US charges German as concentration camp guard
2 October 2007, Washington (dpa) - US authorities are seeking to deport an 85-year-old former Nazi who allegedly guarded prisoners as an armed SS dog handler at two infamous concentration camps in Germany during World War II, the government said Monday.
2 October 2007
Washington (dpa) - US authorities are seeking to deport an 85-year-old former Nazi who allegedly guarded prisoners as an armed SS dog handler at two infamous concentration camps in Germany during World War II, the government said Monday.
Paul Henss is accused of concealing his service at Dachau and Buchenwald when he entered the US in 1955, an immigration violation that now has the Justice Department seeking his removal from the country. Henss, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, is a German citizen.
"SS regulations ... specified that dogs were to be trained to 'bite without mercy' and to literally tear prisoners to pieces if they attempted to escape," said the charging document filed before a US immigration judge in Atlanta.
Some 38,000 prisoners died at Dachau, outside Munich, and about 55,000 perished at Buchenwald, built in a forest near the famous German cultural metropolis of Weimar.
The US government says Henss joined the Hitler Youth when he was 11 or 12, the Nazi party at age 18 and, at age 19, the elite SS unit that guarded Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, known as Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.
He volunteered in 1942 to become an SS dog handler, training other concentration camp guards at Dachau and Buchenwald in the use of trained attack dogs to guard prisoners and prevent their escape, the government said. He also allegedly guarded prisoners and slave labourers himself.
Henss served at the two camps at various times between October 1942 and late 1944, the government alleged. He acknowledged his guard and dog handler roles in a sworn statement to US investigators in March, the Justice Department said.
"The brutal concentration camp system could not have functioned without the determined efforts of SS men such as Paul Henss, who, with a vicious attack dog, stood between these victims and the possibility of freedom," said Eli Rosenbaum, the department's top Nazi hunter.
Rosenbaum's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) says it has won deportation orders against 106 former Nazis since 1979. More than 180 others have been blocked from entering the US under an OSI watch list.
Subject: German news