Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Suitcase proves Nazi fugitive 'Dr. Death' was in North Africa

From the Jerusalem Post

German authorities say their analysis of dirt found in a suitcase belonging to Nazi fugitive and concentration camp doctor Aribert Ferdinand Heim, confirms the man known as "Doctor Death" spent "considerable time" hiding in North Africa, and probably in Cairo.

Though witnesses, including Heim's Cairo doctor and members of his family, told The New York Times that he died of rectal cancer in 1992, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Jerusalem office, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday it was far from certain that Heim was dead.

Heim is accused of killing and torturing inmates of concentration camps - including Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen. He allegedly conducted medical experiments on prisoners, tested the efficacy of various lethal injections to the heart, and removed organs from prisoners without using anesthesia.

Tipped off that police were prepared to arrest him, Heim fled Germany in 1962. Though some Nazi-hunters, including Zuroff, believed Heim was hiding in Chile, some witnesses said that after his escape he moved through European countries before settling in Cairo, where he allegedly changed his name to Tarek Hussein Farid and converted to Islam.

In a statement released on Friday, German police said that along with other substances linked specifically to North Africa, traces of the mineral lime, in a form which only existed in Cairo, were found in Heim's suitcase, confirming his presence there.

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