One of the world's most wanted Nazi war criminals died in Syria four years ago, according to the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office.
Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff said, who heads the centre, said though he could not prove forensically SS captain Alois Brunner was dead, "we are certain that is the case."
Brunner, who would now be 102 years old, is accused of deporting more than 128,000 Jews from Austria, Greece, France and Slovkia to concentration camps during World War II. In 2003, he was named as "the world's highest-ranking Nazi fugitive believed still alive".
"[He] played a key role in the implementation of Hitler's 'Final Solution' to murder Jews," said Zuroff, calling Brunner "a monster."
Brunner had reportedly moved to Damascus in 1950, where he allegedly worked under former President Hafex al-Assad, advising him on security and terrorism,
Zuroff added that Brunner had at least two attempts on his life by Israeli intelligence services. "He lost three fingers and an eye, " said Zuroff. “But unfortunately, they didn’t kill him.”
“The significance is only that one very prime target can no longer be brought to justice,” Zuroff concluded.
“That’s very sad, because it just underlines the failure of the world community to see to it that the primary movers and shakers of the Final Solution were forced to pay for their crimes.”
Also see our earlier posts:
89 year old arrested in US, charged over Auschwitz (19 June 2014)
Why Nazi hunting remains crucial – NYT editorial (11 January 2014)
‘Late, but not too late’ (10 January 2014)
Former Nazi guard charged with French massacre (08 January 2014)