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US seeks to expel alleged Nazi camp guard

world Updated: Apr 04, 2009 11:37 IST

AFP
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The United States has begun moves to expel an 84-year-old man alleged to have been a top guard in several Nazi concentration camps in Germany, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Anton Geiser, who arrived in the US from Austria in 1956 and became a citizen in 1962, is accused of working at the infamous Sachsenhausen camp near Berlin in 1943.

"Geiser served as an armed SS Death's Head guard at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin, Germany," the department said in a statement.

It added his "duties included escorting prisoners to slave labor sites and standing guard from the camp's watch towers; and that he was under orders to shoot any prisoner attempting escape."

He also allegedly worked at Buchenwald concentration camp.

"Through his service as a Nazi concentration camp guard, Anton Geiser helped subject thousands of innocent civilians to inhumane and frequently lethal treatment", said Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita M. Glavin of the Criminal Division.

"The United States will not provide a safe haven for such individuals."

Geiser's citizenship was revoked by a Pittsburgh judge in 2006.

The court concluded Geiser "clearly assisted in the persecution of people because of race, religion and national origin," and he was therefore legally barred from receiving a visa to come to the United States.

The case comes as another Nazi death camp guard facing charges of assisting in the murder of at least 29,000 Jews is appealing to avoid extradition to Germany.

John Demjanjuk, who turns 89 on Friday, was due to be flown Sunday from the US city of Cleveland, where he lives, to Germany which wants to try him for his alleged activities.

But his attorney in Washington said he filed a last-minute emergency motion for a stay of expulsion with a US immigration court on Thursday, a day after filing a petition for an administrative stay with the Department of Homeland Security.