Alois Brunner

Alois Brunner

Austrian, Nazi war criminal.
Date of Birth: 08.04.1912
Country: Germany

  1. Alois Brunner - The Nazi War Criminal
  2. Responsibility for Deportations and Killings
  3. Conviction and Sentencing
  4. Attempts on His Life
  5. Elusive and Last Known Whereabouts
  6. Biography

Alois Brunner - The Nazi War Criminal

Alois Brunner was an Austrian, a Nazi war criminal, and a former SS Hauptsturmführer. He was one of the key associates of Adolf Eichmann in the implementation of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Eichmann even referred to Brunner as his "best man."

Responsibility for Deportations and Killings

As the leader of the internment camp at Drancy near Paris from June 1943 to August 1944, Brunner was responsible for sending around 140,000 European Jews to gas chambers. Approximately 24,000 of them were deported from the Drancy camp.

Conviction and Sentencing

In 1954, Brunner was sentenced to death in absentia by a French court for crimes against humanity. However, he managed to evade capture.

Attempts on His Life

Brunner survived two assassination attempts by the Mossad in 1961 and 1980. Both times, explosive packages were sent to him by mail, resulting in the loss of his left eye and fingers.

Elusive and Last Known Whereabouts

In 2003, The Guardian newspaper referred to Brunner as the highest-ranking Nazi fugitive still believed to be alive. The last known information about Brunner was that he was living in Syria, where the government actively resisted international efforts to capture and apprehend him.


Alois Brunner was born on April 8, 1912, in Nadkut, a small town in the Hungarian region of Vas. Today, that place is known as Rohrbrunn, Burgenland, Austria. He held the rank of SS Hauptsturmführer, equivalent to the rank of captain, when he organized the deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps from Vichy France and Slovakia.

During his career, Brunner played a significant role in the deportations and killings of tens of thousands of Jews. In February 1942, he personally shot Sigmund Bosel, a well-known financier who was very ill, during a train transport from Vienna to Riga.

After the war, evidence emerged that Brunner was directly involved in the executions of children. In 1944, Eichmann personally sent Brunner to Slovakia, where he supervised the deportation of Jews from early 1944 to January 1945. During this time, over a million people were sent to Auschwitz. Brunner was responsible for the lives of 43,000 Viennese Jews and 46,000 Jews from Salonika, Greece.

As the Third Reich was nearing its end, Brunner managed to avoid capture by Allied forces, as he was mistaken for another SS member, Anton Brunner, who was also involved in the deportation of Jews in Vienna and was executed for war crimes. Brunner did not have an SS tattoo on his body, which further helped him evade detection in the prisoner-of-war camp. He then obtained genuine documents under a false name from the American authorities and worked as a driver for the US Army.

In 1954, Brunner left Germany and arrived in Syria under false documents provided by the Red Cross, assuming the name Georg Fischer. He claimed to be a government advisor on Jewish affairs and also provided consultancy to security forces on modern torture methods. Although unconfirmed, Syria consistently denied entry to French investigators and renowned Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld. Simon Wiesenthal also failed to capture Brunner. Germany and other countries unsuccessfully demanded his extradition.

There were reports of Brunner's death in 1996. However, in 2001, there was information that he had been seen alive in Damascus. Rumors about his death remain unconfirmed to this day.