Fugitive Nazis

Souleater

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aold aven if Germany drops the charges, that Holzmann Amendment will likely mean he can't return.

I saw someone else is also being tried now, despite having only been 15 years old at the time.
I can understand bringing to justice people who were actively involved in the holocaust, but it seems to me these cases sre just a case of 'lets find a nazi and try them for war crimes', Friedrich Karl Berger was a 19 year old unarmed prison guard for a short time (according to reports). Im not familiar with the case of the 15 year old so i cant comment, but at 15 it seem unlikely they were a war criminal.
BTW i come from a Jewish family so bringing to justice those involved in the holocaust is close to my heart.
 

Xanatic*

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I believe the 15 year old was working as a secretary at a camp.
 

Souleater

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I believe the 15 year old was working as a secretary at a camp.
See this is what i mean about trying to prosecute anyone who ever had anything to do with any prison camp or concentration camp, whether they were actively involved in war crimes or not, im sure they will be looking for the poor guy that shovelled coal into the engine of the trains that transported the prisoners to the camps next.
 

Kondoru

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I think the things these folk are guilty of is living too long.
 

EnolaGaia

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Some comments to set the context and hopefully stop further clueless speculation ...

The news of the secretary's case was posted 2 weeks ago in this thread. Check that post and do some homework to see the details.

As far as legalities, the controlling authorities for deciding who is indictable for war crimes are the German courts. The criteria used to categorize camp employees as either complicit or not are complicated. Personnel employed in the dedicated extermination camps are essentially presumed complicit in war crimes by definition. Personnel employed in other (e.g., work) camps require formal judgment at a finer-grained level of scrutiny.

The legal motivation for pursuing these two (and other) long-delayed cases traces back to the German courts.

As to Berger's specific case ...

When Berger entered the USA in 1959 he declared (truthfully) he'd worked for the German Navy during the war. As far as I can determine it appears he omitted mention of the fact he'd been assigned to the concentration camp for 3 months in early 1945. He was one of the guards who oversaw the forced march of prisoners to Lubeck, where they were confined aboard 3 (?) civilian ships in the harbor along with prisoners brought in from other camps. The vast majority (thousands) of these prisoners died in Lubeck harbor when the RAF mistakenly attacked and sank the ships.

The sunken ships were eventually raised or scrapped within a few years. At some point Nazi records evacuated to, and stored upon, the ships were salvaged. Among these records was an index card documenting Berger's assignment to - and employment at - the concentration camp.

For whatever reason(s) it apparently took decades for researchers / Nazi hunters to connect the dots between the salvaged index card and Berger. I can't find any details on when and how this happened. Once that connection was made Berger became a legal target for the German courts to scrutinize.

There was nothing legally amiss with Berger's 1959 entry into the USA. However, under the 1978 Holzmann Amendment he became subject to deportation on the basis of his connection to the concentration camp and the German courts' associated designation of him as a person of interest in war crimes proceedings.

This matter didn't suddenly surface this year. His final appeal in US courts was denied back in early 2020. I can't find any clues as to how long he'd been embroiled in legal proceedings prior to that.
 
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