Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner ( Nádkút ( in ), then in Austria-Hungary , 8 of April of 1912 – Damascus , . C 2010 ?) Was an officer of the Schutzstaffel who worked as an assistant to Adolf Eichmann , in IVB4 Section of the Gestapo . In fact, Eichmann came to refer to Brunner as his “best man.” Brunner was responsible for sending about 100,000 European Jews to the gas chambers. He was commander of the internment camp Drancy outside Paris between June 1943 and August 1944; From Drancy some 24,000 people were deported.

After the end of World War II , Brunner managed to avoid being tried and in 1954 fled West Germany , first to Egypt and finally to Syria , where he continued living until his supposed death. During those years he was the object of numerous searches and investigations by numerous Kazakh groups , including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Klarsfeld marriage . In 1954 he was convicted in absentia in France for Crimes against humanity . The government of Syria under Hafez al-Assad was about to extradite Brunner to East Germany , but the plan failed after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. According to some reports, Brunner had died in Syria in 2010. 1 2

In a telephone interview in 1987 he showed no regrets about the crimes committed during the Holocaust. 3


Early years

Son of a farmer, was born in Nádkút ( in ), a village German – speaking west of Hungary (then Austro – Hungarian Empire ). 4

After 1918, Nádkút was renamed Rohrbrunn and would become part of Austria. Brunner conducted accounting studies and worked as a salesman until 1932 .

On May 29, 1931, at the age of 19, he joined the National Socialist Workers’ Party (NSDAP) with the number 510.064 and in 1932 he entered the Sturmabteilung (SA). He lost his job in a large warehouse due to the agitation of the then illegal NSDAP. After the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, Brunner joined the Schutzstaffel (SS) in Vienna on 10 August 1939. 4 There he joined the IVB4 Section of the Gestapo , under the direct orders of SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann . He worked closely with Eichmann on the so-called Nisko Plan, a failed attempt to establish a Jewish reservation in Nisko, occupied Poland , that same year. 5

Participation in the Holocaust

Brunner became a problem solver for the SS. He held the rank of SS- Hauptsturmführer when he began to organize deportations to the Nazi concentration camps from Vichy France and Slovakia . He was commander of a train of Jews deported from Vienna to Riga in February of 1942. During the trip, Brunner shot and assassinated to the well-known financier Siegmund Bosel , who, despite being sick, had been forcibly detained and transferred from a hospital of Vienna Until the train of the Jews. Later it was destined to occupied France, where it would become trístemente known.

Before being appointed commander of the Drancy Internment Camp near Paris in June 1943, Brunner had deported 43,000 Jews from Vienna and 46,000 from Salonica . 6 In 1944 he was sent personally by Eichmann to Slovakia to supervise the deportation of the Jews of the country. 7 In the last months of the Third Reich he organized the deportation of another 13,500 Jews from Slovakia 6 to the fields of Theresienstadt , Sachsenhausen , Bergen-Belsen , and Stutthof ; The majority of the deportees did not survive and those who did did ended up being sent to Auschwitz, where they were finally killed. Referring to Fig.

After the war

In an interview with the German magazine Bunte in 1985, Brunner described how he escaped being captured by the Allies after the end of World War II. The identity of Alois Brunner was apparently confused with that of another member of the SS, Anton Brunner, who would be executed for war crimes. Anton Brunner, who had also worked in Vienna deporting Jews, was confused after the end of the battle with Alois Brunner, even by historians like Gerald Reitlinger . Referring to Fig.

Brunner stated that he “received official documents under a false name from the US authorities,” and that he found work as a driver for the United States Army in the immediate post-war period. 10 11 12 13Apparently, after the end of the Brunner race also found work with the so-called Gehlen Organization . 14 15 16

Brunner fled West Germany in 1954 with a fake Red Cross passport, traveling first to Rome, then to Egypt, where he worked as an arms dealer, and then to Syria, where he adopted the pseudonym of Dr. Georg Fischer. In Syria he was hired as a government advisor. The exact nature of their work is unknown, but it is believed that advised the Syrian government in techniques of torture and repression , some of which had learned in his time as a torturer of the SS. For many years Syria rejected the entry of Western investigators like the cazanazis Serge Klarsfeld , that during 15 pleitied in the French courts. Simon Wiesenthal also tried unsuccessfully for Brunner to be tried. However, in the late 1980s the German Democratic Republic negotiated with Syria extradition and later arrested in East Berlin by Alois Brunner. 17 The government of Syria during the period of Hafez al-Assad came close to extraditing Brunner to eastern Germany, but the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 affected the contacts between the two regimes and paralyzed the plan for extradition. 17

In 1995 , German prosecutors in Cologne and Frankfurt offered a $ 333,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of Brunner. 18

In December 1999 several reports appeared that said that Brunner had died in 1996, and that he had been buried in a cemetery in Damascus. However, the German press reported that Brunner had been seen that year by German journalists at the Meridian Hotel in Damascus, where he was said to have been living under police protection. 19 In late 2001 German journalists reported that Brunner had been spotted at the Meridian Hotel. 16

In 2011 the German magazine Der Spiegel reported that German intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) had destroyed its files on Brunner during the 1990s, and comments in the remaining files contained contradictory statements about whether Brunner had come to work or not For the BND at some point. twenty

Bomb letters

In 1961 and 1980, Brunner received several bomb packages sent to him while residing in Damascus. As a result of the letter bomb he received in 1961, he lost an eye, and in 1980 lost the fingers of his left hand when a bomb package exploded in his hands. Those responsible for sending letter bombs were allegedly unknown individuals 21 although some believe it was the work of Mossad Israeli.

Supposed death

On 30 November 2014, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that it had received credible information that Brunner had died in Syria in 2010, at the age of 97 or 98. Partly due to the situation created by the Syrian Civil War , the date of his death and the exact place of his burial are unknown to this day. 1 2

Judicial proceedings

After the war he was convicted in absentia by the government French for crimes against humanity .

In 2001 , Brunner was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment in Paris at the end of a trial opened in 1987 by the “Nazi hunters” Serge and Beate Klarsfeld , for having sent the 31 of July of 1944 to 345 Jewish children from France to The concentration and extermination camps, to which his parents had already been deported.


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b “A Notorious Nazi War Criminal Died in Syria Four Years Ago” , Time Magazine (December 2, 2014)
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b Simon Wiesenthal Center 2014 Annual Report on the Status of Nazi War Criminals ( PDF ) . Los Angeles : Simon Wiesenthal Center . 2014.
  3. Back to top^ Ashman, Chuck (November 1, 1987). Nazi butcher in Syria haven . Chicago: Chicago Sun Times. ; Also available from US State Department Document ID 127425708. National Security Archive
  4. ↑ Jump to:a b Georges Bensoussan, Jean-Marc Dreyfus, Édouard Husson, et al. (2009). Dictionnaire de la Shoah , Paris: Larousse ISBN 978-2-035-83781-3 , p. 143
  5. Back to top↑ David Cesarani (2005) [2004]. Eichmann: His Life and Crimes , London: Vintage, p. 128
  6. ↑ Jump to:a b Henley, Jon (March 3, 2003). ‘French court strikes blow against Nazi fugitive’ . London: The Guardian . Accessed February 9, 2016 .
  7. Back to top↑ Raul Hilberg (1991). The Destruction of Juifs d’Europe, vol. 2 , Paris: Gallimard, p. 641
  8. Back to top↑ Porter, Anna (2009) [2007]. Kasztner’s Train: The True Story of an Unknown Hero of the Holocaust . New York: Walker Publishing. P. 246. ISBN  978-0-8027-1596-8 .
  9. Back to top↑ Gertrude Schneider, (2001). Journey into Terror: Story of the Riga Ghetto , Westport: Praeger, ISBN 0-275-97050-7 , p. 54, 167
  10. Back to top↑ «Most-Wanted Nazi Ready to Surrender, Report Says». Los Angeles Times. 28 October 1985.
  11. Back to top↑ Markham, James M. (November 29, 1985). In Syria, Long-Hunted Nazi Talks . The New York Times.
  12. Back to top↑ «Nazi Criminal Says Mixup Aided His Escape» . The New York Times. 7 November 1985.
  13. Back to top↑ George J. Annas (1991). «Mengele’s Birthmark: The Nuremberg Code in United States Courts». The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 7 . Pp. 17-46.
  14. Back to top↑ Peter Wyden (2001). The Hitler Virus: The Insidious Legacy of Adolf Hitler . Arcade Publishing.
  15. Back to top↑ Hafner, Georg; Schapira, Esther (2000). Die Akte Alois Brunner (in German) . Campus Verlag.
  16. ↑ Jump to:a b «Alois Brunner: The Nazi War Criminal Who Found a Home in Syria» . July 18, 2012 . Consulted on February 9, 2014 .
  17. ↑ Jump to:a b «Fall of Berlin Wall halted extradition of key Nazi: report» . . Accessed February 9, 2016 .
  18. Back to top↑ Donald M. McKale (2011). Nazis after Hitler: How Perpetrators of the Holocaust Cheated Justice and Truth . Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, ISBN 1442213183 , p. 290
  19. Back to top↑ Jo Glanville (November 28, 1999). He’s the last Nazi criminal still at large. But where is he? | From the Observer | The Observer . London: The Guardian . Accessed February 9, 2016 .
  20. Back to top↑ «BND vernichtete Akten zu SS-Verbrecher Brunner» (in German) . Der Spiegel . July 20, 2011.
  21. Back to top↑ “Searches: The Nazi of Damascus” , Time Magazine , November 11, 1985