BADEN-BADEN, Germany — German police confirmed Thursday that
a briefcase filled with documents discovered in Cairo belonged
to the Nazi fugitive and concentration camp doctor Aribert
Heim. The police could not confirm that he had died in
Egypt in 1992 as witnesses there and in Germany said.
Experts working for the police in the German state of Baden-Württemberg found
evidence showing that the bag and the papers
inside it, including personal letters, financial
documents and medical records, must have been
in a North African country for many years.
Analysis of dust in the old leather briefcase, handed over to The New York Times
and the German television station ZDF by the
Egyptian family Dr. Heim lived with at the time
of his death, included a particular form of lime
that is found in Egypt, as well as the presence
of certain micro-organisms supporting its authenticity.
Handwriting experts also compared documents from
the briefcase with other samples of Dr. Heim’s
criminal technical analyses of the documents
from the briefcase lead us to the conclusion
that it actually came from Aribert Heim,” said
the police in a statement.
traveled to Cairo in July to meet with their
Egyptian counterparts, who confirmed the veracity
of documents showing that Dr. Heim entered Egypt
in 1963, months after he fled Germany as police
there prepared to arrest him.
Dr. Heim was
accused of killing inmates at the concentration
camp of Mauthausen in grisly fashion by performing
unnecessary fatal operations on prisoners without
anesthesia and injecting poison, including gasoline,
into the hearts of others.
He took the
name Tarek Hussein Farid after converting to
Islam, according to witnesses and documents found
in the briefcase. Officials in Cairo issued a
certified copy of a death certificate under that
name, but according to the statement, the police
have been unable to confirm that it is one and
the same person. German investigators have not
had the opportunity to question witnesses in
“At what point
concrete results can be expected is not yet clear,”
the police statement said. Unresolved remains
the question of where Dr. Heim’s body was buried.
Witnesses said that he was interred in a mass
grave after a failed attempt to donate his body
for use in scientific research.
that it has been confirmed that my father lived
in Egypt and I’m very optimistic that there will
be an official confirmation of his death in the
near future,” said his son, Rüdiger Heim, in
an interview on Thursday. “Aribert Heim will
never come back because he is dead,” said Mr.
Heim, who has said he was with his father at
the time of his death.
the police in the German state of Baden-Württemberg
said that they had information “from the personal
circle” of Dr. Heim, who would now be 95, indicating
that he died of rectal cancer in Cairo in 1992.
Dr. Mohsen Barsoum, one of the doctors whose
names appeared on the medical files found in
the briefcase, recalled that he had treated the
man he knew as Tarek Farid and that he suffered
from an advanced form of the disease.
the chief Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal
Center said that he has no doubt that Dr. Heim
lived in Egypt but continued to question whether
he had died there as well. “What’s missing for
me is really the forensics on the body, this
is the problem,” said Mr. Zuroff, in a telephone
interview from Jerusalem, where he is based.