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Board dismisses appeal on removal order for former Nazi concentration camp guard

Officials said that Friedrich Karl Berger, a Tennessee resident and former concentration camp guard in Nazi Germany, worked at a Neuengamme sub-camp.

An Oak Ridge man's appeal on a deportation order for his role as a German concentration camp guard during World War II was dismissed on Thursday.

The Board of Immigration Appeals said they dismissed the appeal of Friedrich Karl Berger, 95, a German citizen who served Nazi Germany as an armed guard of concentration camp prisoners. They said he worked in the Neuengamme Concentration Camp system.

Officials said that the prisoners there included Jewish, Polish, Russian, Danish, Dutch, Latvian, French and Italian people as well as political opponents of the Nazis.

“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. "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.”

The decision to deport Berger was made by a Memphis immigration judge on Feb. 28, officials said. The judge determined that Berger was removable under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Officials said that Berger lived more than 60 years in the U.S.  In 1943, like thousands of young men in Germany, he was conscripted into the German civilian labor service and sent to France. He joined the German Navy rather than be drafted into the Army, according to records. 

In January 1945, his naval unit was assigned to the Neuengamme sub-camp near Meppen close to the Dutch border. He was age 19 at the time.

Thousands of prisoners died in the Neuengamme system during its operation.