A guard at a Nazi concentration camp who has lived in the United States since 1959 has been deported to Germany.
German prosecutors, however, have dropped their case against him for lack of evidence.
Friedrich Karl Berger, 95, has admitted to working as a guard at the Neuengamme concentration camp near Hamburg, but he denies witnessing any killings or abuse of prisoners. During the deportation hearing, Mr Berger admitted that he had prevented prisoners from fleeing the camp.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Mr Berger claimed that he had been forced to work in the camp, had spent only a short time there and had not carried a weapon. He also said that “after 75 years” it was “ridiculous” to force him out of his home.
German police are to question him further about his wartime activities.
The US judge who last year ordered the deportation said that camp prisoners were held in “atrocious” conditions and often worked “to the point of exhaustion and death.” The Acting Attorney-General, Monty Wilkinson, said that Mr Berger’s deportation showed the administration’s commitment to ensuring that the United States was “not a safe haven for those who have participated in Nazi crimes.”
German prosecutors have continued to pursue former Nazi camp officials. In February, a 95-year-old woman who had worked as a secretary at the Stutthof camp and a 100-year-old man who was a guard at Sachsenhausen were charged with aiding and abetting mass murder.
Image credit: US Department of Justice