The world's most wanted Nazi criminal died "unrepentant" in Syria, the Simon Wiesenthal Center announced Sunday.
SS captain Alois Brunner was second-in-command to Adolf Eichmann, who called Brunner his "best man." The news of his death in 2010 at the age of 98 came from a former German secret service agent deemed reliable by the center.
Brunner was responsible for deporting 128,500 Austrian, Greek, French, and Slovakian Jews to concentration camps, and was able to flee Germany in the 1950s after a mix-up led to another SS officer being tried and convicted of his crimes, the Times of Israel reports. After stops in Rome and Egypt, where he rented a room from a Jewish family, Brunner settled in Syria using the pseudonym Dr. Georg Fischer.
Although this hasn't been confirmed, it's believed that Brunner taught late President Hafez Assad torture tactics. "He was involved in the harsh treatment of the Jewish community of Syria and was an expert in terror and torture," Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said. "He said himself his one regret was he did not kill more Jews. He was unrepentant." Brunner survived two assassination attempts by Israel's Mossad, in 1961 and 1980, and upon his death was buried somewhere in Damascus.