PARIS (Jul. 21)
Cultivating a new role as friend of the West, President Hafez Assad of Syria may not want to be caught harboring a man said to be one of the most vicious Nazi war criminals known to be alive.
He has therefore reportedly asked Gen. Ali Duba, head of Syria’s secret police, to find a new haven for former SS officer Alois Brunner, alias Georg Fischer, who is believed to have lived in Syria since 1954, according to the French weekly Le Point.
Duba’s job is to find a Latin American nation willing to shelter Brunner, 79, the wartime assistant of Adolf Eichmann, Le Point reported.
Last week, a French judge, Jean-Pierre Getti, officially requested that Syrian authorities help track down Brunner, who is said to have deported over 100,000 Jews from Salonika, Greece, and tens of thousands more from France.
A similar French request in 1988 was returned with the notation that there was no Alois Brunner in Syria. But Judge Getti’s arrest warrant asked for Brunner, a.k.a. Georg Fischer, whose last known address was Haddad Street, Damascus.