in the US to avoid resistance to 'denazification' efforts in Germany – maybe fears he would incite riots. So he may have been a 'super Nazi' in other ways. Thanks for this.

  5. The amount of propaganda channels like this make in favor of the Nazis is astounding. As far as the Americans being more merciful, Here is some to cook your noodle. Check out the bombing of Dresden and other German cities where American bombers intentionally targeted cities with no military presence and then rebombed them right when emergency services were there trying to provide aid. Oh, and check out the rape of Europe.

  6. "Having a group of Nazi war soldiers at large inside the US mainland was a nightmare scenario for thee American Government." Well, then you would think having a secure & inescapable POW Camp would be imperative; but no apparently not.

  7. Read a US legal case today of a Polish SS soldier (yes, Polish) who volunteered as an SS soldier as a concentration camp monster, rank of private. Post war, he got passed back by the US to E.Germany in 1950.
    Lot of 'nasty bastards' from many parts of E.Europe went deliberately to enlist in the German SS for the same sick reasons.
    None of it's pretty, most of it gets erased or negated, but these documented legal process cases don't. He wasn't high ranking. He was just a politically lured sociopath.

  8. Of course the POW's treatment was just. If the Allies tortured or murdered prisoners then we'd have been no better than the enemy. Hypocrites in fact.

  9. the americans treatment of germans were based on their appetite to meet out punishment to their own race, a choice which was not difficult to choose when deciding which country to drop the bomb on.

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