The tall foreigner living on Port Said Street in a Cairo hotel lived a simple life, reading books and writing letters, known as Uncle Tarek to neighborhood children. They did not know that he was actually Aribert Heim—the concentration camp doctor and fugitive from justice who became the most wanted Nazi war criminal in the world.
Dr. Aribert Heim worked at the Mauthausen concentration camp for only a few months in 1941 but left a horrifying mark on the memories of survivors. In the chaos of the postwar period, Heim was able to slip away from his dark past. But certain rare individuals in Germany were unwilling to let Nazi war criminals go unpunished. Among them was a police investigator named Alfred Aedtner, whose quest took him across Europe and across decades, and into a close alliance with legendary Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. This is the incredible story of how Aribert Heim evaded capture, living in a working-class neighborhood of the Egyptian capital, praying in Arabic, beloved by an adopted Muslim family, while inspiring a manhunt that outlived him by many years. He became the “Eternal Nazi,” a symbol of Germany’s evolving attitude toward the sins of its past, which finally crested in a desire to see justice done at almost any cost.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
Nicholas Kulish is a correspondent for The New York Times. He was the paper’s Berlin bureau chief from 2007 to 2013.
Souad Mekhennet is a journalist and reports for The Washington Post and ZDF German television. She is an associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and a fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and she previously worked for The New York Times.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Eter­nal Nazi: From Mau­thausen to Cairo, the Relent­less Pur­suit of SS Doc­tor Arib­ert Heim by Nicholas Kul­ish & Souad Mekhen­net is a non-fiction book detail­ing the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of Nazi hunters fol­low­ing an elu­sive crim­i­nal. While the book does not reveal any­thing new about the era, it does make a fas­ci­nat­ing read. The Eter­nal Nazi: From Mau­thausen to Cairo, the Relent­less Pur­suit of SS Doc­tor Arib­ert Heim by Nicholas Kul­ish & Souad Mekhen­net is a tale of police pro­ce­dural, in an era before com­put­ers and data­bases, of those hunt­ing the worst humans this world had to offer. I first heard of Arib­ert Heim sev­eral years ago, I read an arti­cle about him in the week­end news­pa­per. What struck me most about the mur­ders was the Heim took time to men­tally tor­ment his vic­tims before killing them with is pre­ferred method – a shot of gaso­line to the heart. The book focuses on two men, Heim and Wehrmach vet­eran, Alfred Aedt­ner. Heim is try­ing to avoid cap­ture while Aedt­ner works with other Nazi hunters to try and bring him to justice. One of the dis­con­cert­ing things to read about in this book was the atti­tude towards war crim­i­nals after the war, not only by the Ger­man peo­ple (many who refused to help, and those who did were ostra­cized), but also by the world gov­ern­ments who chose to turn a blind eye to mass mur­der­ers in order to achieve some small cold-war victory. The book accounts for mis­takes, over­sights and just plain bad luck in try­ing to cap­ture Heim. The pur­suers were close on his heels for a while, and Heim was sweat­ing till his last day. Iron­i­cally, Heim’s 30 year exile, being away from fam­ily, friends and coun­try, was prob­a­bly a much harsher pun­ish­ment than he would have received if he would have sim­ply sur­ren­dered to author­i­ties. Heim was care­ful to cover his tracks and his crimes, after the war years were full with con­fu­sion and doubt and he has been already cleared once by US authorities. This is a fas­ci­nat­ing book, writ­ten in clear style with short, easy to com­pre­hend chap­ters. The book did pro­vide an insight on how war crim­i­nals were able to avoid persecution.