Warm Southern Breeze

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95 Year Old Nazi German Living In Oak Ridge Tennessee Ordered Deported

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 5, 2020

UPDATE: Saturday, 21 November 2020 – Friedrich Karl Berger appealed his deportation case and lost. He will be deported as originally ordered.

• See: Removal Order Upheld Against Tennessee Man Who Served as Nazi Concentration Camp Guard During WWII
Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has dismissed the appeal of Tennessee resident Friedrich Karl Berger, a German citizen who was ordered removed from the United States earlier this year on the basis of his service in Nazi Germany in 1945 as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system (Neuengamme).

“Berger’s willing service as an armed guard at a Nazi concentration camp cannot be erased and will not be ignored,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “On the eve of tomorrow’s 75th anniversary of the commencement of the Nuremberg trials of the surviving leaders of the defeated Nazi regime, this case shows that the passage of time will not deter the department from fulfilling the moral imperative of seeking justice for the victims of their heinous crimes.”

“Berger was an active participant in one of the darkest chapters in human history. He attempted to shed his nefarious past to come to America and start anew, but thanks to the dedication of those at the Department of Justice and Homeland Security Investigations, the truth was revealed,” said Deputy Assistant Director Louis A. Rodi III of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) National Security Investigations Division, which oversees the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center. “War criminals and violators of human rights will not be allowed to evade justice and find safe haven here.”

The BIA upheld a Memphis, Tennessee, Immigration Judge’s Feb. 28, 2020, decision that Berger was removable under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act because his “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” constituted assistance in Nazi-sponsored persecution. The court found that Berger served at a Neuengamme sub-camp near Meppen, Germany, and that the prisoners there included “Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents” of the Nazis. The largest groups of prisoners were Russian, Dutch and Polish civilians.

After a two-day trial in February, the presiding judge issued an opinion finding that Meppen prisoners were held during the winter of 1945 in “atrocious” conditions and were exploited for outdoor forced labor, working, “to the point of exhaustion and death.” The court further found, and Berger admitted, that he guarded prisoners to prevent them from escaping during their dawn-to-dusk workday, and on their way to the worksites and also on their way back to the SS-run subcamp in the evening.

At the end of March 1945, as allied British and Canadian forces advanced, the Nazis abandoned Meppen. The court found that Berger helped guard the prisoners during their forcible evacuation to the Neuengamme main camp – a nearly two-week trip under inhumane conditions, which claimed the lives of some 70 prisoners. The decision also cited Berger’s admission that he never requested a transfer from concentration camp guard service and that he continues to receive a pension from Germany based on his employment in Germany, “including his wartime service.”

In 1946, British occupation authorities in Germany charged SS Obersturmführer Hans Griem, who had headed the Meppen sub-camps, and other Meppen personnel with war crimes for “ill-treatment and murder of Allied nationals.” Although Griem escaped before trial, the British court tried and convicted the remaining defendants of war crimes in 1947.

The trial and appeal of the removal case were handled by Eli Rosenbaum, Director of Human Rights Enforcement and Policy in the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP), HRSP Senior Trial Attorney Susan Masling, and attorneys from ICE New Orleans, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (Memphis), with assistance from HRSP Chief Historian Jeffrey S. Richter, and the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center. The investigation was initiated by the HRSP and was conducted in partnership with the Nashville ICE HSI office.

Since the 1979 inception of the Justice Department’s program to detect, investigate, and remove Nazi persecutors, it has won cases against 109 individuals. Over the past 30 years, the Justice Department has won more cases against persons who participated in Nazi persecution than have the law enforcement authorities of all the other countries in the world combined. HRSP’s case against Berger was part of its ongoing efforts to identify, investigate and prosecute individuals who engaged in genocide, torture, war crimes, recruitment or use of child soldiers, female genital mutilation, and other serious human rights violations. HRSP attorneys prosecuted the first torture case brought in the United States and have successfully prosecuted criminal cases against perpetrators of human rights violations committed in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, Cuba, and the former Yugoslavia, among others.

To learn more about HRSP, visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-hrsp.

• See also: https://news.yahoo.com/94-old-former-nazi-concentration-150221553.html

• See also: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/20/94-year-old-former-nazi-concentration-camp-guard-deported-us/

• See also: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/nov/19/friedrich-karl-berger-nazi-guard-loses-deportation/

• See also: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/board-dismisses-appeal-on-removal-order-for-former-nazi-concentration-camp-guard/ar-BB1bbepu

Friedrich Karl Berger, 94, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who voluntarily served as an armed guard in a Neuengamme Nazi concentration camp subcamp, had been a Tennessee resident for over 75 years, and was drawing an employment-based pension which included his Nazi service, has been ordered deported by the U.S. Department of Justice to Germany, where he still has citizenship.

An index card found submerged in a sunken ship in the Baltic Sea helped federal prosecutors prove their case. Justice Department historians documented his service at the camp with information from that index card which summarized his Nazi work.

Berger emigrated from Germany to Canada after the war with his wife and daughter, and entered the United States in 1959.

While in the United States, he made a living building wire-stripping machines, and is now a widower with two grandchildren.

After a two-day trial, Judge Rebecca L. Holt, a Federal Immigration judge in Memphis, TN, found him deportable under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act because his “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” constituted assistance in Nazi-sponsored persecution.

He voluntarily served as a Nazi guard at a Neuengamme subcamp near Meppen, and Hamburg, Germany, which was one of about 80 such subcamps, where Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents of the Nazis were imprisoned, and held during the winter of 1945 and forced to work outdoors “to the point of exhaustion and death.”

Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Criminal Division, said that “Berger was part of the SS machinery of oppression that kept concentration camp prisoners in atrocious conditions of confinement,” and that “this ruling shows the Department’s continued commitment to obtaining a measure of justice, however late, for the victims of wartime Nazi persecution.” Eli Rosenbaum, a Prosecutor with the Department of Justice helped oversee the case and has spent years at the department investigating and prosecuting Nazi war criminals in the United States.

Berger admitted that he had never requested a transfer from concentration camp guard service, and that he had continued to receive a pension from Germany based upon his Nazi service.

As British and Canadian forces advanced toward Meppen near the end of March 1945, Nazis abandoned the subcamp, and Berger guarded prisoners who were forcibly evacuated to the main camp, which was a nearly two-week trek under inhumane conditions that killed over 70 prisoners. Hundreds more were killed after they were put on two ships anchored in the Bay of Lubeck, in the Baltic Sea.

Berger said that, “After 75 years, this is ridiculous. I cannot believe it. I cannot understand how this can happen in a country like this. You’re forcing me out of my home.”

See: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/tennessee-man-ordered-removed-germany-based-service-concentration-camp-guard-during-wwii

See also: https://www.dw.com/en/us-to-deport-nazi-concentration-camp-guard/a-52657382

See also: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8079831/Tennessee-man-served-guard-Nazi-concentration-camp-Neuengamme-sent-Germany.html

See also: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/05/us/friedrich-karl-berger-nazi-concentration-camp.html

See also: https://news.yahoo.com/us-court-orders-deportation-ex-nazi-camp-guard-190329875.html

See also: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/nazi-concentration-camp-guard-in-united-states/2020/03/05/b906cdf8-5efc-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html

See also: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/486108-judge-rules-tennessee-man-be-deported-to-germany-due-to-service-as

See also: https://www.localmemphis.com/article/news/local/memphis-judge-orders-former-nazi-concentration-camp-guard-removed-from-us/522-ab61dd31-e3b2-4196-bd70-7ee0d0940f32

See also: https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/2020/03/05/federal-judge-orders-removal-tenn-resident-based-his-service-nazi-germany/

See also: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/05/former-nazi-guard-ordered-deported-germany-judge-tennessee/4969125002/

See also: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/ex-nazi-camp-guard-living-in-tennessee-to-be-deported-to-germany/2314084/

See also: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/former-nazi-prison-guard-friedrich-karl-berger-deportation-judge-rules-2020-3

See also: https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/east-tennessee-man-who-worked-as-german-concentration-camp-guard-ordered-to-leave-us/51-eb183913-0d53-410b-a2fc-520974a8c2e4

See also: https://theunionjournal.com/former-nazi-concentration-camp-guard-ordered-out-of-u-s-by-judge/

See also: https://www.diarioelmundo.com.mx/index.php/2020/03/05/deporta-eu-a-aleman-quien-fue-guardia-en-un-campo-de-concentracion-nazi/

See also: https://www.thedailybeast.com/friedrich-karl-berger-who-served-as-ww2-concentration-camp-guard-removed-from-us

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