AN aged former Nazi focus camp guard might be deported from the US after dwelling within the States for greater than 60 years.
On Thursday, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissed the attraction of Tennessee resident Friedrich Karl Berger, a 94-year-old German citizen who was ordered faraway from the US earlier this 12 months for his service in a Neuengamme sub-camp close to Meppen, Germany through the Forties.
Friedrich Karl Berger, 94, pictured left in 2012, was ordered faraway from the US earlier this 12 months for his function in a Nazi focus campCredit score: Farragut Shopper-Information/Theresa Edwards
Berger’s function was to protect prisoners and stop them from escaping from Neuengamme focus campCredit score: Getty Photographs – Getty
Prisoners included “Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents” of the Nazis who have been pressured to stay and work in “atrocious” situations, and exploited for outside pressured labor “to the purpose of exhaustion and dying”.
The courtroom heard that Berger’s function was to protect the prisoners and stop them from escaping.
Berger had tried to overturn a February 28 resolution made by Immigration Courtroom Choose Rebecca Holt to deport him to Germany, the place he’s nonetheless a resident and continues to obtain a pension “for wartime service”.
Holt decided that Berger might be deported beneath the 1978 Holtzman Modification to the Immigration and Nationality Act attributable to his “keen service as an armed guard of prisoners at a focus camp the place persecution happened”.
Deputy Assistant Director Louis A. Rodi III of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Safety Investigations (HSI) Nationwide Safety Investigations Division, which oversees the Human Rights Violators and Conflict Crimes Middle, mentioned Berger was “an lively participant in one of many darkest chapters in human historical past”.
“He tried to shed his nefarious previous to come back to America and begin anew, however because of the dedication of these on the Division of Justice and Homeland Safety Investigations, the reality was revealed,” Rodi continued.
“Conflict criminals and violators of human rights is not going to be allowed to evade justice and discover secure haven right here.”
Berger, who got here to the US in 1959 along with his spouse and daughter and has two grandchildren, advised the Washington Submit the ruling was “ridiculous”.
“After 75 years…I can’t imagine it,” he mentioned.
“I can’t perceive how can occur in a rustic like this. You’re forcing me out of my dwelling.
“I used to be 19 years previous. I used to be ordered to go there.”
The choice to deport Berger was upheld on the eve of the seventy fifth anniversary of the graduation of the Nuremberg trials of the surviving leaders of the defeated Nazi regime.
“Berger’s keen service as an armed guard at a Nazi focus camp can’t be erased and won’t be ignored,” mentioned Appearing Assistant Legal professional Normal Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Division’s Prison Division.
“This case reveals that the passage of time is not going to deter the division from fulfilling the ethical crucial of in search of justice for the victims of their heinous crimes.”
After a two-day trial in February, the decide mentioned that Meppen prisoners have been held through the winter of 1945 in “atrocious” situations and have been exploited for outside pressured labor, working, “to the purpose of exhaustion and dying,” in keeping with the Division of Justice. The courtroom additional discovered, and Berger admitted, that he guarded prisoners to stop them from escaping throughout their dawn-to-dusk workday, and on their solution to the worksites and likewise on their method again to the SS-run subcamp within the night.
On the finish of March 1945, as allied British and Canadian forces superior, the Nazis deserted Meppen. The courtroom discovered that Berger helped guard the prisoners throughout their forcible evacuation to the Neuengamme primary camp – a virtually two-week journey beneath inhumane situations, which claimed the lives of some 70 prisoners. The choice additionally cited Berger’s admission that he by no means requested a switch from focus camp guard service and that he continues to obtain a pension from Germany primarily based on his employment in Germany, “together with his wartime service”.
Berger’s id was revealed after a SS index card along with his service file was found with different paperwork from a sunken German ship.
The index playing cards have been recovered from the ocean and transcribed in 1950, nevertheless it took many years to hyperlink the knowledge to Berger.
The case was initiated by the Human Rights and Particular Prosecutions, a program arrange “to detect, examine, and take away Nazi persecutors”.
In 1946, British occupation authorities in Germany charged SS Obersturmführer Hans Griem, who had headed the Meppen sub-camps, and different Meppen personnel with warfare crimes for “ill-treatment and homicide of Allied nationals”. Though Griem escaped earlier than trial, the British courtroom tried and convicted the remaining defendants of warfare crimes in 1947.
A DOJ spokesperson mentioned that “for the reason that 1979 inception of the Justice Division’s program to detect, examine, and take away Nazi persecutors, it has gained circumstances in opposition to 109 people”.
“Over the previous 30 years, the Justice Division has gained extra circumstances in opposition to individuals who participated in Nazi persecution than have the legislation enforcement authorities of all the opposite international locations on the earth mixed,” the assertion learn.
HRSP’s case in opposition to Berger was a part of its ongoing efforts to establish, examine and prosecute people who engaged in genocide, torture, warfare crimes, recruitment or use of kid troopers, feminine genital mutilation, and different critical human rights violations.