Report: Notorious Nazi War Criminal Alois Brunner Died in Syrian Prison in 2001
JNS.org — A notorious Nazi war criminal, responsible for the deaths of roughly 130,000 Jews in the Holocaust, died in squalor in a Syrian prison in 2001 after spending more than a decade in jail, according to a French magazine.
Alois Brunner had been Adolf Eichmann’s right-hand man and was in charge of the Drancy internment camp outside of Paris, where he rounded up Jews for deportation to the death camps. For years, it was believed that Brunner died in 2010, but Revue XXI magazine’s journalists, Hedi Aouidj and Mathieu Palain, uncovered new evidence that he was incarcerated by Syrian authorities in a dilapidated basement, where he died at 89.
According to Aouidj, Brunner fled West Germany in the 1950s and was originally close to Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, training intelligence services on torture methods before he lost the favor of Damascus.
Brunner remained a rabid antisemite until his death, Revue XXI reported.
One of Brunner’s guards, who went by the name Omar, said that he “suffered and cried a lot in his final years, everyone heard him,” the AFP news agency reported. The only food he was given to eat during that time, Omar said, were “army rations — awful stuff — and an egg or a potato. He had to choose one or the other.”
Famed Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld told the AFP, “We are satisfied to learn that he lived badly rather than well.”
Brunner was taken off the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s most wanted list in 2014, signifying that it considered him dead.