The New York Times and Germany's ZDF television reported on Wednesday documents have surfaced in Egypt showing the world's most-wanted Nazi war criminal, Aribert Heim, died in Cairo in 1992.
According to the report Heim was living under a pseudonym and had converted to Islam by the time of his death from intestinal cancer.
ZDF said that in a joint effort with the New York Times, it located a passport, application for a residence permit, bank slips, personal letters and medical papers — in all more than 100 documents — left behind by Heim in a briefcase in the hotel room where he lived under the name Tarek Hussein Farid.
Heim was a concentration camp doctor also known as Dr Death. He is accused of killing and torturing many inmates through various methods, such as direct injections of toxic compounds into the hearts of his victims.
Heim's son Ruediger Heim confirmed the pseudonym Tarek Hussein Farid as his father's assumed name and the documents as belonging to him, the ZDF reported.
Heim said he visited his father regularly in Cairo and had taken care of him after an operation related to his cancer in 1990.
Ruediger Heim had however previously said that the only contact he had since his father went into hiding in 1962 were two notes that appeared in his family's mailbox, and that he had no idea if he was alive or dead.
Simon Wiesenthal Center head Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said he has not seen the documents and that while it seems that there is definitely a strong possibility they point to Heim's death in Cairo 16 years ago, they need to be examined by experts.
Zuroff told The Associated Press in an interview from Jerusalem, Ruediger has been lying. Either he is lying now or he was lying before, and he has a vested interest in this so anything he says has to be taken with a certain amount of skepticism and suspicion — and the most important thing is missing: the body. There's no grave, there's no corpse, there's no DNA tests.
When Ruediger Heim was contacted at his home by the AP he refused to comment on the discrepancies in what he has said and responding with, The whole story is very emotional, and I'm not able to say anything at this time.
According to ZDF reports, Heim was buried in a cemetery for the poor in Cairo, where graves are reused after several years so that the chance of finding remains is unlikely.