Kelsey VlamisSun, 21 February 2021, 4:14 am
- A man living in Tennessee was removed from the US on Saturday for assisting in Nazi persecution.
- Friedrich Karl Berger served as an armed guard of prisoners in German concentration camps in WWII.
- Berger, 95, is the 70th person to be removed from the US for assisting Nazis.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A 95-year-old German citizen living in Tennessee was deported Saturday for assisting in “Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution” as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp in 1945, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Friedrich Karl Berger served as an armed guard of prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system located in Northern Germany during World War II.
“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,” Monty Wilkinson, acting attorney general, said in the statement.
The Justice Department used evidence from archives in the US and in Europe and records from the Nuremberg trials, which were conducted by Allied forces after the war to prosecute prominent Nazi leaders.
The statement said Berger was the 70th person to be removed from the US for assisting Nazis.
“We are committed to ensuring the United States will not serve as a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” said Tae Johnson, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Berger’s removal to Germany came after a judge ruled in February 2020 that he was eligible for deportation under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which allowed for the removal of Nazi collaborators.
The judge cited Berger’s “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place.” The court found Berger worked during the winter of 1945 at a camp in Meppen, Germany where prisoners were kept in “atrocious” conditions and worked to the “point of exhaustion and death.”
Bergen also served as a guard during a two-week transfer of prisoners from Meppen to another camp under inhumane conditions, during which time some 70 prisoners died.
During his trial, Berger said he guarded prisoners to prevent them from escaping and that he never requested a transfer from serving as a camp guard. He also said he still receives a pension from Germany to this day for his service to the country during the war.
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