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France Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-nazi Alois Brunner

June 13, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

France has issued an international arrest warrant against Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, now living in exile in Syria.

Paris investigating magistrate Claude Grellier issued the warrant Friday on charges of “crimes against humanity,” and asked all foreign governments to cooperate in bringing Brunner to trial.

Grellier also plans to ask Syria for Brunner’s extradition.

Syria has refused West Germany’s request to extradite Brunner, who has variously been reported living in Syria since 1956, ’58 and ’60. Sources in West Germany have said Brunner’s exact location in Damascus has been documented since June 22, 1960.

Syria has also rejected extradition requests from East Germany and Austria.

Syria has variously refused to cooperate or has summarily replied, “There is no Brunner living in the country.”

In November, presidential hopeful Rev. Jesse Jackson, at the request of Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld, sent a letter to Syrian President Hafez Assad asking for Brunner’s extradition to West Germany as a “morally correct action.”

Serge Klarsfeld, Beate’s husband, began the process for Brunner’s extradition on Dec. 4, 1987, when he lodged a formal complaint on behalf of some of Brunner’s victims and a handful of survivors.

Brunner is a former SS hauptsturmfuhrer who was responsible for the deportation of over 100,000 Jews from France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Greece.

According to Klarsfeld, who helped track down Brunner in Damascus in 1982, the ex-Nazi is the most important war criminal still at large. “Brunner is Barbie 10 times over,” Klarsfeld said.

Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal traced Brunner to Damascus in the late 1950s. It was Serge Klarsfeld, however, who actually located Brunner, living at 7 Haddad Street, in 1982.

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