The German police confirmed Thursday that a briefcase filled with documents discovered in Cairo belonged to the Nazi fugitive Aribert Ferdinand Heim, who was responsible for the death of hundreds of Jews during the Holocaust, The New York Times reported.
According to NYT, police could not confirm that Heim, who also conducted horrific experiments on Jews at the Mauthausen concentration camp, had died in Egypt in 1992 as witnesses there and in Germany said.
The report claimed that experts employed by the German police located evidence showing that the bag and the documents inside it, including personal letters, financial documents and medical records, must have been in a North African country for many years.
Apparently, lab tests performed on the dust found in the briefcase, which was handed over to The New York Times and the German television station ZDF by the Egyptian family Dr. Heim lived with at the time of his death, included a particular form of lime that is found in Egypt, as well as the presence of certain micro-organisms supporting its authenticity. Handwriting experts, NYT said, also compared documents from the briefcase with other samples of Dr. Heim’s handwriting.
“The extensive criminal technical analyses of the documents from the briefcase lead us to the conclusion that it actually came from Aribert Heim,” NYT quoted German police as saying.
'Advanced form of the disease'
The report said officials in Cairo issued a certified copy of a death certificate under that name, but according to the statement, the police have been unable to confirm that it is one and the same person.
“At what point concrete results can be expected is not yet clear,” the police statement said. The report said the question of where Dr. Heim’s body was buried remains unresolved. Witnesses said that he was buried in a mass grave after a failed attempt to donate his body to science, according to NYT.
“I’m glad that it has been confirmed that my father lived in Egypt and I’m very optimistic that there will be an official confirmation of his death in the near future,” his son, Rüdiger Heim, told NYT on Thursday. “Aribert Heim will never come back because he is dead,” said Heim, who has said he was with his father at the time of his death.
According to the NYT report, in February German police in Baden-Württemberg said they had information “from the personal circle” of Dr. Heim, who would now be 95, indicating that he died of rectal cancer in Cairo in 1992. Dr. Mohsen Barsoum, one of the doctors whose names appeared on the medical files found in the briefcase, said that he had treated the man he knew as Tarek Hussein Farid and that he suffered from an advanced form of the disease," the report said.
Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told NYT that he had no doubt that Dr. Heim had lived in Egypt, but continued to question whether he had died there as well. “What’s missing for me is really the forensics on the body, this is the problem,” Zuroff told NYT.