Hunt for Nazi 'Angel of Death' on Spanish costas
6 September 2005, MADRID — Spanish police are scouring old people's homes on the east coast of Spain as the hunt closes in on a 91-year-old concentration camp doctor, regarded as one of the most wanted Nazis still alive.
6 September 2005
MADRID — Spanish police are scouring old people's homes on the east coast of Spain as the hunt closes in on a 91-year-old concentration camp doctor, regarded as one of the most wanted Nazis still alive.
Investigators say there is a strong chance that Aribert Heim, who is alleged to have killed hundreds of prisoners at the Mauthausen camp in Austria, is still alive and living on the Spanish costas, The Guardian reported.
Dr Heim is regarded as the second most wanted former Nazi by the Simon Wiesenthal centre in Israel, after Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's righthand man.
The centre has offered a EUR 10,000 (GBP 6,800) reward for Heim, in addition to the EUR 130,000 being offered by the German police.
The Spanish police's specialist fugitive section was yesterday checking old people's homes and looking for elderly Germans with private nurses in the Alicante region, an official source confirmed.
"They are going after him and think he may be in that region," the source told the Guardian.
German police reopened the Heim case several years ago after evidence came to light that the doctor, who allegedly injected Mauthausen prisoners with cocktails of lethal drugs, might still be alive.
Regular money orders wired to a town near Alicante by Dr Heim's family may have been picked up by him as he hid among the large population of northern European pensioners living in the area, investigators believe.
More than a hundred payments were made between 2000 and 2003, the Spanish magazine Interviú reported yesterday.
Dr Heim's family had claimed that he was dead, but several years ago German police discovered an account in his name at a Berlin savings bank, according to Der Spiegel magazine.
Dr Heim is reported to own an apartment building in the city. Sources close to the investigation said yesterday that in 2001 a German lawyer had applied for tax exemption on the income it provided on the basis that Dr Heim was living abroad. The lawyer reportedly said his duty of confidentiality meant he could not reveal where Dr Heim was hiding.
Efraim Zuroff, of the Simon Wiesenthal centre, said Spain had "a pathetic record" in hunting down Nazis. "Now it is time to make up for years of apathy and inaction," he said.
Dr Heim was briefly detained by US troops at the end of the war, but it was not until 1962 that he fled Germany as police began to investigate him. Both Germany and Austria have warrants outstanding for his arrest.
Subject: Spanish news