A United States immigration judge has requested that a Tennessee male who served as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp in Germany in the course of Planet War II be deported to the nation, where by he is a citizen and has continued to acquire a pension primarily based on his employment, “including his wartime provider.”
The Justice Office reported the male, Friedrich Karl Berger, 94, was an armed guard in a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, where by prisoners ended up held throughout the winter of 1945 and compelled to function outdoor “to the issue of exhaustion and loss of life.”
“Berger was component of the SS machinery of oppression that retained focus camp prisoners in atrocious situations of confinement,” Brian A. Benczkowski, an assistant legal professional standard in the department’s criminal division, stated in a statement on Thursday. “This ruling shows the Department’s continued determination to getting a measure of justice, nonetheless late, for the victims of wartime Nazi persecution.”
A law firm for Mr. Berger, Hugh B. Ward, did not instantly react to messages searching for remark.
Mr. Berger, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., could not immediately be reached for comment. He told The Washington Article on Thursday that he was purchased to get the job done in the camp, was there for a brief time and did not have a weapon. In the United States, he mentioned, he had designed a dwelling setting up wire-stripping machines.
“After 75 yrs, this is preposterous. I are unable to feel it,” he explained to The Post. “You’re forcing me out of my residence.”
The Justice Division mentioned that Mr. Berger was purchased deported immediately after a two-day demo. A federal immigration decide in Memphis, Rebecca L. Holt, identified that Mr. Berger was deportable beneath the 1978 Holtzman Modification to the Immigration and Nationality Act since his “willing services as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp the place persecution took place” constituted support in Nazi-sponsored persecution, the office explained.
Mr. Berger served at a Neuengamme subcamp close to Meppen, Germany, exactly where Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents of the Nazis were being imprisoned, the section said. There ended up about 80 Neuengamme subcamps across northern Germany.
At the close of March 1945, when the Nazis deserted Meppen to escape advancing British and Canadian forces, Mr. Berger helped guard prisoners during their forcible evacuation to the most important camp — a just about two-7 days trek underneath inhumane situations that claimed the lives of some 70 prisoners, the department claimed.
Decide Holt reported that Mr. Berger acknowledged that he had hardly ever asked for a transfer from concentration camp guard provider and that he had ongoing to acquire a pension from Germany primarily based on his employment in the nation, “including his wartime assistance.”
Efraim Zuroff, a Holocaust historian and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s main Nazi hunter, applauded the choice to deport Mr. Berger, expressing his state-of-the-art age in no way diminished his guilt or the need to have to maintain him accountable for his crimes.
“Especially these days, when we see anti-Semitism on the increase and the rise of correct-wing movements, this is a reminder that, if you dedicate these kinds of crimes, even a lot of many years later, you will be held accountable,” said Mr. Zuroff, who has pursued Nazi war criminals for 40 years. “There is no expiration day on justice.”