Dr. Aribert Heim, an SS doctor who worked at the Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen concentration camps, eluded investigators for decades while living “a quiet life” in Cairo as the Muslim convert Tarek Hussein Farid, where he died in August 1992. He was the most-wanted Nazi war criminal still believed to be at large.
Prisoners outside the hospital barracks at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, in a photo made by a Swiss prisoner during World War II. Dr. Heim was known there as Dr. Death.
Dr. Death, aka Tarek Hussein Farid rarely allowed himself to be photographed during his time in Egypt. This picture, taken in 1971, is believed to have been taken in Alexandria, Egypt, where he owned a house.
As revealed in this February 4/5, 2008 New York Times story:
A dusty briefcase with rusted buckles, sitting nearly forgotten in storage here in Cairo, hid the truth behind Dr. Heim’s flight to the Middle East. Obtained by The New York Times and the German television station ZDF from members of the Doma family, proprietors of the hotel here where Dr. Heim resided, the files in the briefcase tell the story of his life, and death, in Egypt.
Aribert Ferdinand Heim, was a member of Hitler’s Waffen-SS, and a psychopathic “medical doctor” who committed the most heinous atrocities at the Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen concentration camps, including: the performance of operations on prisoners without anesthesia; removing organs from healthy inmates, who were then left then to die on the operating table; injecting poison, including gasoline, into the hearts of others; and taking the skull of at least one victim as a “souvenir.” Josef Kohl, a former inmate at Mauthausen, gave the following testimony regarding Heim to a United States war crimes investigating team on Jan. 18, 1946, less than a year after the German surrender.
Dr. Heim had a habit of looking into inmates’ mouths to determine whether their teeth were in impeccable condition. If this were the case, he would kill the prisoner with an injection, cut his head off, leave it to cook in the crematorium for hours, until all the flesh was stripped from the naked skull and prepare the skull for himself and his friends as a decoration for their desks.
Heim converted to Islam (in his case, at the renowned Al Azhar mosque in Cairo), becoming “known to locals” as Tarek Hussein Farid—like scores of other Nazis, who found safe haven in Egypt, such as Johannes “Omar Amin” von Leers. Bat Ye’or has described this phenomenon, as follows (here, pp.154-55):
…they lived under false names and worked in anti-Zionist propaganda centers, such as the Institute for the Study of Zionism, which was founded in Cairo, in 1955. Its director, Alfred Zingler (alias Mahmoud Saleh), worked together with Dr. Johannes von Leers (d. 1965, alias Omar Amin), who had been a specialist on the “Jewish Question” in Josef Goebbels’ propaganda department. Zingler’s main assistants were Dr. Werner Witschale and Hans Appler (Saleh Shafar), who had also served on the staff of Goebbels’ ministry, as well as Louis Heiden. Heiden was the editor of one of the many Arabic versions of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and of a translation of Hitler’s Mein Kampf into Arabic. In 1955, the Cairo Egyptian special services for anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist propaganda hired Appler.
Other Nazis settled in Egypt as well. Most of them worked with the Egyptian government as advisers on anti-Zionist propaganda or assisted with the organization of police forces or as military trainers in Palestinian terrorist camps. In 1957, according to Frankfurter Illustrierte [August 25, 1957], the number of Nazis in Egypt was two thousand. [emphasis added] Erich Altern (Ali Bella), the chief of the Jewish section of the Gestapo in occupied Galicia [Eastern Central Europe, between Poland and Ukraine] during the war, escaped to Egypt in the early 1950s, where he served as a military instructor in the Palestinian camps. [Standartenfuhrer (an SS regiment leader)] Baumann (Ali Ben Khader), who had collaborated in the extermination of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and went into hiding, became a military specialist in Egypt for the army of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
The pervasive impact of this ugly mentality is perhaps best illustrated by then Colonel Anwar El-Sadat’s 1953 “Letter to Hitler”. When, in September, 1953 several news agency reports were circulated claiming that Hitler was still alive, the Cairo weekly Al Musawwar, posed this question to a number of Egyptian personalities, including Sadat: “If you wished to send Hitler a personal letter, what would you write to him?” In response, Sadat wrote the following, published September 18, 1953: (here, p. 155 )
My dear Hitler,
I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. Even if you appear to have been defeated, in reality you are the victor. You succeeded in creating dissensions between Churchill, the old man, and his allies, the Sons of Satan. [emphasis added] Germany will win because her existence is necessary to preserve the world balance. Germany will be reborn in spite of the Western and Eastern powers. There will be no peace unless Germany once again becomes what she was. The West, as well as the East, will pay for her rehabilitation—whether they like it or not. Both sides will invest a great deal of money and effort in Germany in order to have her on their side, which is of great benefit to Germany. So much for the present and the future. As for the past, I think you made mistakes, like too many battlefronts and the shortsightedness of Ribbentrop vis-a vis the experienced British diplomacy. But your trust in your country and people will atone for those blunders. We will not be surprised if you appear again in Germany or if a new Hitler rises up in your wake. [emphasis added]
During 1979 Heim wrote in a letter to the German magazine Spiegel, after a report about his war-crimes case was published there in 1979. Whether he ever sent the letter, which was found in his files (along with numerous others were “written in meticulous cursive style in German or English”) is unclear. According to the Times report,
the letter…accused Simon Wiesenthal, who was interned at Mauthausen, of being “the one who invented these atrocities.” Dr. Heim went on to discuss what he called Israeli massacres of Palestinians, and added that “the Jewish Khazar, Zionist lobby of the U.S. were the first ones who in 1933 declared war against Hitler’s Germany.” The Turkic ethnic group the Khazars were a recurring theme for Dr. Heim, who kept himself busy in Cairo, researching a paper he wrote in English and German, decrying the possibility of anti-Semitism owing to the fact, he said, that most Jews were not Semitic in ethnic origin.
Apparently, Dr. Death, became a devout Muslim (he “maintained the discipline to walk some 15 miles each day through the busy streets of Egypt’s capital…to the world-renowned Al Azhar mosque”), and bonded with his Muslim neighbors, who knew him as “Uncle” Tarek Hussein Farid.
He formed close bonds with his neighbors, including the Doma family, which ran the Kasr el Madina hotel, where Dr. Heim lived the last decade before his death. Mahmoud Doma, whose father owned the establishment, said Dr. Heim spoke Arabic, English and French, in addition to German. Mr. Doma said his neighbor read and studied the Koran, including a copy in German that the Domas had ordered for him. Mahmoud Doma, 38, became emotional when talking about the man he knew as Uncle Tarek, whom he described giving him books and encouraging him to study. “He was like a father. He loved me and I loved him.”
He recalled how Uncle Tarek bought rackets and set up a tennis net on the hotel roof, where he and his siblings played with the German Muslim until sundown. But by 1990, Dr. Heim’s good health began to fail him and he was diagnosed with cancer.
Heim died on Aug. 10, 1992, according to his son and the death certificate.