WASHINGTON – A 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp security guard who lived in the United States was deported to Germany on Saturday, the Justice Department said.
Friedrich Karl Berger, who had lived in Tennessee and was a German citizen, was deported because he had participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution in 1945 as an armed guard in the Neuengamme concentration camp system.
« Berger’s removal shows the commitment of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners to ensure that the United States is not a safe haven for those who participated in Nazi crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses, » said the acting attorney general Monty Wilkinson.
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A US immigration judge ordered the deportation of Berger, who has lived in the US since 1959, in March last year.
Berger was stationed near Meppen, where prisoners – Russian, Polish, Dutch, Jewish and others – were held under « cruel » conditions and worked « to the point of exhaustion and death, » Judge Rebecca Holt told the Time.
Their opinion followed a two-day process in which Berger admitted to guarding prisoners to prevent them from escaping. He also accompanied prisoners as they evacuated the camp, in which 70 of them died.
But he also said he did not know that prisoners had been treated badly and that some had died. He said he was following orders.
Berger was flown to Germany on Saturday and arrived in Frankfurt, where he will be questioned, said the Celle public prosecutor.
It was not immediately clear whether he would be brought to justice. The public prosecutor’s office in Germany dropped the charges against Berger in December 2020 for insufficient evidence.
But if he is ready to discuss the allegations against him, the case could be revived.
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