Nazi war criminal may have moved to South America By Bernard Edinger PARIS, May 18 (Reuter) - Alois Brunner, the most notorious Nazi war criminal still at large, may have left his long-time refuge in Syria for a new hiding place in Latin America, top Nazi hunters said on Thursday. They reported unconfirmed sightings of Austrian-born Brunner, now 83, in a remote area of northern Argentina near the borders of Paraguay and Brazil. Rabbi Marvin Hier and other officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre showed reporters what they said was an Interpol list of the 12 most wanted men in Latin America which now includes Brunner, apparently for the first time. Brunner is wanted in connection with the deaths of 130,000 Jews whom he had deported to death camps during World War Two. Shimon Samuels, the Weisenthal centre's European director, said he had just returned from several Latin American capitals where he met top officials including Argentina's outgoing Interior Minister Carlos Corach who promised to help. Samuels said he also visited Germany where justice authorities told him a $250,000 reward might be posted within days for Brunner's capture. Hier said he met U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) head Louis Freeh last week in Washington to enlist his aid. Brunner was wartime deputy to fellow Austrian Adolf Eichmann, the man to whom Nazi leader Adolf Hitler entrusted the ``final solution of the Jewish problem'' - the extermination of six million European Jews. Hitler was also Austrian and Hier said he hoped Brunner could be tried in Austria. ``It would be an invaluable lesson for Austrian society which has often presented itself also as victims of the Nazis,'' he said. Eichmann sought refuge in Argentina after the war but was abducted by Israeli agents in 1961 and brought to Jerusalem where he was tried and hanged. Germany, France and Austria all launched extradition proceedings believing Brunner to be in Syria using the name Georg Fischer but Syria has always denied any knowledge of him. A German magazine published an interview a decade ago which they said was conducted with Brunner in Damascus. Several Middle East publications reported two years ago that Brunner had died in Syria. ``If we have no proof he is dead, we assume he is alive. Interpol seems to point to that,'' Hier said. He was especially encouraged by the possibility of a reward which he expected would lead to denunciations. ``Another top Nazi, Joseph Schwammberger, hid out in Argentina for decades. In 1990, it took just two weeks to nab him after a reward was posted for his capture and extradition to Germany,'' said Hier.
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