29 Facts About Alois Brunner


Alois Brunner was an Austrian SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer who played a significant role in the implementation of the Holocaust through rounding up and deporting Jews in occupied Austria, Greece, Macedonia, France, and finally Slovakia during the Second World War.

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Alois Brunner was the object of many manhunts, investigations, and assassination attempts over the years by different groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Klarsfelds and Mossad.

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Alois Brunner was condemned to death in absentia in France in 1954 for crimes against humanity, later commuted to life imprisonment in absentia in 2001.

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Alois Brunner lost an eye and then the fingers of his left hand as a result of letter bombs sent to him in 1961 and 1980, reportedly by Israeli intelligence.

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Alois Brunner escaped all attempts to capture or kill him and was unrepentant about his activities.

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In November 2014, the Simon Wiesenthal Center reported that Alois Brunner had died in Syria in 2010, and that he was buried somewhere in Damascus.

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Alois Brunner was born on 8 April 1912 in the town of Vas, Austria-Hungary, the son of Joseph Brunner and Ann Kruise.

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Alois Brunner joined the Nazi Party at the age of sixteen and the Sturmabteilung a year later.

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In 1933, Alois Brunner moved to Germany where he joined the Nazi paramilitary group Austrian Legion.

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Alois Brunner held the rank of SS-Hauptsturmfuhrer when he organized deportations to Nazi concentration camps from Vichy France and Slovakia.

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Alois Brunner was commander of a train of Jews deported from Vienna to Riga in February 1942.

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En route, Alois Brunner shot and killed Jewish financier Siegmund Bosel, who, although ill, had been hauled out of a Vienna hospital and placed on the train.

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Alois Brunner was personally sent by Eichmann in 1944 to Slovakia to oversee the deportation of Jews.

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Alois Brunner personally conducted interrogations of new prisoners, and survivors of the camp have claimed that his office was covered in bloodstains and bullet holes.

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Alois Brunner introduced a rigid system of categorization to control the inmates using information about their race and ethnicity derived from the interrogations.

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Alois Brunner deliberately misled prisoners about the living standards of their destinations at the extermination camps in the General Government, including Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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Alois Brunner led round-ups of Jews in the Italian Military Administration of France when the Germans assumed control in 1943 following the Armistice of Cassibile, ended all legal exemptions preventing Jews from being deported by Vichy France, and extended the deportations to Jews of French nationality.

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Alois Brunner continued deportations and arrests even as the Allies and the Free French Forces advanced towards Paris.

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Alois Brunner left Paris on August 17 in 1944, a week before the liberation of Paris, on the last train from the Drancy transit camp with fifty-one deported people, including Georges Andre Kohn, and other German military personnel.

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Alois Brunner's intention was to use the deportees as potential hostages.

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The identity of Alois Brunner was apparently mixed up with that of another SS member with the same surname, Anton Alois Brunner, who was executed for war crimes.

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Alois Brunner fled West Germany only in 1954, on a fake Red Cross passport, first to Rome, then Egypt, where he worked as a weapons dealer, and then to Syria, where he took the pseudonym of Dr Georg Fischer.

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In December 1999, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Alois Brunner had died in 1996 and been buried in a Damascus cemetery.

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In 1961 and 1980, letter bombs were sent to Alois Brunner while he was a resident in Syria.

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Alois Brunner was twice sentenced to death in absentia in the 1950s; one of those convictions was in France in 1954.

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Alois Brunner was last seen in 2001 in Syria, whose government had long rebuffed international efforts to locate or apprehend him, but was presumed dead as of 2012.

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The new evidence revealed that Alois Brunner was buried in an unknown location in Damascus around 2010, unrepentant of his crimes to the end.

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Three former security guards in charge of the protection of Alois Brunner recounted how the Assad family used him to train intelligence services staff, then kept him under house arrest in a Damascus basement throughout the 1990s until his death in December 2001.

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Alois Brunner was buried in secret, at night in the Al-Affif cemetery in Damascus.

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