- "The Jews deserved to die. I have no regrets. If I had the chance I would do it again."
- "Alois Brunner"
Alois Brunner (April 8th, 1912 – c. 2001 or 2010) was an Austrian Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who worked as Adolf Eichmann's assistant. Eichmann referred to Brunner as his "best man." Brunner is held responsible for sending over 100,000 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.
After some narrow escapes from the Allies in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Brunner fled West Germany in 1954, first for Egypt, then Syria, where he remained until his death. He was the object of many manhunts and investigations over the years by different groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Klarsfelds and others. He was condemned to death in absentia in France in 1954 for crimes against humanity. He lost an eye and then the fingers of his left hand as a result of letter bombs sent to him in 1961 and 1980, possibly by the Israeli Mossad. The government of Syria under Hafez el-Assad came close to extraditing him to East Germany, before this plan was halted by the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. Brunner survived all the attempts to detain him, unrepentant about his activities to the end.
During his long residence in Syria, Brunner was reportedly given asylum, a generous salary and protection by the ruling Ba'ath Party in exchange for his advice on effective torture and interrogation techniques used by the Germans in World War II.
Starting in the 1990s and continuing for two decades, there was periodic media speculation about Brunner's exact whereabouts and his possible demise. Finally in November 2014, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that Brunner had died in Syria in 2010, and that he was buried somewhere in Damascus. The exact date of death and place of burial remain unknown.
Brunner was a Nazi war criminal and Adolf Eichmann's most loyal assistant.
He was born in Rohrbrunn, Burgenland, Austria on April 8th, 1912.
He joined the Nazi party in 1938 and became a close associate to Adolf Eichmann in 1939. Brunner held the rank of Hauptsturmführer (captain) in the SS and was the commandant of the Drancy internment camp in France.
During the final days of the war, he help Eichmann deport Jews to the major death camps on foot when the cattle trains couldn't be used by the Nazis.
Brunner escaped from Allied captivity and fled to Egypt before he moved to Syria. Eichmann on the other hand fled to Argentina where he was captured by Mossad agents and was later executed in Israel on May 31st, 1962.
Mossad sent two letter bombs to kill Brunner, both failed in killing him.
While in Syria (under the name of Dr. Georg Fischer), he became friends with Hafez el-Assad and advised the Syrian government on torture and repression techniques, some dating from his time as an SS torturer.
The only time anyone was close to bring Brunner to justice was in 1989 when the government of Syria was close to extraditing Brunner to East Germany, but the fall of the Berlin Wall broke any deals to bring Brunner to justice for his crimes.
According to a recent report by Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Brunner died in Damascus, Syria around the year 2001 and was buried in the capital.
According to many reports, Brunner never expressed remorse for his crimes. In a interview with Chicago Sun Times, he stated in front of a witness: "... I have no regrets and would do it again."