AN EERIE Canary Islands villa is at the centre of bizarre claims it was once a secret clinic where on-the-run Nazis – including Adolf Hitler – underwent facial reconstruction at the end of World War 2.
Casa Winter, which sits on volcanic rock on Fuerteventura’s rugged southern tip, is also rumoured to have been used to help coordinate deadly U-boat attacks on allied ships in the Atlantic Ocean.
The coastal property’s tower is even said to have served as a bearing point for German warplanes landing at a nearby airfield
And, according to legend, high-ranking war criminals such as Martin Bormann, Josef Mengele and even Hitler himself are said to have undergone secret surgery at the isolated villa after “faking” their deaths.
They are then rumoured to have been whisked away to South America to start their new lives while evading justice for their horrific war crimes.
Intelligence experts have long explored the possibility that Hitler could have escaped unharmed from his Berlin bunker to take refuge overseas.
History is now satisfied Hitler died as he shot himself as the allies closed in around him in 1945 – but rumours of his survival and escape persisted for decades.
Probes were launched into theories that instead of ending his life in his fortified bunker, he may have faked his own death in order to escape justice – with reports of “sightings” of Hitler as late as 1955.
One declassified British intelligence document claims that a Luftwaffe pilot flew Hitler out of Berlin on April 29, 1945 – the day before he was thought to have killed himself alongside his wife Eva Braun.
Hitler had planned to build a new Reich in South America after his hopes for Nazi domination of Europe were thwarted by the Allies.
And many believe Casa Winter was key to that twisted plan.
Inside creepy hideaway is a white-tiled room which looks just like an operating theatre which could have been used for plastic surgery, according to current resident Pedro Fumero.
He told documentary makers for the show ‘Secret Nazi Bases’, now being screened on Yesterday, how his relatives helped build the villa.
Fumero said: “They used to tell me stories of military men arriving.”
He said there was landing strip on a nearby beach and believes caves beneath the vast building once housed Nazi subs.
It’s claimed, these secret subterranean bunkers offered space to supply and maintain German submarines during World War 2, out of sight of the Royal Air Force’s reconnaissance planes.
The biggest spaces inside the building itself are in the solid basement, whose walls are more than six feet thick – making them bomb proof.
Several rooms have no windows, including one tunnel-like space which runs the length of the house with just a small window at one end.
Fumero said: “The house has a bunker, prison cells, an autopsy table and crematorium-style ovens.
“The walls are so thick they are strong enough to withstand an impact.”
The mysterious castle-like property was built by Gustav Winter, a German engineer who made his fortune building power plants in Argentina and elsewhere around the world.
It is said he arrived on the island in the 1930s on a mission to build the fortress-like home after asking the Nazi Party for cash to fund the project.
Locals were later banned from going near the site after it was declared a “military zone” in a deal struck between Hitler and Spanish dictator General Franco.
Winter denied the dark claims about the villa right up until his death and in an interview with the German magazine Stern in 1971 insisted it wasn’t finished being built until after the war.
However, some still believe a number of notorious Nazis arrived on the island to have plastic surgery after the fall of the Third Reich before heading to Brazil and Argentina.
“I am sure Gustav Winter was provisioning German submarines,” added Fumero, citing wartime reports and some of his own findings.
“Why would you build a tower like this on top of what is essentially a bunker? This was never a house meant for enjoyment,” he said.
However, one man who has spent five years looking into the rumours surrounding the home claims many of them are just that.
Alex Peer has scoured the Winter family archives to determine what the house was really built for and what – if any – links the engineer had to the Nazi Party.
In his new book Mythos Winter – The Myth of Winter – he claims although there “is no smoke without fire” all is not as it seems.
He told The Sun Online: “This place has an extremely special spirit. There is a strange energy surrounding the villa.
“However, many of the rumours surrounding the home are just not true.”
He points out there is no evidence plastic surgery had been practiced there, no doctor is known to have been there and says the alleged room for surgery in the villa was just a kitchen.
THE NAZIS WHO DID ESCAPE
HISTORIANS know that Hitler died in his bunker after shooting himself – but some Nazis did escape to South America.
The evil mastermind behind the “final solution” escaped to Argentina in 1950 after hiding out in Austria.
He was captured in 1960 by Israeli agents before being hanged as a war criminal – being handed Israel’s only ever use of the death sentence.
Known as the “Angel of Death”, Mengele was an SS officer who experimented on and tortured prisoners at Auschwitz.
The vile beast fled to Paraguay, then Brazil, and managed to elude justice before drowning after suffering a stroke while swimming in 1979.
The SS colonel behind mobile gas chambers which killed at least 100,000 people during World War 2.
He managed to escape a prison camp before fleeing to Chile, where he lived out his days until 1984 under the protection of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
He was known as “The White Death” for his white uniform and worked to kill thoses with mental and physical disabilities.
Escaping to Brazil in 1951, he was eventually captured and taken back to Germany in 1967 – being found guilty of the mass murder of 900,000 people. He died in 1971.
Headed up a program to help “purify” the Aryan race which oversaw the slaughter of 200,000 people with incurable conditions.
He hid out in Argentina after fleeing there in 1949 but was arrested after he returned to Germany in 1963. He fled to Argentina again while on bail, but then became the first Nazi extradited by Buenos Aires – dying in 1981.
Peer, who lives in, Salzburg, Austria, claims the villa was actually built to be a family home but Winter’s second wife refused to move there because it was too isolated.
However, he understands why the property has been dogged by dark rumours as its owner did approach the Nazi Party to ask for the cash needed to build it.
He said: “Every legend has some truth. Winter did contact Hermann Göring who ran the Ministry of Economy (for funding) but he was not a spy, he was an engineer.
“It is not a secret, that Hitler, Göring, and Erich Raeder (Commander in Chief of the German Navy) wanted to establish a base in the Atlantic region, preferably on the Canary Islands.
“And Goring must have thought it was Christmas when Winter told him about his plans to build on Fuerteventura.”
However, Peer says Gustav Winter’s motive for developing on the Canary Islands were innocent.
“It was no secret he was looking to build something on the island so it’s not surprising that, considering his links to the Nazi party, these rumours started to emerge,” he said,