Monday, 28 September, 2020

US orders deportation of former Nazi camp guard to Germany



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Image caption

Friedrich Karl Berger served in the Neuengamme concentration camp system during World War Two

A US judge has ordered the deportation of a former Nazi camp guard to Germany, where as a citizen he is still getting a pension for his “wartime service”.

Immigration judge Rebecca Holt said Friedrich Karl Berger, now 94, had served in the camp where prisoners were held in “atrocious” conditions.

Mr Berger told the Washington Post newspapers that he had been ordered to work in the camp during World War Two.

Mr Berger has been living in the US since 1959.

It was not immediately clear if Mr Berger, a resident of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, would appeal – a move that could delay his deportation for several years.

“After 75 years, this is ridiculous. I cannot believe it,” he told the Washington Post newspaper. “You’re forcing me out of my home.”

What did the judge rule?

Judge Holt ordered the deportation on Thursday after a two-day trial in the city of Memphis, Tennessee.

In her ruling, she said Mr Berger’s “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” constituted assistance in Nazi persecution.

The judge said he had served in Germany’s Neuengamme concentration camp system, where prisoners were held in “atrocious” conditions and worked “to the point of exhaustion and death”.

During the trial, Mr Berger admitted he had prevented prisoners from fleeing the camp in Meppen, north-western Germany.

But he later told the Washington Post that he had been forced to work in the camp, spent a short time there and carried no weapon.

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