Brunner Sightings, Brunner Alois

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
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.