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Unknown FBI documents on Onassis: “Playboy, rogue and suspected of espionage”

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Aristotle Onassis, who died on March 15, 1975, achieved something really rare: He built both his huge myth and the famous “curse” that he pursues his family, a curse that was nothing but himself.

For many, the myth remains, covering with the pink veil of luxury and fairy tale all that Onassis did in his life at the expense of people who were often very close to him. The “curse” also remains alive and unfolds every time his granddaughter, say, Athena Onassis, is captured sad by the camera lens, something not so rare.

Onassis remains, however, a largely mysterious figure. Very secretive himself, no one knew his next moves beyond himself and often surprised both his close associates and members of his family, or the women who were supposed to share his life. Maria Callas, for example, would have a lot to tell us about it, if she had not died prematurely, taking with her the erotic and general disappointment that their relationship has become in recent years.

Aristotle Onassis with Maria Callas in Paris at a reception at Maxim, April 2, 1965 (AP Photo/Str)

The elements that can ultimately compose this person's true personality are scattered, often contradictory and rare. And each one adds a different touch to Aristotle's canvas. a vague time in Onassis' history, when he began to build his later vast fortune.

Onassis, born in 1900 in Smyrna, emigrated in 1928, after a major rift with his merchant father, in Argentina. There, he did what he knew how to do best in his life, took advantage of opportunities and people, and started building his fortune with his cousins ​​Nikolaos and Konstantinos Konialidis, who lived permanently in South America and were already successful businessmen. p>

In 1938, realizing the future importance of tankers, he ordered his first, the “Ariston” in Swedish shipyards. In 1942 he moved to New York from & # 8217; where he commanded his fleet, from tankers and merchant ships all sailing under the neutral flags of Sweden and Panama.

Hoover orders him to be monitored

When he was in Argentina, the very social and always targeted Onassis, met various people and especially people who were not very popular with the US authorities. As soon as he appeared in America, he immediately became a “person of special interest” to the authorities, and Edgar Hoover himself, Director of the newly formed and self-inspired FBI, instructed agents to monitor him closely.

In his confidential reports Hoover and his agents, Onassis is referred to as “a person with anti-war and anti-American sentiments”, while in the same files he is also listed as “fascist ideology”.

If one reads them carefully one will see that these reports are full of biographical inaccuracies about Onassis, but also estimates that are based largely on the gossip of the Argentine and American “good” society. Not only that, but & # 8230;

Aristotle Onassis in London, April 18, 1967 (AP Photo/Laurence Harris)

Onassis's lies, the involvement of Greece

For example, it is reported that Onassis was born in Thessaloniki in 1906, a mistake for which the FBI itself is not responsible, but Onassis, who considered it good to give false information to the authorities when he entered the United States and asked for a residence permit. >

On 27 July 1942, Hoover received petition No. 100-125834-1, according to which:

“The suspect is Greek and had planned to fly with Panair from Buenos Aires to the USA, on June 18. He is partly the owner of two tankers, the “Calliroy” and the “Antiope”, which he hopes to sell to the Maritime War Administration.

Our embassy in Buenos Aires received information from the Greek embassy there that the suspect has spoken out against the war effort and is believed to be under constant surveillance while in the United States. ”

Elsewhere in the documents, he is described as “an international playboy living between New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.” The service closely monitored all his shipping movements and connections and in one of the reports Onassis is mentioned as “a subversive and ruthless person, as it appears from his public and private conversations”.

Suspected for espionage

In another document, No. 65-4091/12-18-43, the FBI report comes from Los Angeles and is entitled “Character of case: Espionage -X », ie espionage:

“& # 8230; The suspect is staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Our informant described him as a playboy, who has expressed & # 8217; repetition of anti-war sentiments. He is a citizen of Argentina, of Greek origin, 28-30 years old and his business activities (they are mentioned in detail), although complex, seem to be legal “.

When the FBI requested information about Onassis from the Interior Ministry, he replied that “the suspect applied for a visa to the United States with the legal passport of Argentina in his possession, which was issued in 1942 by the Buenos Aires police. Asking for information from our embassy in Buenos Aires, we were informed that the suspect is of fascist ideology and is considered dishonest and without moral barriers. The Argentine government has informed us that it has nothing to do with this person, who should be considered a private visitor and does not enjoy any protection from the country's authorities. “

New York, 22 November 1968 (AP Photo/Harvey Georges)On February 20, 1943, Hoover himself compiled a summary of Onassis' “biography”, which states, among other things, that “20 years ago, the suspect quarreled with his father and left Greece for Argentina, where he initially worked. as a waitress assistant in a restaurant and later in the night shift of the post office as a low-paid clerk. He made his fortune selling Turkish tobacco in Argentina, through a family member in Greece.

“The tobacco was coming through Genoa and it seems that Onassis conceived the idea of ​​sprinkling the tobacco with salt while it was in the warehouses in Genoa, in order to collect after the compensations from the insurance companies for alleged seawater damages during the transport. .

“An employee of the company handed him over to the insurance companies, those to the authorities and as a result, Nikolaos Konialidis, partner and relative of Onassis spent some months in Italian prisons.

“The Italian authorities sent the report to Greece, but it disappeared due to the close relationship between Onassis and Michalakopoulos, a Greek government minister at the time.

” With the help of Michalakopoulos, Onassis was appointed Consul of Greece in Argentina, a very interesting position, which allowed him to buy large sums of foreign exchange at official prices and resell them on the black market, which at that time was flourishing.

“When the current minister of the Greek government, Nikolaos Dendramis, removed the title of consul from Onassis, he became very angry and started with unprecedented fury an attempt to discredit Dendramis, which did not have many results.”

The The FBI stopped the search for Onassis at the end of the war in 1946, as there was no evidence of “anti-American activity.”

The rest, as the Americans say, is history.

< p> Source: cnn.gr

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