Last update - 08:47 04/05/2009
German detectives cast doubt on demise of Nazi 'Doctor Death'
By News Agencies
BERLIN - German investigators have doubts over a media report that Nazi war criminal Aribert Heim, known as "Doctor Death," died in Egypt in 1992, Der Spiegel magazine said.
German public television channel ZDF and the New York Times said in February that that Heim died of bowel cancer in 1992, citing his son and
acquaintances in Cairo.
But a report by Der Spiegel to be published Monday said investigators believed the ZDF and Times report did not provide "any proof of his death" and were continuing to examine "every lead" on the Austrian-born
In particular, they believe Heim's circle of support during his time on the run was wider than was previously thought, and that he received money via wire transfers from Switzerland and the U.S. and letters and cash from messengers.
German and Austrian police said in February they were seeking to confirm that Heim had died and that they would hunt for his remains if necessary.
But recovering his remains could be complicated, because Heim's body was disposed of in a paupers' grave where a large number of corpses were buried over 17 years, the original news reports said.
Heim became known as "Doctor Death" and the "Butcher of Mauthausen" after performing medical experiments on concentration camp prisoners.
He performed operations without anesthetics and injected gasoline directly into victims' hearts. His cruelty was such that he has frequently been compared to Josef Mengele, the so-called "Angel of Death" who was a doctor at Auschwitz.
In 1945, at the end of World War II, he was arrested by the U.S. military but they let him go two years later. He went on to work as a gynecologist
in the picturesque spa town of Baden-Baden.
He worked in the town for around 15 years, but he fled in 1962, right before the West German authorities would have arrested him.