A U.S. immigration judge has ordered the deportation of a Pennsylvania man who served as a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II, the Department of Justice said.
Anton Geiser, 85, has been living in the United States since emigrating from Austria after the war, the department said.
His citizenship was revoked in 2006 after he admitted serving as an armed SS guard at three Nazi concentration camps and had orders to shoot anyone who tried to escape, the department said.
"Anton Geiser must be held to account for his role in the persecution of countless men, women and children," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. "The long passage of time will not diminish our resolve to deny refuge to such individuals."
U.S. Immigration Judge Charles M. Honeyman ruled Geiser is removable under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act because he assisted in Nazi-sponsored persecution. Honeyman noted that Geiser
had "generally admitted all of the factual allegations" that U.S. prosecutors had made.
Geiser went to the United States from Austria in 1956 and became a U.S. citizen in 1962. A federal district court revoked that citizenship in 2006 after finding that he had "clearly assisted in the persecution of people because of race, religion and national origin" and therefore was legally barred from receiving the visa issued to him to come to the United States, the Justice Department said.
During the denaturalization proceedings, Geiser admitted under oath that he served as an armed SS Death's Head guard at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, near Berlin, Germany, for most of 1943. While there, he escorted forced laborers to and from work sites, guarded prisoners from an SS watch tower, and was under standing orders to shoot any prisoner attempting to escape.
Geiser also admitted serving as an armed guard at Buchenwald Concentration Camp and its Arolsen subcamp in the former East Germany from mid-November 1943 until April 11, 1945. He was again under orders to shoot anyone trying to escape, he said, and he also escorted prisoners back and forth between the camps.
"Without Anton Geiser and other members of the SS Death's Head guard battalions, the Nazi concentration camp system could not have accomplished its diabolical objectives," said Eli Rosenbaum, who leads human rights enforcement at the Justice Department's new Human Rights and Special Prosecution Section.
The department said the Geiser case is a result of continued efforts to identify and prosecute former participants of Nazi crimes who live in the United States.
It has won cases against 107 people since 1979, the Justice Department said.