Nazi Hunters: Franz Stangl & Gustav Wagner


Simon Wiesenthal is the world’s most famous Nazi hunter, in his office at the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre located in Vienna, Austria, he keeps files on hundreds of fugitive war criminals, it is solitary work. But on February 22, 1964, there was an unexpected visitor, a drunken man turns up at Wiesenthal’s office and tells him that he will reveal the location of Nazi war criminal Franz Stangl for $7,000.

Stangl was a fervent believer in Hitler’s theories on race and Aryan superiority, he was an Austrian career policeman who joined the Nazi party and worked his way up the ranks. Proving to have a knack for mass murder, he eventually finds himself in charge of three Polish extermination camps where he is responsible for the genocide of 800,000 people. Following a well-worn ‘ratline’, Stangl escapes to Brazil after the war where for nearly two decades he leads a comfortable existence in exile.

As you can imagine Franz Stangl was high on Wiesenthal’s list of wanted war criminals, as such he makes a deal with the stranger who came into his office, but it will only be sealed upon Stangl’s capture. The address the man gave was in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but this mysterious informant was never seen again.

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