A 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard who has lived in the United States was deported to Germany on Saturday, the Justice Department said.
Friedrich Karl Berger, who had lived in Tennessee and had German citizenship, was deported for participating in “Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution” while serving as an armed guard at the Neuengamme concentration camp system in 1945, the department said.
“Berger’s removal demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners to ensure that the United States is not a safe haven for those involved in Nazi crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses,” said Attorney General Monty Wilkinson.
A U.S. immigration judge ordered the deportation of Berger, who has lived in the United States since 1959, in March last year.
Berger was stationed near Meppen, Germany, where prisoners were held under “cruel” conditions and worked “to exhaustion and death,” Judge Rebecca Holt said at the time.
Her opinion followed a two-day trial in which Berger admitted that he had prevented prisoners from escaping from the Meppen camp.
But he also said he did not know that prisoners had been treated badly and that some had died. He said he followed orders.
Tennessee resident Friedrich Karl Berger, 95, was moved to Germany today for participating in Nazi-sponsored persecution while serving as an armed guard at the Neuengamme concentration camp in 1945. https://t.co/clD6Xmk13y
– Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) February 20, 2021
Berger flew to Germany on Saturday and arrived in Frankfurt, where he will be questioned, Celle prosecutors said.
It was not immediately clear if he will be brought to justice. Prosecutors in Germany dismissed charges against Berger in December 2020, citing insufficient evidence.
But if he is willing to talk about the accusations against him, the case can be revived.