Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called upon the German Foreign Ministry to fully investigate the failure of its representatives to report the whereabouts in Egypt of the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminal Dr. Aribert Heim and thereby facilitate his capture. In the wake of the recent findings by the New York Times and German Channel Two ZDF which prove that Heim submitted an application to extend his stay in Egypt in 1981, it is clear that representatives of the German Embassy in Cairo most likely were aware of the Nazi war criminal’s residence in Egypt as early as that year, but apparently failed to report this fact to the German judicial authorities, despite the existing arrest warrant for Heim’s arrest. It is also possible that local German diplomats may have been informed of Heim’s demise, if he did indeed die in Egypt in 1992, a fact which, in the Center’s opinion, has still not been conclusively proven.
In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called for a thorough investigation by the Foreign Ministry of the role of its Cairo Embassy during the more than three decades that Heim apparently lived in Egypt, along with numerous other Nazi war criminals who were never brought to justice.
According to Zuroff:
“One of the points that was clearly proven in the NYT and ZDF report was that Heim definitely lived in the Egyptian capital for a fairly lengthy period and thus there is a high liklihood that officials of the local German embassy might have been well-aware of his whereabouts. This should be an important element of a serious investigation of the failure of German officials to capture Heim as well as numerous other Nazi war criminals who found refuge in Egypt after World War II.”