Peter Egner 58.
(photo credit: .)
Serbia has issued an international warrant for the arrest of a naturalized American citizen accused of serving in a Nazi unit that killed thousands of civilians during World War II, a court said Friday.
Peter Egner, 88, who was born in Yugoslavia, is suspected of war crimes against Jews in Belgrade during the German occupation of Serbia, the Higher Court said.
Serbia had said it would seek Egner's extradition from the United States, where he has been living in a retirement community outside Seattle. Belgrade has worked closely with the US authorities on the case.
Egner has been fighting US federal government efforts to strip him of his American citizenship, which would pave the way for his extradition. US officials say he did not disclose details from his past when sought citizenship in the 1960s.
Egner has denied the accusations, claiming he knows nothing about the
Einsatzgruppe, a Nazi-run Serbian police unit that rounded up Jews,
political prisoners and other enemies of the Third Reich in the wake of
Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union in the early 1940s.
Allegations about Egner's Nazi past first surfaced in the US two years ago.
US Justice Department, citing Nazi documents, said that in the autumn
of 1941, Egner's unit executed 11,164 people — mostly Serbian Jewish
men, suspected communists and Gypsies — and that in early 1942, it
killed 6,280 Serbian Jewish women and children who were held as
In two months, those women and children allegedly
were taken from the camp and forced into a specially designed van, in
which they were gassed with carbon monoxide.