Nazi Hunters

9:45pm Sunday, May 22 on Prime

Documentary Series

Gustav Wagner/Franz Strangl

A fervent believer in Hitler’s theories on race and Aryan superiority, Franz Stangl is an Austrian career policeman who joins the Nazi party and works his way up the ranks. Proving 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. That is until 1964 when the world’s most famous Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, receives an anonymous tip about Stangl’s whereabouts.

With help from the Brazilian police, and an extradition request from West Germany, Stangl is arrested in 1967. It is a major victory for Holocaust survivors, particularly since Stangl’s trial brings the horrifying reality of the extermination camps to light. Thanks to a surprising admission, it also puts Weisenthal on the trail of another notorious Nazi fugitive, his former deputy Gustav Wagner. According to Stangl, the man known as the ‘Beast of Sobibor’ is also in Brazil. But it will take nearly a decade, a secret birthday party for Hitler, and a Sobibor survivor to put Wagner behind bars.

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