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Nazi Hunter

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Schindler's Hitlist.
"We're gonna be doing one thing and one thing only... killin' Nazis!"
Lt. Aldo Raine, Inglourious Basterds

Someone who dedicates their life to hunting down ex-Nazis, or is dedicated to hunting down one particular Nazi because of what they did in World War II (note: this trope doesn't apply just because the antagonist happens to be an ex-Nazi, it's only for someone who hunts them regularly). Often a Badass Israeli who might be working for Mossad, a result of the high-profile kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann from Argentina in 1960. In reality, Mossad stopped chasing war criminals not long after this event, as more urgent threats to Israel took priority (for example, hostile neighboring Arab regimes are considered bigger threats to Israel than old Nazi war criminals).

Expect the former Nazi to be living somewhere in South America in his well-guarded mansion financed by Nazi Gold, from which he plots the return of the Third Reich. Hardly Truth in Television, as genuine war criminals go to some trouble to avoid drawing attention to themselves. And this usually involves living modestly and often working in low-end jobs such as manual labor. And as far as all that Nazi Gold, there are some other more plausible theories about where it ended up.

On the flip side, a Nazi Hunter must be wary of himself and not develop a Knight Templar tendency. If he hunted Nazis for too long, he himself would become what he hated: A Nazi by Any Other Name.

Something of a Discredited Trope these days, as anyone who served in World War II gets too long in the tooth to be anything other than a Nazi Grandpa. And the generation that would have been old enough to be movers and shakers in the Nazi party would now be super-centenarians.note  Finally, the end of the Cold War and the start of The War on Terror dramatically expanded The Usual Adversaries. Occasionally, much more recent works depict the Nazis of the revivalist neo-Nazi variety.

Very common in Nazisploitation films.


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    Comic Books 
  • In the '80s, Magneto joined the ranks of several Marvel villains in the Acts of Vengeance Crossover simply so that he could get close to the Red Skull and bury him alive. Magneto was a Holocaust survivor so there was no love lost between him and the Skull.
    • Also from the X-Men side of things is James Bradley a.k.a. Doctor Nemesis, who spent decades hunting literal super-Nazis in South America, and now considers it a kind of leisure activity.
  • Much like Cap, Atomic Robo also continues to fight Nazi super-science, by virtue of Helsingard having god knows how many hidden labs throughout the world. Robo also found Otto Skorzeny living in Madrid in 1974, but Skorzeny had actually brought him there so that he could goad Robo into killing him, to free him from the pain of his terminal cancer. Robo declined.
  • Blacksad: Laszlo Herzl in Red Soul is a Holocaust survivor who's part of an organization tracking and keeping tabs on former Nazis. He's targeting Otto Lieber due to both his Nazi past and his selling H-bomb secrets to the Russians. He doesn't care overmuch when his hired killer accidentally offs a similar-looking owl.
  • Captain America himself continues to do this to this day, thanks to the Red Skull being very hard to kill.
  • Hellboy occasionally tracked down Nazis after the war. Some of these Nazis are still around and he expresses his disgust of Nazis every time he sees them.
  • There is an indie comic called Manimal (no, not that one) about a Super Hero who tracks down and slays the Nazis responsible for turning him into a freak. This comic was reviewed by The Cinema Snob and Linkara.
  • National Lampoon: There was an extended comic story about "Gunnar Von Weissen", an ex-Nazi who hunted former concentration camp prisoners, a la Wiesenthal.
  • Rebecca's sister Sarah in Requiem Vampire Knight. She kills Otto (an old Nazi hiding in Argentina at that point) in revenge for killing Rebecca in a concentration camp, sending him to Resurrection.
  • A back-up story in an issue of Savage Dragon involved the Super Patriot tracking down a cult of ninja cyborg Nazis. Since he was a WWII vet, he took great pleasure in blowing them apart.
  • In the Marvel Universe, Silver Sable's father did this, with the Wild Pack originally being established as a Nazi-hunting group.
  • Simon Wiesenthal, The Protagonist of Simon Says: Nazi Hunter dedicated his post-Holocaust life to hunting down Nazis.
  • The Sin City short story Rats features an elderly Nazi war criminal, apparently living in secret in America. A mysterious Nazi Hunter soon kicks in the door and kills him by shoving him in the oven. It is speculated that the Nazi Hunter in this story is a young Mob Boss Wallenquist, a German mafia leader.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Zenna Persik is a Roma woman whose family was murdered in Nazi concentration camps. She spends the rest of her life hunting down and killing Nazis, targeting those that escaped any form of punishment after the war.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm mentions that back in the day, Magneto, like his counterpart in X-Men: First Class (which is indicated to be broadly canon), was a prolific and extremely ruthless example of this trope.

  • The Debt follows three young Mossad agents attempting to kidnap a Captain Ersatz version of Dr. Mengele from East Berlin in the '60s.
  • Inglourious Basterds features a squad of Jewish-American soldiers killing Nazi officials and soldiers during WW2 as opposed to after it. One of their members also happens to be a former German soldier that developed a taste for killing Nazis himself after he was subjected to torture by Gestapo agents.
  • Marathon Man: A rare villainous example is Janeway is a member of a government organization that performs this function, who has decided to allow Szell to be free (and looks the other way with his other monstrous acts) as long as Szell provides information on any other fugitive associates of the Nazi regime that he knows about.
  • In the French movie (and remake) Marie Octobre, the target is not the former Nazi himself, who was simply an enemy soldier: the problem is that said German revealed the presence of a traitor in the former resistance movement.
  • Operation Finale has an entire Mossad squad of them, as it is a dramatization of the kidnapping and extraction of Adolf Eichmann.
  • Dolores Koulechov (Louise Monot) from OSS 117: Lost in Rio.
  • The protagonist of the second Outpost movie is a young woman carrying on a family vendetta of hunting down those who killed their relatives in the holocaust. Turns out one of the perpetrators isn't a Nazi Grandpa.
  • SLC Punk! has a modern take on this; the main characters find Neo-Nazi punks and beat them up. This is mostly due to the Neo-Nazis calling themselves punks rather than any moral reasons.
  • Der Staat Gegen Fritz Bauer: The title character is a German prosecutor in the 1950s who spends most of his time investigating the networks of escaped Nazis so he can bring charges against them in Germany or elsewhere, as he wants to rehabilitate his country's image after the war. He even discovers vital clues that help Israel with finding Eichmann.
  • Subverted in the movie The Statement (from the novel by Brian Moore). An old Vichy French war criminal played by Michael Caine kills an apparent Nazi hunter in self-defence, but when the police start investigating it turns out that the Nazi hunter was just a hitman with a fake Jewish-Canadian background, hired by a couple of influential war criminals who wanted to get rid of Caine as he knew too much about them.
  • The Stranger has a United Nations War Crimes Commission detective trying to track down a notorious high-ranking Nazi (essentially a fictionalized version of Adolf Eichmann) who has successfully escaped and hidden himself in a suburb in Connecticut.
  • The Australian short film Ubermensch (based on a story by Kim Newman) has an aging Nazi hunter visiting his last target in his cell in an American prison... who's still as young as the day they first met. Turns out this is an alternate Superman who landed in Nazi Germany instead of the United States. So how do you kill a man with superpowers who's effectively immortal?
  • Erik spends the first twenty minutes or so of his screentime in X-Men: First Class tracking down and killing Nazis in often brutal fashions. In fact, his reason for joining the X-Men is so that he can find and kill Klaus Schmidt/Sebastian Shaw, the mutant Nazi scientist who killed his mother.
  • Eyal (Lior Ashkenazi) from Walk on Water is initially reluctant to become one and prefers to let the old Nazi die, but his boss Menachem insists on "punishing him before God does".


    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Airwolf episode "Fight Like a Dove", the daughter of a Nazi hunter who was murdered by an ex-Nazi Arms Dealer gets the Airwolf team's help to attack the Big Bad in his fortress in Paraguay.
  • The man Sister Jude goes to for information on her co-worker, Nazi scientist Dr. Arden, also known as Hans Gruper in American Horror Story: Asylum. This takes place in the 1960s, so there are likely a good many Nazis still running around.
  • Sue Sylvester's mother Doris on Glee was absent for most of Sue and Jean's lives as she was hunting down Nazis. Based on some of Doris' comments, and the show being set in the 2010s, it seems the "Nazis" she was tracking down were actually the descendants of Nazis who were quietly living their lives with no ties to their ancestors' beliefs or crimes.
  • Heartbeat ("Going Home"). A German-American called Victor Kellerman tries to kill a local resident, after spending years trying to track down this 'friend' who confiscated his wealth and sent him to a concentration camp. He's finally able to track him down when the man's son sells a valuable stamp that used to belong to Kellerman.
  • Hunters centers around a team of Nazi hunters who track down and kill a secret Nazi cabal in The '70s. The big twist of the show's first season involves a huge subversion, in that the group's leader is revealed to be a notorious former Nazi trying to turn Atoner.
  • In Search of... covered the international hunt for Josef Mengele, basing their "facts" on the allegations of Simon Wiesenthal (see Real Life). Unfortunately now that Mengele's identity while living in South America is known, the dramatic tales of his narrow escapes from Nazi hunters have turned out to be bogus.
  • Kessler, the sequel to Secret Army, in which the title character is pursued by a German police officer, and a young Israeli woman seeking revenge for her roommate being killed by neo-Nazi thugs.
  • Marple: The 2007 TV adaptation of the Miss Marple story At Bertram's Hotel turns Malinowski (a racecar driver in the novel!) into a Nazi hunter.
  • Night Gallery pilot film, episode "Escape Route". A Nazi war criminal living in South America is pursued by Israeli agents, including a man he tortured at Auschwitz.
  • Supernatural solved the age problem with ageless Nazi necromancers. Unfortunately the Nazi hunter in this case — who inherited the role after his grandfather was murdered — is a Jewish college kid who used the instruction manual for his golem as rolling paper for his marijuana, so he has no idea how to command it (the golem isn't happy about him either).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Any Delta Green Agent in an operation against the Karotechia will be this. One particular example in the backstory is Operation SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY, where Delta Green went to South America to track down and assassinate former Karotechia members, Mossad style.
  • Hunter: The Vigil has the Loyalists of Thule. Originally part of the Thule Society, they got squeamish about how chummy the organization was getting with the Third Reich, and split off. In modern times, they feel the need to atone for their part in the Nazi rise to power by hunting neo-Nazis, monsters with ties to the Nazis, and monsters in general when they get a minute.

    Video Games 
  • The New California Republic from the Fallout series becomes this towards the Enclave after the latter's defeat at the hands of the Chosen One. The two eventually go to war with each other and despite numerous casualties on both sides, the NCR prevailed and the Enclave was forced to relocate to the East Coast to lick their wounds and bide their time; those who stayed behind were executed on the spot, ostracized, or successfully integrated into the NCR to avoid further persecution. In one particular character's ending in Fallout: New Vegas, after the conclusion of the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, his connections and history with the Enclave soon were revealed by both the NCR and the Brotherhood of Steel, and the two factions team up together to hunt him down and attempt to try him for his affiliations (i.e. simply being the son of an officer) with the organization, who had a rack sheet of crimes against humanity and non-humanity alike.
  • Sniper Elite V2, Sniper Elite III, Sniper Elite 4 and Sniper Elite 5 feature Lt. Karl Fairburne, whose missions mainly involve sabotaging Nazi wonder-weapons projects before they can be completed. Often, as part of his missions, he's also tasked with hunting the Nazi scientists and officers behind the projects in order to achieve No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup.
  • The Soldier from Team Fortress 2... sort of. He traveled to Poland during the war to kill Nazis and didn't stop until four years after the war was over, because he didn't realize the war was over. What form this Nazi-killing spree took, exactly, is not made clear, but it's heavily implied that they weren't actually Nazis.
  • The Trope Codifier is BJ Blazkowicz from Wolfenstein, he dedicated his entire life to hunting down Nazis over and over again, he first took down Hitler himself in Wolfenstein 3-D, and later on dealt with supernatural Nazis. BJ is rather picky about his foes; he only hunts Nazis.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Erik Lensherr

Before he became Magneto, he was a man on a mission to try and kill Klaus Schmidt; the man responsible for killing his mother and torturing him into awakening his Mutation.

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Main / NaziHunter

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