Aribert Heim

Aribert Ferdinand Heim (28 June 1914 – 10 August 1992)[1] was an Austrian SS doctor, also known as "Dr Death". During World War II he served at the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp in Mauthausen, killing and torturing inmates by various methods, such as direct injections of toxic compounds into the hearts of his victims.[2]

After the war, Heim lived for many years in Cairo, Egypt, under the alias of Tarek Farid Hussein after his conversion to Islam,[3] and died there on 10 August 1992, according to the testimony by his son and lawyer. This information, though set forth by a German court, has been challenged.[4][5]

In 2009, a BBC documentary stated that German police had found no evidence of Heim's death on their recent visit to Cairo;[6] nevertheless, three years later, a court in Baden-Baden confirmed again that Heim had died in 1992, based on new evidence provided by his family and lawyer.[1]

Aribert Heim
Aribert Heim
Birth nameAribert Ferdinand Heim
Nickname(s)Dr Death, Butcher of Mauthausen
Born28 June 1914
Bad Radkersburg, Austria-Hungary
Died10 August 1992 (aged 78) (disputed)
Cairo, Egypt
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Years of service1940–1945
UnitMauthausen-Gusen concentration camp
Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg 6th SS Mountain Division Nord


Heim was born in Bad Radkersburg, Austria-Hungary, the son of a policeman and a housewife. He studied medicine in Graz, and received his diploma in Vienna. Heim joined the SS after the Anschluss. He volunteered for the Waffen-SS in the spring of 1940, rising to the rank of Hauptsturmführer (Captain).

Mauthausen concentration camp

Aribert Heim worked in Mauthausen for six weeks as a doctor starting in October 1941 at the age of 26.[7] Prisoners at Mauthausen called Heim "Dr. Death", or the "Butcher of Mauthausen" for his cruelty.[8]

Heim was known for performing operations without anaesthesia. For about two months (October to December 1941), Heim was stationed at the Ebensee concentration camp near Linz, Austria, where he carried out experiments on Jews and others similar to those performed at Auschwitz by Josef Mengele. According to Holocaust survivors, Jewish prisoners were poisoned with various injections directly into the heart, including petrol, phenol, available poisons or even water, to induce death.[9]

Heim reportedly removed organs from living prisoners without anesthesia, killing hundreds.[10] A prisoner by the name of Karl Lotter also worked in the Mauthausen hospital at the time Aribert Heim was there.[11] Lotter testified that in 1941, he witnessed Aribert Heim butcher a prisoner who came to him with an inflamed foot.[11] Lotter provided more gruesome details about how Aribert butchered the 18-year-old prisoner. Lotter stated that Aribert gave the prisoner anesthetic and then proceeded to cut him open, castrate him, and take out one of his kidneys. The prisoner died, and his head was cut off, boiled and stripped of its flesh.[11]

Heim then allegedly used this young man's skull as a paperweight on his desk.[11] In a sworn statement that was given eight years after the incident Lotter stated that Heim "needed the head because of its perfect teeth".[11] Other survivors of the Holocaust referred to Aribert removing tattooed flesh from prisoners and using the skin to make seat coverings, which he gave to the commandant of the camp.[7]

Later service

From February 1942, Heim served in the 6th SS Mountain Division Nord in northern Finland, especially in Oulu's hospitals as an SS doctor. His service continued until at least October 1942.[12][13]

On 15 March 1945, Heim was captured by US soldiers and sent to a camp for prisoners of war. He was released and worked as a gynecologist at Baden-Baden until his disappearance in 1962; he had telephoned his home and was told that the police were waiting for him. Having been questioned on previous occasions, he surmised the reason (an international warrant for his arrest had been in place since that date) and went into hiding.[10] According to his son, Rüdiger Heim, he drove through France and Spain onward to Morocco, moving finally to Egypt via Libya.[14]

After Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's senior assistant, Heim had been the second most wanted Nazi officer.

Sightings and investigations

In the years following his disappearance, Dr. Heim was the target of a rapidly escalating manhunt and ever-increasing rewards for his capture. Following his escape there were reported sightings in Latin America, Spain and Africa, as well as formal investigations aimed at bringing him to justice, some of which took place even after he had apparently died in Egypt. The German government offered €150,000 for information leading to his arrest, while the Simon Wiesenthal Center launched Operation Last Chance, a project to assist governments in the location and arrest of suspected Nazi war criminals who are still alive.[15] Tax records prove that, as late as 2001, Heim's lawyer asked the German authorities to refund capital gains taxes levied on him because he was living abroad.[15]

Heim reportedly hid out in South America, Spain and the Balkans, but only his presence in Spain has ever been confirmed.[14] He was alleged to have moved to Spain after fleeing Paysandú, Uruguay, when he was located by the Israeli Mossad. Efraim Zuroff, of the Wiesenthal Center, initiated an active search for his whereabouts,[15] and in late 2005, Spanish police incorrectly determined he was in Palafrugell, Spain.[16] According to El Mundo, Heim had been helped by associates of Otto Skorzeny, who had organised one of the biggest ODESSA bases in Franco's Spain.[17]

Press reports in mid-October 2005 suggested that Heim's arrest by Spanish police was "imminent". Within a few days, however, newer reports suggested that he had successfully evaded capture and had moved either to another part of Spain or to Denmark.[18][19][20][21]

Fredrik Jensen, a Norwegian and a former SS Obersturmführer, was put under police investigation in June 2007, and charged with assisting Heim in his escape. The accusation was denied by Jensen.[22] In July 2007, the Austrian Ministry of Justice declared that it would pay €50,000 for information leading to his arrest and extradition to Austria.[23]

On 6 July 2008, Efraim Zuroff, the Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter, headed to South America as part of a public campaign to capture the most wanted Nazi in the world and bring him to justice,[15] claiming that Heim was alive and hiding in Patagonia, either in Chile or in Argentina. He elaborated on 15 July 2008 that he was sure Heim was alive and the groundwork had been laid to capture him within weeks.[9][24][25][26][27][28]

In 2008, Heim was named as one of the ten most wanted Nazi war criminals by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.[10][29]

Later years and death

In 2006, a German newspaper reported that he had a daughter, Waltraud, living on the outskirts of Puerto Montt, Chile, who said he had died in 1993.[30] However, when she tried to recover a multimillion-euro inheritance from an account in his name, she was unable to provide a death certificate.[31][32][33]

In August 2008, Heim's son Rüdiger asked that his father be declared legally dead, in order to take hold of his assets. He claimed he intended to make a donation to humanitarian projects working to document the atrocities committed in the camps.[34]

After years of apparently false sightings, the circumstances surrounding Heim's escape, life in hiding and death were jointly reported by the German broadcaster ZDF and The New York Times in February 2009. They reported that he lived under a false name, Tarek Farid Hussein, in Egypt and that he died of intestinal cancer in Cairo in 1992.[35]

In an interview at the family's villa in Baden-Baden, his son Rüdiger admitted publicly for the first time that he was with his father in Egypt at the time of Heim's death, saying that it was during the Olympics, and that he died the day after the games ended. According to Efraim Zuroff, Rüdiger Heim had constantly denied having any knowledge of the whereabouts of his father until the publishing of the ZDF research results.[15]

On 18 March 2009, the Simon Wiesenthal Center filed a criminal complaint due to suspicion of false testimony.[36] In 2012, a regional court in Baden-Baden confirmed that Heim died under the assumed identity of Tarek Hussein Farid in Egypt in 1992, based on evidence that his family and lawyer had presented.[1]

Heim and his former wife, Friedl, had two sons. He also had a daughter, Waltraud, born out of wedlock in Chile.[6]

In popular culture

Israeli author Danny Baz published The Secret Executioners in 2007, in which he claimed that a clandestine organisation called 'The Owl', operating outside of international law, tracked Heim down and assassinated him in the U.S. on an island off the California coast in 1982.[37][38] Baz claimed he was a member of 'The Owl' himself and claimed that his group carried out several assassinations of Nazis who had sought refuge in the USA. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has expressed doubts regarding Baz's claims.[39]


  1. ^ a b c "German court confirms Nazi 'Doctor Death' died in 1992". BBC. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  2. ^ "The life and crimes of 'Dr Death'". BBC News. 5 February 2009.
  3. ^ "The SS Doctor Who Converted to Islam and Escaped the Nazi Hunters". VICE. 21 April 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  4. ^ From the Briefcase of Dr. Aribert Heim, The New York Times, 4 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Nazi camp doctor 'died in 1992'". BBC News. 4 February 2009.
  6. ^ a b "The Hunt for 'Dr Death'". The Last Nazis. Episode 1. 12 September 2009. BBC Two. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b Carroll, Rory, Goni, Uki. "G2: The Hunt for Doctor Death: As an SS Medic, Aribert Heim Carried Out Horrific Experiments on Concentration Camp Prisoners. He Escaped and is Thought to be Hiding in Argentina - but the Net may Finally be Closing. Rory Carroll and Uki Goni on the Search for the Last of the Nazis". ProQuest. The Guardian: 4. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  8. ^ Dsl with Wires (21 September 2012). "Search for 'Dr Death' Ends: Nazi War Criminal Aribert Heim Declared Dead". Der Spiegel Online. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Nazi doctor 'is alive in Chile'". BBC. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Most Wanted Nazis", Bridget Johnson,
  11. ^ a b c d e Harris, Ed. "Butcher of Mauthausen' is the most Wanted Nazi". ProQuest. Evening Standard. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Es geht mir gut", Der Spiegel, 9 July 2008. (in German)
  14. ^ a b "Meistgesuchter Nazi-Verbrecher seit 1992 tot" (in German). ZDF. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  15. ^ a b c d e Zuroff, Efraim (2009). "Dr. Heim, the most wanted Nazi in the world". Operation Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 185–207. ISBN 0-230-61730-1.
  16. ^ Nazi war criminal escapes Costa Brava police search, The Guardian, 17 October 2005
  17. ^ (in Spanish) A la caza del último nazi, El Mundo, 30 October 2005
  18. ^ Germany expresses 'utmost interest' in seeing Nazi face justice, Ireland Online, 17 October 2005.
  19. ^ "Nazi 'Dr. Death' tracked to Spain", Ottawa Sun, 16 October 2005.
  20. ^ "German courts seek Nazi fugitive thought to be in Chile", The Santiago Times, 26 April 2006.
  21. ^ "Warrant of Apprehension", Austrian Ministry of Justice website (July 2007).
  22. ^ Accused of hiding "Doctor Death" Archived 2007-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, Aftenposten, 23 August 2007.
  23. ^ "Report: Net closing in on top Nazi criminal Aribert Heim", Haaretz, 28 July 2007.
  24. ^ "SS doctor 'still alive in Chile'". BBC News. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Nazi hunters search Chile for 'Dr Death'". Archived from the original on 8 December 2008.
  26. ^ Concentration camp doctor Aribert Heim is the most-wanted Nazi war criminal,, 30 April 2008.
  27. ^ "Nazi doctor 'is alive in Chile'",, 9 July 2008.
  28. ^ "The Hunt for Nazi War Criminal Aribert Heim, aka Dr Death'" Archived 13 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine Investigation Discovery 10 July 2008
  29. ^ "Fugitive Hunt", Dateline World Jewry, World Jewish Congress, July/August 2008.
  30. ^ "Nazi hunter: 'Give up, Dr. Death'". 9 July 2008.
  31. ^ "The life and crimes of 'Dr Death'". 5 February 2009 – via
  32. ^ (in German) Geheimorganisation angeblich auf Nazi Jagd, ORF; accessed 14 October 2007.
  33. ^ (in Spanish) Un tribunal alemán pide a la justicia chilena datos sobre el paradero del ‘carnicero de Mathausen’, El Pais, 28 April 2006
  34. ^ "Son of Nazi wants him declared dead". Archived from the original on 8 December 2008.
  35. ^ "Nazi 'Dr Death' hunt leads to Cairo",; retrieved 5 February 2009.
  36. ^ Mekhennet, Souad; Kulish, Nicholas (5 February 2009). "Uncovering Lost Path of the Most Wanted Nazi (Dr Death)". The New York Times.
  37. ^ Danny Baz (2009). The secret executioners. London John Blake. ISBN 9781459681293 – via Worldcat.
  38. ^ Danny Baz (2009). The Secret Executioners: The Amazing True Story of the Death Squad who Tracked Down and Killed Nazi War Criminals. John Blake – via Google Books.
  39. ^ Hugh Schofield (15 October 2007). "Missing Nazi 'was killed by revenge group'". Paris: The Telegraph World News.

Further reading

  1. ^ The Eternal Nazi by Nicholas Kulish, Souad Mekhennet |

Aribert (Italian: Ariberto) is a Germanic given name, from hari ("host") and beraht ("bright"). It may refer to:

Aribert (archbishop of Milan)

Aribert Reimann

Aribert Heim

Aribert Heymann

Prince Aribert of Anhalt

Carl Værnet

Carl Peter Værnet (April 28, 1893 – November 25, 1965) was a Danish doctor at Buchenwald concentration camp. He experimented extensively with hormones and possible ways to try to treat homosexuality by injecting synthetic hormones into men's testicles. His research was under the authority of Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler.

Efraim Zuroff

Efraim Zuroff (Hebrew: אפרים זורוף‎; born August 5, 1948) is an American-born Israeli historian and Nazi hunter who has played a key role in bringing indicted Nazi and fascist war criminals to trial. Zuroff, the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem, is the coordinator of Nazi war crimes research worldwide for the Wiesenthal Center and the author of its annual "Status Report" on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals which includes a list of "most wanted" Nazi war criminals.

Eli Rosenbaum

Eli M. Rosenbaum (born May 8, 1955) is the former Director of the U.S. DOJ Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which was primarily responsible for identifying, denaturalizing, and deporting Nazi war criminals, from 1994 to 2010, when OSI was merged into the new Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section. He is now the Director of Human Rights Enforcement Strategy and Policy in the new Department of Justice section.

Fredrik Jensen (soldier)

Fredrik Jensen (25 March 1921 – 31 July 2011) was a decorated Norwegian soldier in the German Waffen SS during World War II.

Born in Oslo, Norway, Jensen was the most highly decorated Norwegian on the Axis' side during World War II, being awarded the German Cross in Gold on 7 December 1944. He served in several Waffen-SS regiments, such as the SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 4 Der Führer in 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich and SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 9 Germania in 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking. He served on the southern front for the end of the war, with the rank of Obersturmführer and was arrested in hospital in Vienna. He was kept in the American prison in Dachau.Jensen was sentenced to three months in jail under the legal purge in Norway after World War II, and was also sentenced to a loss of citizen's rights for ten years. After having served his prison sentence, he settled down in Sweden as a foreman and had great success in fabrication machinery. He later lived in Málaga in Spain. In June 2007, the Spanish press revealed possible contacts with the war criminal Aribert Heim. Jensen denied the accusation.

Heim (surname)

Heim is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Albert Heim (1849–1937), Swiss geologist

Aribert Heim (1914–1992), Austrian doctor and formerly one of the world's most wanted Nazi war criminals

Bruno Heim (1911–2003), Vatican's first Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain

Burkhard Heim (1925–2001), German physicist

Ernst Ludwig Heim (1747–1834), German physician

Ferdinand Heim (1895–1977), German general (not to be confused with Aribert Ferdinand Heim)

François Joseph Heim (1787–1865), French painter

Irene Heim, American linguist, specialist in semantics

Jacques Heim (1899–1967), French (Parisian) designer and manufacturer

Kay Heim (born 1917), Canadian-American professional baseball player

Scott Heim (born 1966), American novelist

Sverre Heim (born 1951), Norwegian physician and cancer researcherFictional characters:

Rick Heim, a correctional officer in the HBO drama Oz

Iron Guard of Egypt

The Iron Guard of Egypt was a secret pro-Axis society and royalist political movement formed in Egypt in the early 1930s and used by King Farouk for personal and political vendettas. The guard was involved in attacks on Farouk's declared enemies, operating with a license to kill, and is believed to have taken orders from Farouk personally. Its other functions included protecting Farouk, serving as a special operations force, and gathering military intelligence.

Karl Linnas

Karl Linnas (6 August 1919, Tartu – 2 July 1987) was an Estonian who was sentenced to capital punishment during the Holocaust trials in Soviet Estonia in 1961-1962. He was later deported from the United States to the Soviet Union in 1987.Linnas was tried in absentia and sentenced to death by a Soviet court in 1962 on charges that during the German occupation, between 1941 and 1943, he was the commandant of a Nazi concentration camp at Tartu and had personally shot innocent civilians—men, women and children. After Soviet armies pushed the Germans out of Estonia, Linnas fought with the German army and was wounded in 1944. Then he stayed in Displaced Persons camps in Germany until emigrating to the U.S. in 1951.

List of converts to Islam

The following is an incomplete list of notable people who

converted to Islam from a different religion or no religion. This article addresses only past professions of faith by the individuals listed, and is not intended to address ethnic, cultural, or other considerations. Such cases are noted in their list entries. The list is categorized alphabetically by their former religious affiliation.

List of most-wanted Nazi war criminals

Since 2001, Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center has produced an Annual Status Report on the Worldwide Investigation and Prosecution of Nazi war criminals which, since at least 2005, has included a list of "most-wanted" criminals who had never been convicted. The list was last updated in 2018.

Manhunt (law enforcement)

In law enforcement, a manhunt is an extensive and thorough search for a wanted and dangerous fugitive involving the use of police units, technology, and help from the public.

A search for a woman, who had become a fugitive through threatened violence, was called a "manhunt" in 2019 by law enforcement and press.A manhunt is conducted when the suspect believed to be responsible for a serious crime is at large and is believed to be within a certain area. Any police units within reach of the area will then participate in the search, each covering parts of the area. The officers will, if possible, form a perimeter around the area, guarding any and all possible escape routes from the containment.

A manhunt may have one of the following outcomes:

The successful capture of the suspect within the area of the manhunt

The death of the suspect within the area of the manhunt.

Escape from the area by the suspect, followed by plans by other law enforcement agencies to search for the suspect elsewhere

The search being called off, if police determine the chances of catching the suspect are minimalAlso, if the fugitive resists using deadly force with the law enforcement officers, they are typically authorized to respond in kind.

Milivoj Ašner

Đuro Milivoj Ašner (21 April 1913 – 14 June 2011) was a police chief in the Independent State of Croatia who was accused of enforcing racist laws under the Nazi-allied Ustaše regime and expulsion and deportation of hundreds of Serbs, Jews and Romani. He was 4th on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war criminals and on the Interpol's most wanted list also.Ašner himself admitted the deportations of Serbs to Serbia, but denied there was any deportations to the camps, as he stated, "such moves would be expensive, as one must feed and restrain the prisoners."

Nazi human experimentation

Nazi human experimentation was a series of medical experiments on large numbers of prisoners, including children, by Nazi Germany in its concentration camps in the early to mid 1940s, during World War II and the Holocaust. Chief target populations included Romani, Sinti, ethnic Poles, Soviet POWs, disabled Germans, and Jews from across Europe.

Nazi physicians and their assistants forced prisoners into participating; they did not willingly volunteer and no consent was given for the procedures. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, trauma, disfigurement or permanent disability, and as such are considered examples of medical torture.

At Auschwitz and other camps, under the direction of Eduard Wirths, selected inmates were subjected to various hazardous experiments that were designed to help German military personnel in combat situations, develop new weapons, aid in the recovery of military personnel who had been injured, and to advance the Nazi racial ideology. Aribert Heim conducted similar medical experiments at Mauthausen.

After the war, these crimes were tried at what became known as the Doctors' Trial, and revulsion at the abuses perpetrated led to the development of the Nuremberg Code of medical ethics. The Nazi physicians in the Doctors' Trial argued that military necessity justified their torturous experiments, and compared their victims to collateral damage from Allied bombings. But this defense, which was in any case rejected by the Tribunal, cannot apply to the twin experiments of Josef Mengele, which were performed on children and had no connection to military necessity.

Nicholas Kulish

Nicholas Matthew Kulish (born 1975) is an author and journalist who reports for The New York Times. Since March 2014, he has worked as an investigative journalist based in New York. He is the author of two books, the satirical novel Last One In and the nonfiction book The Eternal Nazi.

Rodolfo Freude

Rodolfo Freude (1922–2003) was a close advisor of Argentine President Juan Perón and served as his Director of the Information Division (División de Informaciones).Freude, an Argentine citizen of German descent, is suspected of having organized ODESSA and helping the smuggling of Nazi officers to Argentina.

Souad Mekhennet

Souad Mekhennet (born 1978) is a German journalist and author who has written or worked for The New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast and German television channel ZDF.

Walter Schreiber

Walter Paul Emil Schreiber (21 March 1893 – 5 September 1970) was a German medical military officer in World War I, a brigadier-general (Generalarzt) of the Medical Service of the Wehrmacht and a key witness against Hermann Göring during the Nuremberg Trials.

Post-war flight of Axis fugitives
Disputed / dubious
See also

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