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Friedrich Karl Berger

Friedrich Karl Berger Wiki

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Friedrich Karl Berger The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said in a statement that Friedrich Karl Berger was sent back to Germany for serving as a guard for a sub-camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp in 1945.

Berger, who had retained German citizenship, was deported for participating in “acts of persecution sponsored by the Nazis,” the department said.

The case was investigated by the United States Department of Justice.

German authorities confirmed that Berger arrived in Frankfurt on Saturday and was handed over to state investigators in Hesse for questioning, the dpa news agency reported.Berger admitted to US authorities that he served as a guard at a camp in northwestern Germany, which was a sub-camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, for a few weeks near the end of the war, but said he did not observe any abuse or murder. , The prosecutors. in the German town of Celle, he said.

A spokesman for the prosecution in Celle said that the German state police of Hesse had been asked to question him about his return to Germany. A police spokesman said there is no live investigation linked to him and that he is a free individual and has not been detained.

charges_ investigated

German prosecutors in Celle had investigated the possibility of bringing charges against Berger, but said in December that they had shelved the investigation because they had been unable to refute their own version of his service at Neuengamme.

But prosecutors asked to be questioned again upon his return to Germany, however, to determine whether charges of accessory to murder could be brought, police said.

A court in Memphis, Tennessee ordered Berger’s removal from the United States in February 2020.

Berger’s deportation was “possibly the last” US expulsion of a former Nazi, given the dwindling number of survivors of the war, a US official said.

In recent years, German prosecutors have successfully argued that by helping an extermination camp or concentration camp run, guards can be found guilty of accessory to murder even if there is no evidence that they participated in a murder. specific.

According to an ICE statement, Berger served in the subcamp near Meppen, Germany, where prisoners – Russians, Poles, Dutch, Jews and others – were held in ‘atrocious’ conditions and were worked ‘to the point of exhaustion and death’ .

Berger admitted that he protected the prisoners to prevent them from escaping.

And with the Allied forces advancing, Berger even helped protect the prisoners during their forced evacuation to the main Neuengamme camp after the Nazis left the subcamp at Meppen.

The two-week measure, in March 1945, claimed the lives of about 70 people.

More than 40,000 prisoners died in the Neuengamme system, records show.

Berger had been living in the United States since 1959.

In an interview last year with The Washington Post, he expressed disbelief at the possibility that he could be deported, saying that he was only 19 years old while serving at Meppen, he was unarmed and was following his orders.

“After 75 years, this is ridiculous,” he told the Washington Post. ‘After 75 years, this is ridiculous. I can not believe it. I can’t understand how it can happen in a country like this. You are forcing me to leave my house.

‘I was 19 years old. They ordered me to go there.

 Allied forces Berger even helped guard the prisoners during their forcible evacuation to the Neuengamme main camp, pictured, after the Nazis abandoned the sub camp

The Justice Department obtained evidence from US and European archives, “including records of the historic Nuremberg trial of the most notorious former leaders of the defeated Nazi regime,” Wilkinson said.

In 1979, the United States government created the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations dedicated to finding Nazis. The department said Saturday that the program had won cases against 109 people.

The last deportation was that of former SS guard Jakiw Palij, 95, who had lived in New York since 1949 and was expelled in August 2018.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Nuremberg trials, in which jurists from the allied powers tried leading Nazis under international law. Twelve defendants received death sentences and were hanged.

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