KLM accused of helping Nazis flee
Source: BBC News
According to papers found by Dutch journalists, KLM asked Switzerland to let Germans cross its borders and fly to South America without proper papers. Suspected war criminals were forbidden from leaving Germany by the Allies. KLM acknowledges some of its passengers may have been fleeing justice, but denies it sought to help them escape. A spokesman for the airline, Bart Koster, told the BBC that it was not responsible for carrying out background checks on passengers who had been allowed to leave by the Allies. Dutch MPs, historians and Jewish groups have demanded an independent investigation into the reports first aired last week, particularly because a member of the Dutch royal family may have been involved. Prince Bernhard, the father of Queen Beatrix, was the director of KLM at the time. Mr Koster said KLM did not want to run away from the allegations and was willing to co-operate with any inquiry. "We would welcome everything which could help clarify what may have happened," he said. Royal controversy According to documents found in Switzerland by Dutch TV documentary-makers, a local representative for KLM, Mr Frick, asked the Swiss border police in 1948 to allow his airline's passengers from Germany to enter the country without the proper papers so they could fly to Argentina.