Authorities in the US have deported a 95-year-old man who acknowledged working as a guard in a Nazi concentration camp.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or Ice, said in a statement that Friedrich Karl Berger, a German citizen, was sent back to Germany this month for serving as a guard of a Neuengamme concentration camp subcamp near Hamburg in 1945.
The case was investigated by the US Department of Justice. Berger was ordered expelled by a Memphis, Tennessee, court in February 2020 but will not face trial in Germany because prosecutors dropped the case against him for lack of evidence.
According to an Ice statement, Berger served at the subcamp near Meppen, Germany, where prisoners – Russian, Polish, Dutch, Jewish and others – were held in “atrocious” conditions and worked “to the point of exhaustion and death”.
Berger has admitted serving as a guard for a few weeks near the end of the war but has said he did not observe any abuse or killings, news agencies have reported.
Berger admitted he guarded prisoners. He also accompanied prisoners on the forced evacuation of the camp that resulted in the deaths of 70 prisoners.
He had been living in the US since 1959.
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Celle said police in the German state of Hesse had been asked to question Berger on his return to Germany. A police spokesman said there was no live investigation linked to him and he is a free individual and has not been taken in custody.
In recent years, prosecutors have brought charges against several former Nazis, seizing the last opportunity to secure justice for the millions who perished in concentration camps.
Earlier this month, prosecutors charged a 100-year-old German man with being an accessory to 3,518 murders committed while he was allegedly a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.