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Dr Heim was accused of performing operations on prisoners without anesthesia; removing organs from healthy inmates, then leaving them to die on the operating table; injecting poison, including gasoline, into the hearts of others; and taking the skull of at least one victim as a souvenir. After living below the radar of Nazi hunters for more than a decade after World War, much of it in the German spa town of Baden-Baden where he had a wife, two sons and a medical practice as a gynecologist, he escaped capture just as investigators closed in on him in 1962. The New York Times online article 4th February 2009
At the end of World War II the Nuremberg trials brought some of the most prominent members of the Third Reich to justice. But thousands of high-ranking Nazis who participated in the systematic murder of millions slipped through the net and escaped around the world. More than 60 years later one man is still trying to hunt them down … Efraim Zuroff is one of the world’s last Nazi hunters. The Last Nazis I: The Hunt for Dr Death, PBS 2009
In October 1941 an Austrian SS doctor called Aribert Heim was assigned to Mauthausen concentration camp … They became victims on whom he performed sadistic and needless operations … He is Zuroff’s ultimate prize. ibid.
This escape route became known as the Rat Line. ibid.
‘A feeling of frustration and a feeling of missed opportunities.’ ibid. Zuroff
A court in south-west Germany has confirmed that Aribert Heim, the fugitive Nazi war crimes suspect dubbed Doctor Death, did die in 1992.
The regional court in Baden-Baden said it was giving up its inquiry into the suspect after concluding he had died in Egypt under an assumed identity.
Heim’s body was never found but evidence of his death was supplied by his lawyer and his son.
He is said to have experimented on Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust.
The Austrian-born physician was indicted by Germany on charges that he had murdered hundreds of inmates while serving as a doctor at Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria.
Holocaust survivors say he performed operations and amputations without anaesthetic to see how much pain his victims could endure.
Injecting victims’ hearts with petrol, water or poison was said to have been his favoured method at Mauthausen, and when he was ‘bored’, he apparently timed patients’ deaths with a stopwatch.
After World War II, Heim practised medicine in Baden-Baden until 1962, when he was indicted as a war criminal and fled the country.
Baden-Baden prosecutors said on Friday that papers provided by Heim’s lawyer and testimony from his son had helped convince them that Heim was the same person as Tarek Hussein Farid, who died of bowel cancer in Cairo in 1992.
Had he lived, the war crimes suspect would now be 98. BBC online article 21 September 2012, ‘German court confirms Nazi ‘Doctor Death’ Died in 1992’