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Nazi Guard Deported
News Bytes 02/25/2021 66 Comments

Friedrich Karl Berger arrived in Frankfurt, Germany, on Saturday. Last year, a court in Memphis ordered Berger back to his homeland. The 95-year-old could face a court trial—as a former Nazi concentration camp guard.

German police detectives met Berger at the airport. German prosecutors say they will re-examine the evidence in his case. They want to know whether there is enough to bring charges against him, authorities say.

The former guard says he is willing to be questioned with a lawyer present, according to Bernd Kolkmeier, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office. Such an interview could take place next month, Kolkmeier says.

A U.S. immigration judge ordered Berger deported a year ago. The judge ruled that Berger’s “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place” aided Nazi perpetuation of horrors against innocent people. The court found that Berger, who had been living in the United States since 1959, had served at a camp in Meppen, Germany, near the border with the Netherlands.

Berger served in the German Navy. He was assigned to guard prisoners in Meppen in 1945. He served between January 28, 1945, and April 4, 1945, with the SS (Schutzstaffel—a paramilitary organization that operated like a government-empowered secret police) command of the camp, according to prosecutors.

During the winter of 1945, prisoners in Meppen were held in “atrocious” conditions and exploited for outdoor forced labor “to the point of exhaustion and death.”

Berger admitted to American investigators that he served in Meppen as a guard near the end of the war. But he said he did not observe any abuse or killings.

Prosecutors stopped investigating him in December. They said they could not refute his account. Now they’re having another look at him back on German soil.

“Nothing has changed except that he is now in Germany, and we can talk with him,” Kolkmeier says.

Berger is being investigated under a precedent established in 2011. In that case, former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk was convicted as an accessory to murder on charges that he served as a guard at the Sobibor camp in German-occupied Poland. Demjanjuk steadfastly denied the charges. He died before his appeal could be heard.

Before the Demjanjuk case, German courts required prosecutors to present evidence of a former guard’s participation in a specific killing. That was often a near-impossible task. However, prosecutors successfully argued during Demjanjuk’s trial that helping a camp function by serving as a guard was enough to convict someone of accessory to the murders committed there.

Since the Demjanjuk conviction, there has been a steady stream of new prosecutions and trials in Germany.

Earlier this month, prosecutors charged a 100-year-old man on 3,518 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp outside Berlin. They also charged a 95-year-old woman on 10,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations she served as the secretary to the former SS commandant of the Stutthof camp.

Be sure your sin will find you out. — Numbers 32:23

(People walk behind a Holocaust memorial in the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, Germany. AP/Jens Meyer)

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Most recent comments

1st comment

Ok, I do not know what to think of this. Is it bad that they are doing this as he is a 95 year old and it was so many years ago, or is it good because somebody is getting punishment for what they did, which was terrible. I’m not sure. It just seems that they should just confess that what they did was wrong and leave it at that - I don’t think they have to have all of this! Is it because he lived in the US? I’m a bit confused too so could someone please explain WHY they are doing this.

Ok, what I'm about to say

Ok, what I'm about to say DOES NOT mean I agree with ANYTHING the Nazis did, I am only saying.
Ok, at the end of WW1, Germany suffered a LOT. People were starving, it cost about a WHEELBARREL FULL of cash to pay for a single loaf of bread. People were desperate, starving, and probably very scared. So, along comes this guy with a weird mustache saying he can fix this, he can make their lives better, people don't have to watch each other die of starvation. So, what would you do if you were in that situation? You would probably be ecstatic! This dude can help us! He can make our lives better, and we don't have to pay such ridiculous amounts of money for crumbs of food. But wait... whose fault was this then? Who caused us all this suffering? Why, the Jews!
So yes, the Nazi party was terrible, but people didn't realize that at first. They just thought someone was here to help them, and they of course listened. So was this man bad? Maybe, he COULD have mistreated prisoners, but maybe he didn't. I'm not saying it was right of him to stand by while he watched these poor people suffer TERRIBLE things, but I am saying we shouldn't immeadiately think that every Nazi was a pure evil person. People were miserable, they wanted to get out of this situation and find some happiness in their life. They thought Hitler was the answer. He wasn't, but we shouldn't treat them like nobody else has made a similar mistake before. (hello, Communism? It sounds amazing and fair, but once you see what it's like, you realize it's nothing like you imagined) I'm just saying we shouldn't mistreat this guy, but have some mercy. If they find evidence that he did abuse prisoners, well, I hope they give him a jail sentence. But if he's aquitted? Well, I would be happy for him.
I am not saying I agree with ANY of the Nazi's ideas (they are very stupid ideas) I'm just saying we shouldn't think the Germans back then were bloodthirsty racists. They were people looking for a chance to get back to a happier time, and they thought Hitler was the answer to that.

I apologize if I offended

I apologize if I offended anyone. That is what I have to say. Give people a chance.

@ Cary

i agree

@Above

Carys, I understand what you are saying. At least I think I do. I think maybe you are trying to say that the civilians did not know what was happening. Even after there were tons of mass killings, the German civilians had absolutely no clue. There was once this German officer who worked at a concentration camp, and his WIFE did not even know what was going on there!! (Watch 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' good movie, but a tear jerker I will warn you!) NO one but Hitler and the SS and soldiers knew about it. I have toured one of the larger concentration camps and the one that others were designed after, and it was terrible. Dachau, that was the name of it. It was so sad what happened. And what is even more sad, today in Germany if people don't follow their rules on masks and such (they are under very strict regulations right now) they say they will put people in detention camps!!!!! Hello? Detention - concentration, does that not sound REALLY familiar? I just can't believe that they world is literally turning back and repeating History, but that is how it goes!
I am with Mirela on the fact that I am not sure if they should be trying him or not. I mean, that was years ago, and he will probably die in a few years anyway. Ok, so we all know he worked at a camp, but are you really going to stick a 95 year old man in jail?

Cary

I do agree that they shouldn't think every person who was a Nazi is evil. Because the Nazi actually forced some Germans to do their dirty work for them so that if they got caught the army would only be losing some random person. Of corse we know God made everyone equal, but the Germans thought that if measured someones nose, and ears, they could fide out if that person was a German (not joking).

Riley D

I can't watch concentration camp movies, they just make me miserable. My sister loves them though (I have no idea why). She loves the soundtrack for The Boy In The Striped Pajamas.

Stefan

Ugh yeah I know. Hitler though that if something was weird about your face, you had to be "fixed". there was a book I read that talked about that (it's called Echo, I reccomend it)

P.S. This is Caro

He is 95! Just let him leave his life out, if he was thrown in jail he would probably die soon, then God would judge him. He will probably die soon anyway. It's not like anybody charged slave traders with this! This is just my opinion and I don't like the Nazis!

P.S. This is Caro

I read a book (called Someone named Eva) and it was this girl who was seperated from her family because she was the right size and she had blond hair, she eventually forgot about her family and was adopted by a Nazi family. Spoiler Alert! She gets back to her mom!

What about TODAY?

But also think about all the people that are suffering today in camps. It’s not just WW2 where they had concentration camps. In China thousands are suffering in terrible conditions every day. Women are treaded very badly and people are worked hours on end. Trial the President or Prime Minister (or whoever it is) of China, who has totally control there, not this one guard that did something 75 years ago.

11th comment

Just because he's a guard doesn't mean he killed people! His government may have forced him to guard. Those prosecutors seem rather lame. Honestly, this is worse than trying Trump for impeachment after he's out os office!

fix that...

oops... OF office

oh, and i wasn't 11....

oh, and i wasn't 11....

Wow, that's

Wow, that's a lot of charges, my question is why charge a 95 year old when he only has 6 years left. He is propably German and he was just doing his part to serve his country, like how the army serves ours. I'm an 1/8 German and my sister is going to be a transfer student to Germany.

So, what if this guy did kill

So, what if this guy did kill innocent people? But then, later on in his life, he turned to Jesus and confessed his sins. If did turn to Jesus, then he is fine, but if he didn't, then I think you still should just leave him alone.

@ Noah

I agree. My dad's side has a lot of German in it (I don't know how much German) too, and then my mom's side has viking in it.

@ Mirela

I agree!!!

@ Carys M

Yes, I agree that not necessarily every single Nazi was pure evil but, I also totally that many of them were. ( Unfortunately ) but I'm not sure that they should come back like 75 years later and start to charge him with murder and torture. because might not have done it himself though it was wrong if he knew about it, which he problem did, but like I forget someone said the same thing in the comments but he might of been forced to go and work for the Nazis.
A really good movie that takes place in a German prison camp is " The Great Escape " the sixties one with Steve McQueen in it. Its not a concentration camp but a nicer one were they kept like the pilots which they treated much nicer than regular soldiers. though sadly almost all of them get shot in the end. they try to escape and they get a lot of men out but lots of them got recaptured. Its a really good movie and its kind of funny in some spots because the American soldiers a specially have absolutely no respect for the Nazis.

@Carys M

I read "Echo" for school this year and it is really good.

Has anyone watch The Great

Has anyone watch The Great Escape ?

@Nora L

No I have not watched that, but I have read The Hiding Place (multiple times!). It is really good. I just can't get over Betsy ten Boom's faith! It just amazes me! If only we all had faith like that!

@ Everyone

WHY does my birthday keep cropping up?!

Its part of the past.

Its part of the past.
I've read the hiding place many times, it is so amazing and heartbreaking

@ everyone

have you read The Resistence, it is a ww2 storie

To Above

Is it fiction?

I think I have

I think I have

I don't know what to think

I don't know what to think about this. If i knew more i probably would @Isabel unfortanetly the world isn't going to hold it like "since your a christian, then you get a free pass" its the exact opposite. The world is getting crazier every day, so you have to acknowledge that. @Riley D Yes, i have watched the boy in striped paj.

@ N&M A

Yeah, I think it is. It's about this girl who fights against Nazi's and concentration camps.

My grandma was born in

My grandma was born in Germany during during the last 5 years ofWW2 she lived at an orphanage run by nuns when the bombs came they went in the red forest to hide she said she remembers peering in a crater that a bomb made after bombs would come they would look (like in front of a grocery store that had been bombed) for food she also said that the Americans soldiers gave them gum she came to the United States and became a Christian after she had my dad somewhere along the way hr husband divorced and took my dads two brothers with him .She died last year in February 2days after my dads knee surgery

@ Carys M First Comment

So are you blaming all of WW2 on the Jews?

@Sarah

Yes, I’ve actually read it twice

@ Franz

What an amazing story! (The part about her surviving, I mean.)

.

@ David yeah, I know which makes me mad!! >:(

@ KN what do you mean by 'WHY does my birthday keep cropping up?!' ?

@Franz

Wow that is neat! That is awesome that she survived through all that and could remember it, only being age five at the oldest, right? I am sorry she died last year! And you know I thought your name sounded German! XD

i think the guy deserves to

i think the guy deserves to be prosicuted,but they should have done it earlier then they did.I

@ Melody10 M

Yeah. By the way, are you new to WORLDteen? If so, WELCOME, I'd be happy to answer questions about the site if you want. If not, sorry for not noticing!

.

Ok, I understand why they would put him in prison. Its terrible what those people in the concentration camps had to go through, and I think he should have been deported sooner, not a few decades later. Although, I dont think he should have been a guard at one of the camps. I guess someone had to do it, but deporting people 5 decades+ later, it doesnt make that much sense. The guards must have had to live with the guilt of being a guard in one of those camps, and in some ways thats enough punishment. But I think it was right to deport the man, even if it is a lot later. If this offends anyone, i’m sorry and I realize we have different views.

oh man

Boy, this is a hard thing to know what to think on. I just hope he receives the Lord, and that God will bring Christians into his life. Please be praying for this man, and it brings tears to my eyes thinking that he might suffer eternal punishment and that he may never know that Jesus loves him. It makes me want to cry. i will be praying for him, please everyone pray for him with me. I hate what he did, but anyone who disagrees with me that we should pray for him please remember: JESUS LOVES HIM!

@Bethy S about Carys' First comment

She wasn't blaming it on the Jews. Hitler blamed it on the Jews and she was trying to emphasize how everyone felt. They didn't know who to blame their problems on, and then Hitler came in and started blaming it on the Jews. No offense, but how could it be the Jews' fault? Nothing she said seemed to indicate that. :) I thought she described the German situation well, and I agree with everyone that said they should let bygones be bygones and let a poor, 95-year-old man live out the rest of his life in peace. I'm not saying we should do this with all criminals, but 95 is going a bit too far for me.

Ok look, I have been on here

Ok look, I have been on here since 9 and it is still not here. I’m being very vague here! I have been on here since 9 o’clock this morning, and the article still isn’t out. Now it really is the race for 1st comment!

@Mirela

:)

@Desarose

Yes, truly! Jesus told us to pray for our enemies, and although this man is not a direct enemy, he was our enemy at one point, and obviously was not a Christian (I don't know it he is now or not) because he served in a camp. I agree with you that we need to pray.

@Mirela J

Yeah I am trying to get first comment I keep refreshing the page I am doing it while I listen to my arithmetic

Yeah I was up at 7 waiting...

Yeah I was up at 7 waiting.....but then I had to go eat breakfast...yall beat me to it xD

@ Addie L

Alright, that's probably what she meant, but it wasn't super clear to me. Thanks.

@bethy s

i have been on this sight for a while but i just have not been commenting lately.thanks though

@Bethy S

You're welcome. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. I know my comment sounded a little defensive. :)

@ Addie L

:)

Wow

Okay, so I agree with all of you who are saying to show mercy to this guy. I also am learning a TON more than I already knew about the Holocaust than I knew before. It was a very sad time. Yes, people were forced (or fooled) into doing Hitler and the Nazi's will. I understand they are trying to bring SOME justice, but I think there is a better way to do it than to just up and convict an old man from that time...I mean COME ON, we have THE SAME ISSUES TODAY! Like China, as someone already mentioned, they are forcing people/ mostly Christians to work in CONCENTRATION camps. Communism is what Hitler used to become his own personal RELIGION, and many countries are controlled by it. And guess what? The people are starving!!! This is still an issue today! And people who hate America are trying to force it into the US.

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