January 07, 2007

Former SS Guard to be deported from US to Germany

Via Der Spiegel:

An 81-year-old Serbian-born man has been stripped of his US nationality and is to be deported to Germany after authorities discovered his past as a member of Hitler's SS. Immigration judge Jennie Giambastiani on Wednesday ordered the deportation of Josias Kumpf, who lives in Racine, Wisconsin. Under the deportation order, Kumpf could choose to be deported to either Serbia, Austria or Germany. The US Justice Department announced Thursday that Kumpf had chosen Germany as his destination. Kumpf's lawyer said he would appeal the court ruling.

In July 2006, the departments of Justice and Homeland Security asked Giambastiani to deport Kumpf. The Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which investigates individuals who took part in Nazi crimes and who subsequently entered the US illegally, has pursued Kumpf's denaturalization since 2003.

When his citizenship was revoked, Kumpf became the 100th Nazi criminal to be successfully prosecuted by the OSI since it was created in 1979. He immigrated to the US from Austria in 1956 under a program intended to help postwar refuges in Europe, and was naturalized as a US citizen in 1964. He said he asked his wife not to mention his SS past because he was afraid he would be refused citizenship.

According to researchers, Kumpf served as a member of the elite SS Death's Head division which provided concentration camp guards. He served at the Trawniki training camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, and slave-labor construction sites in German-occupied France, where prisoners built launch platforms for V-1 and V-2 missiles.

An appeals court affirmed the denaturalization decision in February 2006. That ruling quoted Kumpf's testimony in which he described his duties as a guard during a November 1943 massacre at the labor camp in Trawniki.

"This case reflects the Justice Department's commitment to the principle that those who helped the Nazi regime carry out its infamous genocidal designs are unfit to live in the United States," said Assistant US Attorney General Alice S. Fisher in a statement.