There was no proof that wanted Nazi war-criminal Aribert Heim was dead, despite reports that he died in 1992, an Israeli Nazi hunter said Thursday.
"We have no body, no DNA, no grave," Ephraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, in reaction to reports by Germany's ZDF television channel and the New York Times Wednesday that the former concentration camp doctor, known as "Dr. Death," died of cancer in Cairo on August 10, 1992, reported dpa.
"There must be people interested in the story getting out. It's totally strange, it makes no sense," Zuroff said.
He said it was an "interesting theory" that the story could have been released now for financial reasons. Heim is believed to have a legacy worth some 2 million euros (2.6 million dollars), which his heirs would inherit if he was declared dead.
Zuroff noted that Heim's son Rudiger gave an interview to a German newspaper five months ago, in which he said he had no contact with his father.
Either "he was lying then, or he is lying now," Zuroff charged.
As an SS doctor in the Nazi concentration camp of Mauthausen, Heim is accused of killing and torturing hundreds of inmates by various methods, including lethal injections directly into the hearts of his victims.
He was not brought to trial after the war and fled Germany in the 1960's. He was thought to be living in South America, but there were also reports that he had sought sanctuary in Spain and Denmark.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre had long placed Heim at the head dof its list of Nazi war criminals still at large.