May 19th, 2010
03:48 AM ET

U.S. to deport former Nazi guard

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His citizenship was revoked in 2006 after he admitted serving as an armed SS guard at three Nazi concentration camps and had orders to shoot anyone who tried to escape, the department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.

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soundoff (576 Responses)
  1. Mandy

    We all know these Holocaust deniers have issues with this simply because they are anti-Semitic. If this had been discussing the deaths of 6 million non-Jews, you all would be all for this man receiving punishment. It saddens me that people have such hatred toward Jewish people based solely on difference in religion. I hope one day you will be able to get over your hatred and learn to love and respect people. If not, God help you, karma and you will get terrible things in the end.
    As for some of your pathetic arguments: The SS was voluntary. It was an elite groups of soldiers who applied for the position to serve Hitler and his beliefs. Guards at concentration camps, including those like this man who transported prisoners, shot women, children and men. They sought dogs on them. They rapped women. The marched them into the gas chambers. Don’t be ignorant. Other people would follow along? NOT True. There were plenty of Germans who risked their lives hiding Jews, German “traitors”, Polish, etc. They refused to follow the masses. And there were thousands of them that did this. They took part in transporting people out the country. Thousands of lives were saved thanks to their efforts. So no, there are good people and there were good people. As previously stated, you have issues because your anti-Semitic. This man killed, more than likely he personally killed hundreds of people. Time doesn’t change his guilt or crime. Send him back, have a trial, and do whatever to finally get justice meet.

    May 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sam

    Let him be, it was either guard or get shot.....my dad is palestinian, and had many of his relatives die at the hand of the IDF and not to mention all of my grandfathers land that was stolen and I don't hold grudges against them. If we were in that era the israelis would do the same thing to the palestinian but thank god we have the internet

    May 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. what?

    Sam, Palestine is just as guilty as Israel with plots, bombs, kidnappings, etc. Stop acting as if your country is so innocent. Your both to blame for all the problems in the middle east because neither side is able to keep peace or even attempt at peace. I have friends from both countries that are glad their families are in the U.S. and England because they were against the fighting. But everyone in here needs to stop putting all the blame Israel, you do it because you are anti-Semitic. Get over yourself and wake up.

    May 19, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OK

    All you you saying "he was just a guard, it was guard or get shot." These were not prisons. Are you people this idiotic? These were camps built to kill millions of innoncent people who did not do anything. These were not prisoners of war just sitting in a camp waiting until the war was over. These were people of all ages who had their homes taken away and were thrown in hell to die. Solely because they were viewed as inferior to some "Ayran" race that crazy Hitler made up. He wasn't just a guard, he was an SS office ordered to partake in the killing of 12 million people. Stop bein so ignorant. People never seize to amaze me with how dumb they are.

    May 21, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alex C

    Anton Geiser was NOT following orders so he wouldn't be killed himself, that is NOT how things were for the Allgemeine SS and SS-Totenkopfverbaende guards of the concentration camps. Many were volunteers, and even for the ones who were not, they would not have been killed for not following orders, they could have chosen to not take part in killings without consequences, and could have also requested a transfer elsewhere. Anton Geiser clearly was not morally bothered by what was happening back then, as he was willing to stay. I have read elsewhere he said he had no idea what was happening in the camps he was guarding, how is that possible when the people living near those same camps had the ashes from the crematoriums falling all over their villages? And believe me, there was no way anyone in those camps, Nazis or inmates, could not know of the regular killings. And finally, what proof is there that he feels remorse? This thug in a soldier's uniform has not made any apology for the lives he's destroyed, and I have yet to read about a former Nazi who genuinely does feel remorseful. I have read people who personally knew him saying he's a nice old man, well, anybody who thinks he couldn't have been a monster for that reason, just google the Hoecker album, which shows photos of the Auschwitz high ranking staff members, including Josef Mengele and the commandant Rudolf Hoess, during their social time outside the job.

    May 22, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Acteon

    >Also, please show me your reference for the idea that the locals were made to observe the camps. I've NEVER heard of anything like that, and I've actually studied it quite a bit.

    When the allied soldiers liberated Buchenwald, they forced the local inhabitants of nearby village Weimar come and see for themselves what had been happening there. The footage of this forced visit is shown in the Buchenwald camp to visitors (I saw it). From the footage the locals were clearly horrified by what they saw. While the people of Weimar could see smoke coming from Buchenwald the average citizen didn't know what was happening. (Buchenwald is ina wooded area.) This is something that was done after the liberation though not during the war.

    May 26, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    What is so much crap is that supposedly millions of Jews and millions of other noncombatants were killed in the camps from 1943 to 1945. That's 16,500 people, 3 million Jews and 3 million other noncombatants, a day approaching and entering the camps to be KILLED. Nobody noticed the movement 16,500 people a day to Poland in 1943? 1944?

    June 1, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SadamHObama,

    Ah big deal, like he was ging back to Uganda. He is going back to Austria you MORONS ! What a waste of tax payer dollars. I agree with the Rabbii, pay attention to Iran and Syria. That is the new ENEMY of the Jews!

    July 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
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