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Concentration Camp Guard Discovered in Tennessee.

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by GRW, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "Authorities say they discovered the identity of a former Nazi concentration camp who was living for decades in the US after investigators saw an index card found in the wreckage of the SS Thielbek, a bombarded German ship that was lifted from the Baltic seabed.
    The federal government said Thursday that it is deporting Friedrich Karl Berger, a 94-year-old German ex-Nazi who has been in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for decades.
    An immigration judge ordered Berger's deportation on February 28 after a two-day trial in Memphis, authorities said.
    It's unclear when he will be removed. Berger has 30 days to appeal the ruling.
    The government says Berger was an armed guard at a concentration camp near Meppen, Germany, in 1945.
    Federal prosecutors say that they confirmed Berger’s identity thanks to an index card that was found submerged in a sunken ship, The Washington Post reported.
    The immigration judge found that the prisoners Berger guarded were held in atrocious conditions and were exploited for forced labor.
    Neuengamme’s inmates included Russian, Dutch, Polish, and Jewish civilians as well as political opponents from Italy, France, and other countries.
    In March 1945, British and Canadian forces moved closer to the subcamp.
    The Justice Department says that Berger helped guard prisoners who were forced to evacuate to the main camp.
    During the two-week trek, 70 prisoners died as they traveled in inhumane conditions, according to two government news releases.
    The prisoners were forced to live in 'atrocious' conditions and work 'to the point of exhaustion and death,' according to removal orders issued in 1945.
    At the end of the forced march, hundreds more prisoners were believed to have been killed after they were loaded onto three ships that were anchored in the Bay of Lubeck.
    One of the ships, the SS Thielbek, was a cargo steamship that was sunk by the British Royal Air Force on May 3, 1945.
    Some 2,750 people on board, including prisoners from the Neuengamme, Stutthof, and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps, died in the bombardment.
    The sunken vessel was then refloated in 1949.
    The index cards containing information about Berger’s service in the German Navy were found inside the wreckage of the Thielbek.
    American prosecutors say that the index cards were transcribed.
    The RAF was apparently unaware that there were prisoners on board the ship.
    The Thielbek and another vessel sunk, according to investigators.
    The ship held some 2,000 index cards that contained information about personnel who worked at the camps, including Berger, according to the Justice Department."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8080927/Ex-Nazi-living-U-S-decades-deported.html
     
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  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ....if he was just a guard, and did not commit chronic violence, he is just another 'person'' in the war....unless they can prove he murdered someone/etc,[ which is very hard to do considering how long ago it was ] let him be.....they let all but one of the My Lai murderers get off ..then they let the one who got convicted go
    ...also, they let many of the convicted WW2 German war criminals go after they were sentenced to death, or long prison terms
     
  3. MarChant

    MarChant New Member

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    How about "ex post facto" law?

    Having read the article, I understand the following:

    Until 1957, it was prohibited to enter and live in the US as former Nazi-guard. However, as the man immigrated in 1959 at that time it was NOT prohibited. The article itself states that he entered legally. Then, in 1978 once again it became illegal.

    So, the man entered legally and lived there legally for almost 20 years at the time it became illegal again. Ex post facto he can't be punished.
    Ex post facto laws are prohibited in the US: Ex post facto law - Wikipedia
    However, "Not all laws with retroactive effects have been held to be unconstitutional."
    I do not have any deeper knowledge of American laws, so it is possible that there is some kind of exception for this immigration-law regarding nazi-guards.
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The guards in the camps did the dirty work, so he's culpable.
     
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  5. MarChant

    MarChant New Member

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    Yes, obviously the man was 'wrong' in WWII, but they should have said so when he applied for immigration in 1959. Not after 60 years living there without any problems.

    I mean, in 1959 a German in his mid-30's...you'd think US immigration at the time would do a thorough background check. But since it was at the time no longer prohibited for Nazi-guards to enter and live in the US, they didn't...or at least didn't refuse him because of that. But that's the US's fault, not his.

    When there has been a period of time during wich it was legal for former Nazi-guards to enter and live in the US, they can´t say afterwards "all former Nazi-guards must now leave the country". They opened their borders for them, then they can't just kick them out.

    Of course it is a totally different case if he denied or lied about being a nazi-guard when he applied for immigration.
     
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  6. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ......innocent till proven guilty in the US..so what did this guy do? the facts please
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    He'll get his day in court, unlike his prisoners.
     
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  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ...they deported him for what??? being a guard??....what was his crime? lots of Allied soldiers were guards
    ..and then these judges want to keep illegal criminals in the US--wow--makes sense [ hahahahah ] ..they help illegal criminals stay in the US.....they should be deporting the illegals
    Massachusetts judge who helped illegal immigrant escape ICE arrest indicted, federal authorities say
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..I asked what he did wrong.....you did not provide anything = that's what the nazis did--try and convict with no evidence/etc = makes the judge like the nazis = hypocrite
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  10. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    He was a member of a criminal organisation - the SS- and was an accomplice to genocide.
     
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  11. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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    He was 19 years old. He was fed the Nazi propaganda from birth. I'd plead that I was brainwashed and not in control of my actions. Like Patty Hearst.

    I wonder if the relative leniency shown to the former guards post war was because it was a time for the world to heal and people had more empathy for the German survivors who were drawn into service.
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    The SS were volunteers. It's not like he was in the army and got assigned somewhere without a choice. Deport him.

    .
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I understand you haven't been anywhere at all since 1945, so I'll give you a break.
     
  14. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

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    "The SS were volunteers." Not so. But I would suspect the 16 year old kid in question chose join.
     
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The original post said he was in the Kriegsmarine, not the SS. Even though a distasteful job, it was a heck of a lot safer than facing a vengeful Red Army. I might have even opted to be a guard then given the alternatives. However, he may have volunteered, or not, but I'm sure he had little choice in his duty assignment. By the way, in that place and time not obeying orders was a capital offense! If I had been the judge I think I would have wanted some more specific info regarding his activities. Hell, at 94 he may not live to be deported.[/QUOTE]
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..wow--even more proof from you
    hahahhahahahah
     
  17. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    so they tried every member???!!!
    being in the SS was a crime?? proof/links please
     
  18. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    von Braun worked for the US!! hahahahahhah.... they didn't deport him ..you know, von Braun was in the SS...??
     
  19. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  20. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Can't cut and paste because there's a 10,000 character limit, so you'll have to scroll through.

    "Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 22
    TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTEENTH DAY
    Monday, 30 September 1946

    Afternoon Session
    Page 511

    SS

    ...The Tribunal finds that knowledge of these criminal activities was sufficiently general to justify declaring that the SS was a criminal organization to the extent hereinafter described...
    ...The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those persons who had been officially accepted as members of the SS as enumerated in the preceding paragraph, who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were personally implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes, excluding, however, those who were drafted into membership by the State in such a way as to give them no choice in the matter, and who had committed no such crimes.
    The basis of this finding is the participation of the organization in war crimes and crimes against humanity connected with the war; this group declared criminal cannot include, therefore, persons who had ceased to belong to the organizations enumerated in the preceding paragraph prior to 1 September 1939."
    The Avalon Project : Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 22 - Monday, 30 September 1946
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
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