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In 1980, the soldiers of the Third Reich took Bolivia. After the huge tank battles that had brought about the final victory in Europe, South America was something more like a police operation—in fact, the conquest of the country was led not by the ­Wehrmacht, but by a Hauptsturmführer of the Gestapo. Still, the campaign was swift and ­brutal: Panzers discreetly shipped over from factories in Vienna were suddenly rumbling through the streets and squares of La Paz; citizens who came out to oppose the invading armies were mercilessly gunned down. German-led forces went door to door through the cities—they had their lists. As they’d done in Chile and Argentina, the occupation forces dragged writers and intellectuals, trade unionists, journalists, anyone who might pose a threat to the new order, out of their homes to be shot. An implacable force was working its way up the body of the Americas: The Aryan countries of the Southern Cone had been pacified, and now the Nazis turned their gaze northwards, toward the United States.

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