Former Nazi concentration camp guard deported from US to Germany

Ruben Hill
February 20, 2021

U.S. authorities deported a 95-year-old German man who served as a Nazi concentration camp guard at the end of World War II, officials said on Saturday.

Prosecutors in the town of Celle, in the state of Lower Saxony, said he would be questioned for accessory to murder.

A USA court a year ago ruled that Berger should be expelled after prosecutors in the northern German town of Celle opened an investigation into whether he was involved with the murder of prisoners at a satellite concentration camp of the Neuengamme network near Hamburg in 1945.

Earlier this month, a 100-year-old German man was charged with being an accessory to 3,518 murders committed while he was allegedly a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

During the trial, Mr Berger admitted he had prevented prisoners from fleeing the camp near Hamburg, north Germany.

After the trial, an immigration judge in Memphis found that prisoners at the camp were held in "atrocious" conditions during the winter of 1945, and were forced to work "to the point of exhaustion and death". During the brutal two-week trek, 70 prisoners died.

Berger has been living in the USA since 1959.

Berger, now a widower with two grandchildren, has said he was ordered to work in the camp, was only there a short time, and did not carry a weapon.

'After 75 years, this is ridiculous, ' he told the Washington Post. I can not believe it. I cannot understand how can happen in a country like this.

Christmas celebration of the SS guards at Concentration Camp Neuengamme in 1943.

During an immigration court trial a year ago, Berger acknowledged that he guarded prisoners, did not request a transfer from the camp and was still receiving a pension from Germany for work based in part on his wartime service, US officials said.

"Berger's removal demonstrates the Department of Justice's and its law enforcement partners' commitment to ensuring that the United States is not a safe haven for those who have participated in Nazi crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses", Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson said.

The Justice Department drew evidence from both United States and European archives, 'including records of the historic trial at Nuremberg of the most notorious former leaders of the defeated Nazi regime, ' Wilkinson said.

In 1979, the U.S. government created the Justice Department Office of Special Investigations dedicated to finding Nazis. Since 1979, the DOJ has won cases against 109 Nazi persecutors.

The 95-year-old man faces questioning by local police after arriving at Frankfurt airport.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, in which jurists from the Allied powers tried prominent Nazis under worldwide law.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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