The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/b/brunner.alois/press/brunner-sightings



 
 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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