Former Death Camp Guard May Face Extradition
Earlier this week, a Pennsylvania man who served as a guard at two different Nazi camps, died before the federal government had a chance to deport him. Yet authorities are still pursuing the case of another former death camp guard living in the state.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, 87-year-old Johann Breyer has admitted to serving as a guard at Auschwitz I, but said that he had never set foot in Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the large majority of those killed at Auschwitz were murdered. Federal authorities, however, are disputing Breyer’s claim. According to the Associated Press (AP), documents obtained by the Department of Justice (DoJ) show that Breyer was a guard at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Indeed, says AP, one document indicates that Breyer was part of the SS Totenkopf, the military unit that had been assigned to guard the area. AP also reports that the justice department has been pursuing Breyer’s case for at least a decade and has been attempting to revoke his citizenship and to deport him. US officials, however –according to AP- built their case around Breyer’s immigration papers, saying that he had lied on them. Yet, several years ago, a judge ruled that Breyer could continue living in the United States.
Now, however, says AP, Germany is building up a case against Breyer, focusing on his past as a former S.S. guard. They may use the documents held by the DoJ to have Breyer charged as an accessory to murder and may request that he be extradited. Yet while Breyer may be charged, he maintains his innocence. According to Germany’s Der Spiegel, he said, “I didn’t kill anybody, I didn’t rape anybody…I didn’t do anything wrong.”
According to Der Spiegel, one crucial piece of evidence in Breyer’s case is a request Breyer filed to request welfare money for his parents. He told the welfare officer that his parents were “unable to cope” without him on the farm and the SS awarded Breyer 300 Slovak crowns for his parents’ upkeep. That letter, says Der Spiegel, indicates that Breyer serves at Auschwitz II (Birkenau) because at the bottom left-hand corner of the page, his unit appears as “unit-3.SS Stuba.Ausschwitz [Sic] T-2.”
Filed Under: Politics
About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda