New evidence has come to light that the Nazi Alois Brunner died in Damascus four years ago. Remembering the Arab-Nazi relationship may seem inflammatory but it is nonetheless the
awkward truth, writes Guy Walters in the Daily Beast (with thanks: Eliyahu):
Alois Brunner: died in Syria four years ago (Photo: AFP/Getty)
Brunner, who sent an estimated 130,000 Jews to their deaths, made his
home in Damascus, Syria, where he found the conditions much to his
liking. Although there has been much guff peddled about Brunner’s
postwar activities over the past few days—some of which may be
true—there is no doubt that he worked in cahoots with the Assad regime,
or at least certainly enjoyed its protection.
However, Brunner was
not the only perpetrator of the Holocaust mooching around the streets
of the Syrian capital. In terms of gruesome numbers, Franz Stangl, the
former commandant of Treblinka extermination camp, had some 800,000
murders on what remained of his conscience, and he arrived in Damascus
in September 1948 with the assistance of a Roman Catholic bishop.
Brunner is said to have variously worked as an intelligence agent, an
arms dealer, and a security advisor, Stangl took more menial positions
in textile firms. Life was somewhat frugal, but manageable.
Unfortunately for Stangl, the local chief of police took a fancy to his
14-year-old daughter and wanted to add the child to his harem. Stangl
didn’t tarry, and packed his bags and shepherded his entire family
to—you guessed it—Brazil.
Stangl seems to have been one of the few
Nazis who didn’t find the air pleasing in Syria. Most, such as
Major-General Otto-Ernst Remer, prospered on Arab Street. Remer was,
frankly, a real piece of work, and having founded the swiftly-banned
Socialist Reich Party in West Germany in the early 1950s, decided that
working as an arms dealer with the likes of Brunner more rewarding.
Brunner, Remer was itinerant, and spent much time in that other nest of
postwar Nazis—Cairo. If anything, the Egyptian capital was even more
appealing than Damascus, and had been playing host to Nazis immediately
after the war, when King Farouk opened his arms to scores of former SS
and Gestapo officers.
That hospitality continued even after Farouk
was deposed by the Free Officers Movement in 1952, as Nasser regarded
German scientific and intelligence expertise as being an essential
component of his regime. No less a figure than Joachim Daumling, the
former head of the Gestapo in Düsseldorf, was tasked with establishing
Nasser’s secret service.
In fact, the list of some habitués
of Cairo in the 1950s and the 1960s reads like a who’s who of Nazi
Germany, featuring as it did the rescuer of Mussolini, Otto Skorzeny;
the ace Stuka pilot Hans-Ulrich Rudel; the leader of a notorious SS
penal unit, Oskar Dirlewanger; and the particularly odious and violently
anti-Semitic stooge of Goebbels, Johannes von Leers.
made the relationship between these former Nazis and the Egyptians and
Syrians so successful was that it was a genuinely two-way deal. The
Arabs offered the Nazis a haven, as well as a market for all their
nefarious dealings in arms and black market currency. The Nazis,
meanwhile, were able to provide technical and military experts, as well
as the knowhow of establishing the instruments of repression.
below the back scratching lay a deep and dark underpinning to the
relationship between the crescent and the swastika. That was, of course,
a hatred of the Jews, and in particular, a desire to see the
eradication of Israel.