February 20, the U.S. Department of Justice said that a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard had been deported to Germany. U.S. officials said that the repatriation was probably the last expulsion of Nazis in American history.
On February 20, the U.S. Department of Justice said that Friedrich Karl Berger, who lives in Tennessee, was deported, AFP reported.
The department said that Berger, who retained German nationality, was deported from the country for working as an armed guard in the Neuingamer Nazi concentration camp system near Hamburg, Germany in 1945 and suspected of participating in “Nazi-initiated persecution operations”.
A U.S. official said that due to the decline in the number of survivors of World War II, Berger’s expulsion “is likely the last of the former Nazis in the United States”.
“Begel’s deportation means that “the United States is not a haven for those involved in Nazi crimes against humanity,” Monty Wilkinson, acting attorney general of the United States, said in a statement.
Begel has lived in the United States since 1959, and the U.S. immigration department first ordered his deportation last March.
More than 40,000 prisoners died in the Neuingam concentration camp system where Begel was guarded, according to records.
Begel gave an interview to the Washington Post last year, in which he expressed doubts about the possibility of his deportation.
Begel said that he was only 19 years old when he served in the concentration camp, was unarmed, but just obeyed orders.” It was ridiculous 75 years later.” Berger told the Washington Post.
But the U.S. Department of Justice said that Berger never volunteered to transfer from the concentration camp, and he later received a pension partly based on wartime service from Germany.
It is reported that Berger may face interrogation from the German judiciary after arriving in Germany.
In 1979, the United States established the Special Investigation Office of the Department of Justice to search for Nazis. On February 20, the U.S. Department of Justice said that the office had completed the investigation of 109 former Nazis.
The most recent repatriation occurred in August 2018, when the U.S. government repatriated a 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard to Germany. The guard became a U.S. citizen in 1957, but the U.S. government deprived him of his citizenship in 2003.