WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland may ask Syria to
extradite Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, who is held
responsible for ordering the deportation of up to
150,000 European Jews to death camps during World
The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center has
demanded that Brunner’s extradition be made a
condition of any peace deal between Israel and Syria,
despite Syrian denials that the former top-ranking
German officer is living in Damascus.
A Polish Justice Ministry expert said Tuesday he had
been told to assess whether there was a case for
Brunner’s extradition on charges of causing genocide at
Auschwitz-Birkenau, the death camp that German
invaders ran in occupied Poland.
“Poland has a legal basis to ask for the extradition of
Brunner, because even though he was never in Poland,
his crimes were committed here,” Professor Witold
Kulesza told Reuters.
Brunner, dubbed the right hand-man of senior SS
officer Adolf Eichman, who was executed in Israel in
1962, is believed to be the highest-ranking Nazi official
Kulesza said the Wiesenthal Center was looking at the
possibility of extraditing Brunner to a country other
than Israel. Damascus might be more willing to agree to
“The Wiesenthal Center is investigating the chances of
finding a legal basis to try Brunner outside Israel, if
Syria agrees to let this criminal go,” Kulesza said.
Brunner, now 87, was sentenced to death in absentia by
French courts in 1953 and 1954 for heading a transit
camp in the French town of Drancy, from where he
deported about 60,000 Jews to the
Auschwitz-Birkenau’s gas chambers.
He also deported Jews from Slovakia and Greece.
Brunner is due to face trial again soon in France for
crimes against humanity, although no date has been set.
Kulesza said he would present his findings Wednesday
to Justice Minister Hanna Suchocka, who will
ultimately decide whether to ask for the extradition
after an investigation which could prove lengthy.
Nazi German invaders murdered up to 1.5 million
people, mostly Jews, in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp,
after shipping them to the southern Polish town from all
From: “Joel Rosenberg”
Subject: Poland May Ask Syria to Extradite Nazi War Criminal
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