While authorities in Brazil are trying to determine if the body of a man found there is that of Nazi Josef Mengele, West German authorities remain on the trail of a number of other Nazis who are allegedly responsible for many deaths. Alfred Streim, head of the central office for the prosecution of National Socialist crimes of violence, gave the names of several to reporters yesterday.
But, he added: ``We are looking for at least a dozen more we know or believe to be still alive. But I will not release their names just now because they apparently think they are safe and there is no point in spooking them prematurely.''
Dr. Mengele's son Rolf, a lawyer in the Black Forest town of Freiburg, announced Tuesday that his father died in Brazil in 1979, and claimed that a body exhumed last week in Sao Paulo is that of his father.
In a statement read for Rolf Mengele by a family spokesman in Munich, the Nazi doctor's son said that he had personally ``and on the spot'' confirmed his father's death in Brazil in 1979.
He said he will be presenting further evidence of his father's death to the Frankfurt public prosecutor, who has been in charge of the search for Mengele since 1961.
Mr. Mengele said the family had remained silent about Josef Mengele's death until now so as not to endanger those who had sheltered the SS man in Latin America.
Josef Mengele allegedly performed ghastly medical experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz, and selected new arrivals coming off the trains for the gas chambers. He is alleged to have personally sent up to 400,000 men, women, and children to their deaths.
The Frankfurt public prosecutor opened the newest phase of the Mengele case after a university professor tipped him that a former director of the Mengele family's farm-implement firm in Bavaria had bragged to a small group that he arranged for Mengele to receive money in Latin America.