Washington, winter, 1945. Walter Eichhorn and Ida Bonfert are being investigated in connection to Hitler’s crimes. The Eichhorns actively believe in nazism, and they have supported it financially, as documents show. Ida has given Goebbels 30,000 marks and, since then, the matrimony is allowed into the Fuhrer’s room without permission.
The Eichhorns travel frequently to Germany, and so do the Germans to La Falda, where the matrimony owns a prestigious hotel, The Eden, founded in 1899. The immense eclectic building, with French-style towers and German decorations, is the perfect refuge for Europeans escaping the winter, tuberculosis and, a bit later, the Nuremberg Trials.
Historians say that it was frequent for the Eden to transmit Hitler’s speeches through speakers inside and outside the premises. They were able to catch the signal through a short-wave antenna installed on the roof. The hotel is luxurious and exclusive. It offers 100 bedrooms, 38 bathrooms, a separate dining room for children, a huge dancing hall, reading rooms, gardens, theaters and bars. Outside, over 50 species of trees and flowers brought from Europe, tennis courts with artificial light for playing at night, swimming pools and hunting grounds. If this is not enough, there was also a bank, a mechanical workshop and a stable orchestra.
Ida claims her friends will always have a safe refuge in her hotel, and the promise resonates to this day. It’s presumed that Adolf Eichmann y Josef Schwammberger stayed in the hotel, along about 1,200 Germans who arrived in La Falda (when the Graf Spree was sunken in Rio de La Plata, the crew stayed at El Eden) and hundreds of local and European celebrities. There are also several semi-believable theories regarding the hotel being Hitler’s final hiding place, but no documents to confirm it.
“My dear comrades, who stayed with me during hard times of fight, I wish you a happy anniversary. Congratulations, Adolf Hitler,”
he wrote in one of his final letters, where he also thanks the Eichhorns for their constant financial support.
Walter and Ida were among the selected few to get a numbered copy of the luxury edition of Mein Kampf. They got number 110 of a scarce 500 copies.
The hotel closed in 1965 and never again received guests. Plans to turn it into a casino eventually collided with the historical and architectural importance of the building, and it was declared Historical Monument in 1988. The hotel has since then received thousands of visitors and is slowly being rebuilt.