Hauptsturmführer Alois Brunner - the last leading
Nazi still believed to be on the loose and Eichmann's
second in command - was a key figure in the
planning and execution of the Final Solution, the murder
of 6 million Jews during World War II. He actively
participated in the mass murder and was often sent by
Eichmann as a trouble shooter to areas such as France to
expedite the killings.
Alois Brunner bears direct responsibility for the
deportation to Nazi death camps of 128,500 Jewish men,
women and children from Austria, Greece, France, and
The arrest and conviction of Alois Brunner remains the top
priority of leading Nazi hunters and war investigators but
Brunner has successfully eluded justice. During his many
years hiding out reportedly in an apartment on Haddad
Street in the Syrian capital of Damascus, he openly
assisted the Syrians in establishing their own secret
The Syrian authorities have covered and continue to cover
Alois Brunner and he may never pay for his crimes.
Germany, Austria, Slovakia, France and Poland currently
seek his extradition, but the Syrians have been totally
uncooperative in response to all these requests.
Alois Brunner was born in Austria in 1912 and joined the
Austrian Nazi Party in 1931 at the age of 19. His
anti-Semitism was considered to be so extreme that he was
swiftly tapped to be Adolf Eichmann’s private secretary.
As head of the Nazi’s Jewish affairs office in prewar
Vienna, he organized persecution that forced thousands of
Jews to flee to other European countries and the United
When World War II started, he sent 47,000 Austrian Jews to
the KZ camps. After organizing mass roundups in Berlin, he
transferred to Greece, where he was responsible for
deporting all 43,000 Jews in Salonika within just two
In June 1943, he was sent to France to take over the
Drancy transit camp near Paris from its French
administrators. During 14 months in France, Brunner sent
an estimated 25,000 men, women and children to their
deaths. Brunner also transported the children of Izieu to
children from Izieu
After WW2 Alois Brunner found gainful employment
courtesy of the CIA and later he escaped to Syria where he
became a government adviser. To this day Alois Brunner has
successfully evaded capture. He is believed to live in
Damascus using the name of his cousin Georg Fischer.
German journalists visiting Syria in 1999 said Brunner was
living at the Meridian Hotel in Damascus under police
protection. He is easily identifiable, having lost an eye
and several fingers from letter bombs sent him years ago
by French and Israeli security agents.
Brunner was interviewed about 15 years ago in the Austrian
news magazine Bunte. He said he did not suffer from
a bad conscience for, in his own words, "getting rid
of that garbage." His one regret was that he hadn't
murdered more Jews.
In 1987 in a telephone interview Alois Brunner told the
Chicago Sun Times: The Jews deserved to die. I have no
regrets. If I had the chance I would do it again ..
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