The German intelligence agency BND admitted Monday to destroying the file of wanted Nazi criminal Alois Brunner in the 1990s and attempting to recruit him, Der Spiegel reported.
Brunner was responsible for the deportation of at least 130,000 Jews to concentration camps during the Holocaust. Some reports claimed he had fled to Damascus after World War II and has been hiding there ever since.
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An email sent to a French news agency stated that the BND recently discovered secret files on Brunner which had mysteriously disappeared in the 1990s.
Brunner, who if still alive would be 99, worked alongside Adolf Eichmann and was commander at the Drancy internment camp north of Paris, where Jews were held prior to being sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. Before arriving in France, Brunner assisted in annihilating Jewish communities in Vienna and Salonica.
The Nazi criminal has been wanted for over 65 years. He was arrested in Vienna by the US army after the war, but managed to escape using a fake identity. Later he was able to reach Syria via Egypt, where he settled down in the 1960s.
In Syria he became "special advisor" to the government and befriended then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. Brunner was wounded twice during his stay in Syria by parcel bombs sent to him. He lost his left eye and some of his fingers were cut off.
Until this day there are still six countries demanding Brunner's extradition: Germany, France, Poland, Austria, Czech and Greece. He has been tried in absentia in France twice for crimes against humanity. In 1954 he was sentenced to death and in 2001 he was given a life sentence.
However since 1992 no new information on Brunner has surfaced. Despite claims suggesting he was in Syria, information received over six years ago indicates the Nazi criminal was hiding in Brazil.
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