Top Nazi-hunter says he unearthed clues during search for ‘Dr. Death’ | SummitDaily.com
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Top Nazi-hunter says he unearthed clues during search for ‘Dr. Death’

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ” The world’s top Nazi-hunter said Thursday he’s made progress in finding 94-year-old “Doctor Death,” a former concentration camp physician accused of torturing Jewish prisoners as they died and who may have been living for decades in Argentina or Chile.

Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israeli branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told a news conference that his mission to the southern reaches of the Americas led him to at least four people who claim to have seen Aribert Heim in the past 45 days.

“We’re better off than before we came,” Zuroff said. “That doesn’t guarantee Heim’s capture, but I’m hopeful.”



Zuroff launched the investigation last week in southern Chilean fishing town of Puerto Montt, where Heim’s daughter long lived. Zuroff has said she frequently traveled to the Patagonian town of San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina, which he visited this week.

“What we expected to do ” and so far we have been successful ” is to put in place the tools that will lead to his capture in the next few weeks ” or at the most, months,” Zuroff said while in Bariloche.



Heim was indicted in Germany after World War II on charges he murdered hundreds of inmates at the Mauthausen concentration camp in 1941. The Wiesenthal center says he injected the corrosive poison phenol directly into the hearts of many and used “other torturous killing methods.”

Zuroff says that Heim’s children have made no claim to a bank account with euro1.2 million (US$1.6 million) and other investments in Heim’s name. To do that, they would have to produce proof that “Doctor Death” was dead.

A reward of euro315,000 (US$495,000) is being offered jointly by the center and the German and Austrian governments for information leading to his capture. Heim tops the Wiesenthal Center’s list of most-wanted Nazi war criminals.

The South American probe is part of the Jewish human rights organization’s “Operation: Last Chance” ” an effort to bring aging war criminals to justice before they die. If alive, Heim would be 94.

After World War II, Heim was held for two and a half years by the United States military but was released without being tried.

He disappeared in 1962 after he was tipped off that German authorities were about to indict him, Zuroff said.

“You can’t obtain justice from someone who engaged in genocide,” said Abraham H. Foxman, the U.S. director of the Anti-Defamation League. But he echoed Zuroff’s mantra that no crime should go unpunished.

The search for Heim, Foxman said, is meant “to deliver the message to all who in the future would act in similar manners that they will not be able to have a sleepless night.”

Zuroff said that in the past two weeks he has spoken with at least four people who claim to have seen Heim in past 45 days.

“We’re better off than before we came,” Zuroff said. “That doesn’t guarantee Heim’s capture, but I’m hopeful.”


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