The Eternal Nazi

The Eternal Nazi

From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim

Book - 2014
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"The compelling story of the hunt for Aribert Heim, whose decades-long flight from justice turned a mid-level SS officer and concentration camp doctor into the most wanted Nazi war criminal in the world Dr. Aribert Heim worked at the Mauthausen concentration camp for only a few months in 1941 but left a horrifying mark on the memories of survivors. According to their testimony, Heim euthanized patients with injections of gasoline into their hearts. He performed surgeries on otherwise healthy people. Some recalled prisoners' skulls set out on his desk to display perfect sets of teeth. In the chaos of the postwar period, Heim was able to slip away from his dark past and establish himself as a reputable doctor in the resort town of Baden-Baden. He was tall, handsome, a bit of a charmer, and quickly settled down with a wife and children in peace and comfort. But certain rare individuals in Germany were unwilling to let Nazi war criminals go unpunished. Among them was a police investigator named Alfred Aedtner, who turned finding Heim into an overriding obsession; his quest took him across Europe and across decades, and into a close alliance with legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. This is the incredible story of how Aribert Heim evaded capture, living in a working-class neighborhood of Cairo, praying in Arabic, beloved by an adopted Muslim family, while inspiring a manhunt that outlived him by many years. He became the "Eternal Nazi," a symbol of Germany's evolving attitude toward the sins of its past, which finally crested in a desire to see justice done at almost any cost"--
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385532433
Branch Call Number: History 943.086 KUL
Additional Contributors: Mekhennet, Souad


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ArapahoeKati Oct 21, 2016

A fascinating account of hunting down Nazis.

Apr 20, 2014

I wasn't able to put the book down, especially since this was the first one I read about Nazi hunting. It's a kaleidoscope of the search for the worst of the WWII criminals, with a focus on Aribert Heim, his family, and his hidden life in Cairo. As Germany didn't have death sentence, the war crimes weren't punished nearly enough, and the majority of the war criminals weren't even prosecuted. It was interesting to realize that had Heim not escaped into hiding, he could have likely received a relatively short sentence like most other Nazis did, and might have lived the rest of his life as a wealthy man. With his years of fear and of exile from everything he cared for Heim unwittingly ended up with more appropriate sentence for his crimes.


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