Restoring a Lost Eden (Expanded)


Early photo of the Eden Hotel, Argentina, circa 1912.

It was dark but they still had to be careful. Ever since the anti-Fascists took over the country, Germans were being rounded up, incarcerated, and brutally interrogated for information related to the Nazis.

The woman looked to be thirty to thirty-five years old and about six months pregnant which was obvious even through the overcoat she was wearing. She and a man stood by the car watching the Hotel Eden in the distance. Once it had been a sanctuary for high-ranking party members and their friends. Albert Einstein had once stayed there as did many other notables, dignitaries, and celebrities.

But those days were over.

“It’s so sad, Juan. The end of a glorious era.”

“Indeed, Senora. But those days are not gone forever. Your husband’s legacy will live on in a future generation.”

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Eden Denied Her

hotel eden

Hotel Eden, La Falda, Argentina. December 2004 – From Wikimedia Commons

“Senora, everyone else has fled. It is not safe for you here.”

“A moment longer, Juan.”

They stood by the car looking at the distant Eden Hotel. Then the ten-year-old boy emerged from the shadows.

“I got it for you. He visited here once in disguise as did Herr Goebbels,  Herr Eichmann and many others.”

“Let’s see it Adolpho.” Juan took the box and handed it to the German. “Your husband’s legacy, Senora. You are to carry on here in Argentina.”

She held the strong box like fragile porcelain smiling bitterly at the child named for her husband.

Juan ushered the pregnant woman into the car and then got behind the wheel. “You and your child will lack for nothing.”

She muttered, “It was Adolf’s last wish that I raise his unborn son to follow him. The Reich will rise again, and this time we will have the bomb too.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw flash fiction writing challenge. The idea it to take a Google maps location and street view and use it as the inspiration to craft a story no more than 150 words long. After a great deal of editing, my word count is down to 150.

einstein eden

Undated photo of Albert Einstein posing with a group of visitors at Argentina’s Eden Hotel

Today the Pegman takes us to Córdoba Argentina. The city itself has an incredibly rich history and I was considering a tale perhaps having to do with the Jesuits but then, given my recent interest in World War II and the old atomic weapons programs that were under development by the Axis powers, I thought about how many high-ranking Nazis used Argentina as a sanctuary at the end of the war. That’s when I discovered The Eden Hotel in La Falda, not far from the city of Córdoba but still in Córdoba Provence. I looked at another article and discovered that the hotel was owned by and sheltered Nazis before and during World War II, though shortly before the war ended, an anti-Nazi movement took over the country and seized the Hotel.

Legend states that Adolf Hitler once visited the Eden in disguise. The Hotel had a radio antenna strong enough to receive Hitler’s public radio broadcasts live, and it was later discovered that the owners had actually bankrolled the early Nazi party, funding Hitler’s rise to power.

Although it is a virtual certainty that both Adolf Hitler and his wife (they were married shortly before committing suicide) Eva Braun died in Berlin on 30 April 1945, there have always been rumors up to the level of conspiracy theories saying that Hitler, Braun, or both managed to escape to Argentina. When I was growing up in the 1960s, any number of movies, television shows, and books, leveraged these rumors to tell tales of a mythical rising of a Fourth Reich, like a phoenix from the ashes of the Third.

hitler and braun

© dpa/Corbis – Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun 1944

I leveraged all of that for my wee tale, a pregnant Eva Braun arriving in Argentina, contacting Hitler’s underground network of supporters, retrieving a metal strong box hidden in the Eden Hotel, perhaps by Hitler himself, containing the nuclear secrets of the Nazis, and with the amassed wealth of the Reich now at Braun’s disposal, she brings up Hitler’s son to follow in his bloody father’s footsteps.

I hadn’t thought about this while writing the story, but it later popped into my head that I once saw a film called The Boys From Brazil starring Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier. It was based on a 1976 novel by Ira Levin about the Nazi “Angel of Death” Dr. Josef Mengele somehow managing to create numerous clones (at the time of the novel, all aged 13 years) of Adolf Hitler with the insane idea of recreating both Hitler and the Reich.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

I’ve written an expanded version of this story that offers a bit more than I could squeeze into 150 words.