NEW YORK (Jan. 10)
Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld is in Damascus, in a new attempt to prod the Syrians to deport Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner.
Klarsfeld was successful in obtaining a Syrian visa and in seeing some Syrian officials, but he was refused entry to the presidential palace Wednesday, Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, reported.
Steinberg spoke by phone with Klarsfeld’s wife, Beate, who was in Paris, where they live.
She told Steinberg her husband is carrying a letter indicating precisely where Brunner is living. Damascus has repeatedly denied that Brunner, who sometimes uses the alias Georg Fischer, is in Syria.
Brunner, who has reportedly lived there for three decades, was secretary to Adolf Eichmann in Vienna in 1938, when Eichmann headed the Nazi Central Office for Jewish Questions.
Brunner later took charge of that office himself and eventually became commander at the Drancy concentration camp in France.
He is also believed responsible for deporting tens of thousand of Greek Jews from Salonika. It is estimated that Brunner is accountable for the deaths of 100,000 Jews.
The Klarsfelds first traced Brunner to Syria in 1982. Damascus has repeatedly rejected extradition requests from West Germany and France.