Wanted Nazi war criminal long dead: report
Frankfurt - Wanted Nazi war criminal Aribert Heim is long dead, Germany's ZDF television channel reported Wednesday, citing information it discovered together with the New York Times.
The former concentration camp doctor died of cancer in the Egyptian capital Cairo on August 10, 1992, research by the two media outlets showed.
Heim, known as Dr Death, was thought to have been living in South America.
As an SS doctor in the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen, he is accused of killing and torturing hundreds of inmates by various methods, including lethal injections directly into the hearts of his victims.
Witnesses said he made a lampshade for a camp commander from the skin of one of his victims.
Born in Austria in 1914, he practised as a gynaecologist in the German city of Baden-Baden after the war, before fleeing in 1962.
An international arrest warrant for him was issued and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre placed advertisements in South America, referring to the 400,000-dollar reward for information leading to his arrest.
ZDF said Heim converted to Islam in the early 1980s and lived under the name Tarek Farid Hussein after that.
The television channel said it was in possession of a briefcase belonging to Heim that contained more than 100 documents, including an Egyptian passport, applications for residence permits, bank statements, personal letters and medical forms.
The information made it clear beyond doubt that Hussein was the wanted concentration camp doctor, ZDF said.
The television channel said its findings were confirmed by various sources, including Heim's son, who lives in Baden-Baden.
"Yes, my father lived in Cairo," the son told ZDF in an interview.
The son said he visited his father for the first time in Cairo in the mid-1970s and looked after him for several months early 1990 after Heim underwent surgery for cancer.
The son said he had confronted his father with the allegations, but Heim had denied them. Egyptian friends, acquaintances and even the war criminal's doctor knew nothing about his true past.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre and German investigators had believed Heim to be alive and probably hiding in South America, although information surfaced in 1967 that he might be in Cairo.
A German police spokesman told ZDF that the research by the television channel and the New York Times matched the latest information obtained by German authorities.
"It was not possible to confirm the information," the police spokesman added. (dpa)