World's 'Worst' Nazi Is Dead

Alois Brunner, Eichmann's 'best man,' revealed to have died 4 years ago
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2014 7:46 AM CST
World's 'Worst' Nazi Is Dead
This undated file photo supplied by Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld shows Alois Brunner, once the top aide to Adolf Eichmann.   (AP Photo)

The world's most-wanted Nazi is dead, and he died without regrets about his role in the murder of thousands of Jews. That's according to Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, who says a German secret service agent recently revealed that Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's "best man," died in Syria four years ago at the age of 98, the Times of Israel reports. Brunner handled the deportation of more than 128,000 Jews to Nazi death camps, but he evaded capture and landed in Syria, where he's said to have advised President Hafez al-Assad on torture methods he honed during his SS tenure, the Daily Express reports. "He was involved in the harsh treatment of the Jewish community of Syria and was an expert in terror and torture," Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israeli office, tells the Express. "He said himself his one regret was he did not kill more Jews. He was unrepentant."

Brunner was able to flee because authorities mistakenly hanged SS member Anton Brunner for crimes Alois committed. He then claimed he got paperwork from "American authorities" under an assumed name and served as a US Army driver, Arutz Sheva reports. In 1954, he used a fake Red Cross passport to travel to Rome, then Egypt (where the New York Times reported he rented a room from a Jewish family he described as being "quite nice people, really") before heading to Syria. Per the Times of Israel, the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote in his memoirs, "In my eyes, he was the worst [Third Reich criminal] ever. While Adolf Eichmann drew up the general staff plan for the extermination of the Jews, Alois Brunner implemented it." Zuroff says the center will now take Brunner's name off the "wanted" list to concentrate on nabbing other surviving Nazis. (In other Holocaust news, an awful theft that's being described as a "great loss".)

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