|Born||8 April 1912|
Nádkút, Vas, Austria-Hungary (now Rohrbrunn, Burgenland, Austria)
|Commands held||Drancy internment camp|
|Other work||Government advisor to the Syrian government; arms dealer in Egypt|
Alois Brunner (8 April 1912 – c. 2010) was an Austrian Schutzstaffel (SS) officer. Brunner was wanted for war crimes, and was Adolf Eichmann's assistant. Eichmann referred to Brunner as his "best man". Brunner was wanted for sending at least 140,000 European Jews to the gas chambers.
He was commander of the Drancy internment camp outside Paris from June 1943 to August 1944, from which nearly 24,000 people were deported. He was sentenced to death in absentia in France in 1954 for crimes against humanity. In 1961 and in 1980, Brunner lost an eye and the fingers of his left hand, as a result of letter bombs sent to him by the Israeli intelligence service, called Mossad.
In 2003, the Guardian described him as "the world's highest-ranking Nazi fugitive believed still alive". Brunner was last reported to be living in Syria, whose government had long refused international efforts to locate or apprehend him. There were rumours that he would be extradited, however, after the Syrian Civil War broke out it became hard to negotiate any kind of settlement with the Assad regime, which controlled Syria during Brunner's stay. Other sources suggest he died already in December 2001. He was sentenced again, now to life imprisonment, in France the same year. It has been determined that Brunner helped the Syrian government develop chemical weapons which were later allegedly used on rebels.
References[change | change source]
- "Biography, at the Jewish Virtual Library". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. 2005-12-31. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Alois Brunner — La haine irréductible, by Didier Epelbaum, preface by Serge Klarsfeld, published by Calmann-Lévy, January 1990.
- Henley, Jon (2003-03-03). "French court strikes blow against fugitive Nazi". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "Most Wanted Nazis", by Bridget Johnson, for About.com