MEMPHIS, Tennessee – A 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard was deported from the United States and arrived in his native Germany on Saturday after living in the United States for more than 60 years.
According to the Justice Department, Friedrich Karl Berger admitted to the US authorities that he served as a guard in a camp in northwestern Germany, which was a subcamp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, where there were about 100,000 prisoners between 1938 and 1945, and at least 42,900 dead.
However, Berger said he was a guard for only a few weeks near the end of World War II, but said he did not see any abuse or murder, according to prosecutors.
Berger admitted that he protected the prisoners to prevent them from escaping. He also accompanied the prisoners in the forced evacuation of the camp that resulted in the death of 70 prisoners.
According to an ICE statement, Berger served in the subcamp near Meppen, Germany, where prisoners – Russians, Poles, Dutch, Jews and others – were held in “appalling” conditions and were labor exploited “to the point of exhaustion and death”.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said in a statement that Friedrich Karl Berger was sent back to Germany for serving as a guard for a Neuengamme sub-camp in 1945.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Justice. Berger, who has lived in the United States since 1959, received a deportation order from a court in Memphis, Tennessee, in February 2020.
The ex-soldier was 17 years old when he was a guard in a concentration camp in Poland.
German authorities confirmed that Berger arrived in Frankfurt on Saturday and was turned over to state investigators in Hesse for questioning, the DPA news agency reported.
German prosecutors in the city of Celle investigated the possibility of bringing charges against him, but said in December that they had shelved the investigation because they had been unable to refute their own account of his service in Neuengamme.
However, Celle’s prosecutors asked to be questioned again upon his return to Germany to determine if charges of accessory to murder could be brought, police said.
In recent years, German prosecutors have successfully argued that by helping a death camp or concentration camp, guards can be found guilty of accessory to murder even if there is no evidence that they participated in a specific murder. .
A photo of Paquita González, Jourdà as a married name, was taken as a girl, the typical posed of the time, one of the few possessions that was confiscated from her father, Francisco, when he entered a Nazi concentration camp and that has been able to recover thanks to the Asturian historian Antonio Muñoz.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.