Betina Anton

Betina Anton was born in São Paulo, graduated in Journalism from the School of Communications and Arts of the University of SãoPaulo (ECA/USP) and holds a master’s degree in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science(LSE). She has over 20 years of experience as a journalist. As an international news editor at Globo TV, the largest channel in Latin America, she participated in major news coverages, such as the wars in Ukraine and Syria and all the American elections since 2008.
She won the Vladimir Herzog award, the most prestigious Journalism prize in Brazil, with the series “70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: achievements and failures”. TROPICAL BAVARIA is her first book.
After the end of the Second World War, the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, known worldwide for cruel experiments and for sending thousands of people to the gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp, lived on the run for 34 years, more than half of them in Brazil. Mengele escaped justice, the Israeli secret service, and Nazi hunters until his death in Bertioga Beach, in the state of São Paulo, in 1979. Hidden in Brazil, Mengele created his “Tropical Bavaria”, a place where he could speak German, maintain his beliefs, his friends, and his connection with the homeland. This was only possible thanks to a small circle of expatriate Europeans willing to help him until the end.

One such person, Austrian Liselotte Bossert, buried Mengele with false documents in order to keep his true identity hidden even after his death. When, in 1985, this fact came to light and the world finally discovered where Josef Mengele was, Liselotte was teaching at a German school in São Paulo, and one of her students was precisely Betina Anton, then six years old. The sudden disappearance of her schoolteacher, with no explanation given to the children, intrigued her forever. Decades later, as an experienced journalist, Betina decided to investigate the matter. But when she was reunited with Liselotte, she received threats for wanting to clarify a “dangerous case”.
Based on extensive research, including interviews, unpublished documents and news coverage from that era, the book tells in a suspenseful way how Mengele became a monstrous doctor without any scruples in the exercise of his profession, how he ended up in Brazil and why people in the country got involved with him, even risking their reputations to cover him up. Finally, the big question of this book: how could a criminal of this magnitude and his collaborators go unpunished?

Publication/Status: To be published by Todavia (Brazil) in November 2023. Sold to Leya (Portugal), to Magnus (Serbia), to Niew Amsterdam (The Netherlands), to Feeria (Poland), to Jelenkor (Hungary), and to Minerva (Finland). World English Rights sold, publisher to be announced. Manuscript to be delivered in July 2023.

Full and detailed Summary, Script and long sample translated into English.