Friedrich Karl Berger, in a 1959 photo. A court ruled that he helped guard prisoners when they were forced to evacuate a Nazi concentration camp on a nearly two-week trip under “conditions inhumane, ”said the Ministry of Justice. Ministry of Justice .
. Ministry of Justice
Department of Justice
A 95-year-old Tennessee man has been deported to Germany for working as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, the Justice Department said on Saturday.
Friedrich Karl Berger was sent to Germany because he participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while serving as an armed guard at the Neuengamme concentration camp system near Meppen, Germany, in 1945, according to the announcement.
“Berger’s dismissal demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners to ensuring that the United States is not a safe haven for those who have participated in crimes Nazis against humanity and other human rights violations, ”Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson said.
“We are committed to ensuring that the United States does not serve as a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” added ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson.
“We will never stop pursuing those who persecute others. This case illustrates the unwavering dedication of the ICE and the Department of Justice to seeking justice and relentlessly hunting down those who participated in one of the greatest atrocities in history, however long it may take. . Johnson said.
Berger, who had lived in the United States since 1959, was deported from the country on Saturday and landed in Frankfurt, Germany, according to the BBC.
The deportation came after a judge in the two-day trial in February 2020 found that Meppen prisoners were held during the winter of 1945 in “appalling” conditions and were exploited for forced labor in the open. air, working “to the point of exhaustion and death”.
The court also found that Berger helped guard the prisoners when they were forced to evacuate the camp on a nearly two-week trip under “inhumane conditions,” the Justice Department said. Seventy prisoners died during the evacuation, he said.
The court ruling also cited Berger’s confession that he never requested a transfer from the concentration camp guard service and that he continued to receive a pension from Germany due to his employment in Germany, ” including his wartime service “.
It was not immediately clear whether German authorities would take action against Berger, according to the Washington Post.
Berger is a widower with two grandchildren, according to the Post. He said he was ordered to work in the camp, was only there for a short time and was not carrying a weapon, the Post reported.
“After 75 years, this is ridiculous. I can’t believe it,” he said last year as he fought his deportation from the United States, according to the Post. “I can’t understand how this can happen in a country like this. You are forcing me out of my house.”
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