BERLIN, Sept 21, 2012 (AFP) -
BERLIN, Sept 21, 2012 (AFP) –
German judicial authorities officially confirmed for the first time on Friday that Nazi war criminal Aribert Heim, known as “Doctor Death”, had actually died as reported.
A regional court in the southwestern town of Baden-Baden said it was abandoning its investigation because there was “no doubt” the body found in Egypt in 1992 was that of Heim.
“The criminal case against Dr Aribert Heim on suspicion of multiple murders has been abandoned because of the death of the accused,” it said in a statement.
German public television channel ZDF and the New York Times said in February 2009 that Heim had died of bowel cancer in 1992, citing his son and acquaintances in Cairo.
But a report by Der Spiegel news weekly several months later said investigators believed the ZDF and NYT report did not provide “any proof of his death” and were continuing to examine “every lead” on the Austrian-born Nazi.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem also said it did not believe the story.
Heim, one of the world’s most wanted war criminals, became known as “Doctor Death” and the “Butcher of Mauthausen” after performing medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners.
In 1945 at the end of World War II he was arrested by the US military but they let him go after two and a half years, and he went on to work as a gynaecologist in Baden-Baden.
He pursued his profession in the picturesque spa town for around 15 years but fled in 1962 as the West German authorities were about to arrest him.