Nazi guard deported from U.S. agrees to be questioned, German officials say

A 95-year-old former Nazi focus camp guard deported from Tennessee has agreed to be puzzled by way of German prosecutors as they reassess whether or not there’s sufficient proof in opposition to him to deliver fees, government stated Monday.

Friedrich Karl Berger arrived Saturday in Frankfurt on a unique flight from the U.S. after being ordered deported to his local Germany by way of a courtroom in Memphis closing yr.

He was once met by way of Hesse state police detectives on the airport and informed them he can be prepared to be puzzled by way of investigators with a attorney provide, stated Bernd Kolkmeier, spokesman for the Celle prosecutor’s place of business, which is dealing with the case.

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Organizing suggest and making sure they’re on top of things at the information will take time, on the other hand, so the earliest such an interview would happen can be subsequent month, Kolkmeier stated.

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A U.S. immigration pass judgement on ordered Berger deported a yr in the past after discovering that his “prepared carrier as an armed guard of prisoners at a focus camp the place persecution came about” constituted help in Nazi-sponsored persecution.

The courtroom discovered that Berger, who have been dwelling within the U.S. since 1959, had served at a camp in Meppen, Germany, close to the border with the Netherlands, which was once a subcamp of the bigger Neuengamme focus camp close to Hamburg.

It stated right through the wintry weather of 1945, prisoners in Meppen had been held in “atrocious” prerequisites and had been exploited for out of doors pressured labour, operating “to the purpose of exhaustion and demise.”

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Berger admitted to American investigators that he served in Meppen as a guard for a couple of weeks close to the tip of the warfare however stated he didn’t practice any abuse or killings. The Memphis courtroom discovered, on the other hand, that Berger had helped guard prisoners right through a pressured evacuation that took just about two weeks and claimed the lives of 70 other folks.

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Celle prosecutors shelved their preliminary investigation of him in December, on the other hand, pronouncing they’d been not able to refute his account. They’re now having any other glance, with him again on German soil, Kolkmeier stated.

“Not anything has modified apart from that he’s now in Germany and we will communicate with him,” Kolkmeier stated. “We will for my part query him, which is of course other than studying a transcript.”

Kolkmeier would no longer say whether or not Berger nonetheless had circle of relatives in Germany nor the place he was once living.

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Berger, who was once born in 1925 within the tiny northern the city of Bargen, was once serving within the German Army when he was once assigned to protect prisoners in Meppen in 1945, in line with the Neuengamme Memorial’s website online.

He served between Jan. 28, 1945 and April four, 1945, as an auxiliary hooked up to the SS command of the camp, in line with Celle prosecutors.

Berger is being investigated underneath a precedent established in 2011 with the conviction of former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk as an adjunct to homicide on allegations that he served as a guard on the Sobibor demise camp in German-occupied Poland. Demjanjuk, who denied the allegations, died earlier than his enchantment might be heard.

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German courts in the past required prosecutors to justify fees by way of presenting proof of a former guard’s participation in a particular killing, continuously a near-impossible activity.

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Alternatively, prosecutors effectively argued right through Demjanjuk’s trial in Munich that serving to a camp serve as by way of serving as a guard was once sufficient to convict any individual of accent to murders dedicated there.

A federal courtroom therefore upheld the 2015 conviction of former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening at the similar reasoning.

Because the Demjanjuk conviction there were a gradual circulate of recent prosecutions and trials in Germany.

Previous this month prosecutors charged a 100-year-old guy on three,518 counts of accent to homicide on allegations he served as a guard on the Sachsenhausen focus camp outdoor Berlin, and a 95-year-old girl on 10,000 counts of accent to homicide on allegations she served because the secretary to the previous SS commandant of the Stutthof camp.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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