Sleeping on the street and eating out of the garbage: how the famous Nazi and Himmler's ally ended his days
In the 70s of the XX century, an unremarkable old tramp lived in one of the districts of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The locals knew old Mendel well, and they fed him regularly and gave him change. He begged for money from tourists and obtained food in garbage cans near district eateries.
He was a cheerful, positive grandfather-the whole district remembered him that way. Homeless, unemployed, he always found money for drinks and did not dry out from morning to evening. One thing was disconcerting about his appearance – his cold blue eyes, which, according to local recollections, caused an icy shiver.
But at some point, old Mendel got carried away. He started telling some strange stories about how he shot hundreds of people 40 years ago. No one thought to believe the old drunk. What was their surprise when it turned out that the tramp was telling the truth. That this is the Nazi executioner Gustav Wagner, who was sentenced to death by the Nuremberg Tribunal. For some reason, this man was very much loved and singled out by Heinrich Himmler, although there were no special merits (as you will see later) on his account.
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Wagner's official position is Deputy head of the Sobibor death camp. From a young age, Gustav Wagner was a convinced Nazi. In 19 years in Austria, he promoted the ideas of Nazism, for which he ended up in prison. But he escaped from prison, settled in Germany, and joined the SS. The guy looked like it-a blue-eyed blond with a strong build. Only here is the character of a psychopath and a sadist, in connection with which he was given to supervise the death camp. A normal person would not have the heart to do such dirty work, and Wagner enjoyed it. And yet - he pathologically hated small children, their cries brought him out of himself. Although he did have a wife and daughter, whose fate after the end of the war is not known.
Wagner was highly regarded by the management, although it is not particularly clear why. He couldn't even keep the concentration camp in order. It was during his reign that an uprising led by Soviet Lieutenant Alexander Pechersky took place in Sobibor. This is the only successful uprising in the death camp. The rebels did the impossible-without weapons, they killed the guards and ran away through the minefields! What did Wagner do? He took severe revenge on the prisoners who did not escape (mainly because they were ill). For this, Himmler awarded him the Iron cross. Absurd!
But the war ended and the Nuremberg trials condemned many Nazi figures. How Wagner managed to avoid punishment?
Shortly before the arrival of the Soviet troops, he, under the guise of a simple Builder, fled to the Austrian city of Graz. Here he successfully hid for two years. Then there were the so - called "rat trails" in Europe-these are the routes used by fugitive Nazis to escape from Europe.
Interestingly, many" rat trails " were created by spies from Brazil and Argentina. They helped former fascists leave Europe and employed them at home. Many fascists received prominent positions in the secret services of Latin American countries.
This is the route that Wagner took to Spain and sailed to Brazil using forged documents.
For two years he lived incognito, until in 1950 he was legalized-the Nazi registered under the name of Gunther Mendel. But, unlike his more successful colleagues, he did not get a serious job in the Brazilian government.
But I settled in well at first. Ironically, he built fences in the villas of the local rich. Wagner was praised because no one could pull the wire so clearly! Then he married a widow with two children. For 17 years, he lived as a well-to-do Philistine.
But God (or the one who temporarily performed His functions, for it is unlikely that the Creator could allow such an evil of his own will) finally came to his senses and turned his attention to Wagner. When the widow died, it turned out that no inheritance was left to him. Her sons drove Wagner away and he began to wander the country. In a few years, he turned into a typical homeless person, as you saw him at the beginning of this article.
In 1978, Wagner was discovered and captured by the Brazilian authorities. But at the request of Germany, the former Nazi refused to issue. The German community in Brazil stood up for the compatriot, he was hired a lawyer who saved Wagner from prison. But what the Brazilian court failed to do was completed by fate-two years later, at the age of 69, he took his own life. Although most historians do not believe this - a man like Wagner had too many enemies for him to end his life in peace and harmony.