Report: Nazi 'Doctor Death' Has Been Hiding in Spain Since 1985

Aribert Heim worked in Mauthausen and killed hundreds of inmates by lethal injection and torture.

Reuters
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An Austrian doctor accused of killing hundreds of inmates at a Nazi concentration camp during World War Two has been hiding in Spain for the last 20 years, a Spanish newspaper reported on Sunday.

German authorities have said they are hunting for Aribert Heim, 91, known as "Doctor Death".

Heim worked in Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria and killed hundreds of inmates by lethal injection and torture, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has also said Heim may be hiding out in Spain.

Spain's El Mundo newspaper, which has previously reported that Heim may once have lived on the Costa Brava, in northeastern Spain, said on Sunday that Heim had moved to Spain in 1985.

It said he had been sheltered by Odessa, a secret group believed to have helped Nazi war criminals hide and find them new identities.

"Odessa, which has had one of its main operating bases in Spain during the 60 years of its history, has kept Doctor Aribert Heim...hidden in our country for the last 20 years," it said.

The report quoted investigators as saying that Heim's most lasting hideout was near the town of Roses, on the Costa Brava.

"The police suspect that, knowing that he had been located, Heim left the Roses area in a yacht to go to the Marbella area (on the southern Spanish coast)," it said.

Some of Heim's victims were Spaniards. Many Republicans who fled to France after their defeat in the 1936-39 Spanish civil war were sent to Mauthausen after being handed over to the Nazis by the Vichy government. Some 5,000 Spaniards died there.

According to El Mundo, Heim spent only seven weeks at Mauthausen, from October 8 to November 29, 1941, but said this was enough to leave an indelible mark.

It said he was involved in injecting prisoners with benzene, a poison used as a solvent and insecticide, to see how long they lived, and in carrying out unnecessary operations.

El Mundo said he removed the appendices of two young Dutch Jews and let them die after a long agony. "Afterwards, he personally decapitated them, boiled their heads and cleaned their skulls," it said.

It quoted a former Mauthausen prisoner, Marcelino Bilbao, 85, who said he was given benzene injections by Heim over a six-week period but survived.

"My body was paralyzed, my urine was red and blood was coming from my face," Bilbao said. He said Heim never spoke but he retained a clear memory of him.

Heim was captured by the allies after the war but was only accused of belonging to the Waffen-SS and was freed from an internment camp in 1948, the report said.

When his history began to come to light, he fled in 1962.

El Mundo said he lived in Egypt until 1967, when he travelled to several other countries before setting up a clinic in Uruguay between 1979 and 1983. Two years after that, he moved to Spain, it said.

An Interior Ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday. Newspaper reports have said that police are searching for Heim in Spain but Spanish officials have made no public comment on the case.

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