One of the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminals who invented the mobile gas chambers that sent 130,000 Jews to their death died in squalor -- but unrepentant.
A French magazine has pulled back the curtain on the final days of the notorious Alois Brunner in a rancid basement prison in Damascus.
He died at 89 in 2001, leaving behind a lifetime of murder and misery.
"We are satisfied to learn that he lived badly rather than well," Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld told AFP. "XXI's [magazine] investigation is highly credible. They have questioned someone who knew him at close quarters.”
The magazine interviewed three former members of the Syrian secret service who confirmed that in Brunner’s last years, he was KO’d by karma.
Living underneath the fittingly rat-infested apartment block, one of his guards said Brunner “suffered and cried a lot in his final years, everyone heard him.”
One guard added the nutty Nazi “couldn’t even wash” and subsisted on army rations that were described as “awful.”
Brunner -- an Austrian SS member -- was the protege of Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann and acted as his “right-hand man.”
Brunner was at one point in charge of the horrific Drancy camp north of Paris where Jews in transit to the death chambers were kept.
Eichmann was hanged by Israel in 1962.
According to the magazine, Brunner managed to slip through the hands of the Allies at the end of the war. Next stop was Egypt, in 1953, where he ran guns to Algerian rebels fighting French rule.
In 1954, he moved to Syria where he was an advisor to the secret service. But Israel remained on his tail.
Brunner was nearly killed by a parcel bomb in 1961, losing an eye. Another bomb took off four of his fingers in 1981.
The Nazi was convicted of war crimes in absentia in France in 1954.
But for the final 12 years of his life, the basement apartment was his whole world.
"Once he was in the room, the door was closed and never opened again," one former agent told the magazine.
Still, his lifetime of hate continued unabated, Klarsfeld said.
"Until the end he kept his hatred of Jews intact, as well as his faith in National Socialism," he said. "He was someone who hated France as much as he hated Jews."