Former Nazi concentration camp guard removal order from the US upheld

Friedrich Karl Berger, a Tennessee resident, served as an armed guard in the Neuengamme prisoners' concentration camp during the winter of 1945.

Former hammer-workshop of the German concentration camp Neuengamme. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Former hammer-workshop of the German concentration camp Neuengamme.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A removal order of a former Nazi concentration camp guard has been upheld by the US Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), after his appeal was rejected, according to The US Department of Justice. 
Friedrich Karl Berger, a resident of Tennessee, served as an armed guard in the Neuengamme prisoners' concentration camp.
The court found, along with Berger's admission, that he guarded the prisoners at the Neuengamme sub-camp near Meppen, Germany, to make sure the prisoners did not escape during their workday there.
The prisoners worked "to the point of exhaustion and death" and they were kept in "atrocious" conditions during the winter of 1945, according to the appeal. When the camp was abandoned, it was found that Berger helped guard the prisoners in their forceful evacuation to the Neuengamme main camp, a trip which claimed the lives of about 70 prisoners. 
A US immigration judge issued an opinion after a two-day trial in February finding Berger removable from the United States under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act, because his “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” constituted assistance in Nazi-sponsored persecution. 
“Berger’s willing service as an armed guard at a Nazi concentration camp cannot be erased and will not be ignored,” said Acting Assistant Attorney-General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.  
“On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the commencement of the Nuremberg trials of the defeated Nazi regime's , this case shows that the passage of time will not deter the department from fulfilling the moral imperative of seeking justice for the victims of their heinous crimes," he added.
Both the trial and the appeal were handled by Eli Rosenbaum, director of Human Rights Enforcement and Policy in the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP).
Others on the case included HRSP senior trial attorney Susan Masling, attorneys from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) New Orleans; Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (Memphis), with the assistance of the HRSP chief historian Jeffrey S. Richter, and the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center. 
Since the Justice Department's program to find Nazi persecutors started in 1979, some 109 people have been convicted. 
The department also works to find other perpetrators of human rights violations committed in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, Cuba and the former Yugoslavia, among other countries.