On Saturday, a plane brought Mr. Berger back to Germany, wherever he stays a citizen, the Justice Division stated. German officials have indicated that he will not encounter added prosecution there. Mr. Berger’s attorney, Hugh B. Ward Jr., stated that his consumer was “safe, sound, free” at an assisted-residing center in Germany.
Given that the Justice Division started a system in 1979 to track down and deport former Nazis, it has won 109 situations, the division stated. But “this may perhaps be the final U.S. Nazi situation,” stated Eli M. Rosenbaum, a senior official at the department’s Human Rights and Specific Prosecution unit, who was amongst individuals who experimented with the situation towards Mr. Berger.
“There’s hardly any one left,” Mr. Rosenbaum stated. “The huge bulk of the perpetrators have died.”
Mr. Berger’s situation was distinctive since it was the only a single in the historical past of the Justice Department’s Nazi prosecution system in which there had been no acknowledged surviving victims out there to testify, Mr. Rosenbaum stated. German forces also destroyed the information from Meppen when they abandoned the camp in 1945, he stated, so prosecutors relied on paperwork identified elsewhere.
A important piece of proof tying Mr. Berger to his Nazi previous came from SS cards that recognized guards in the Neuengamme camps, which had been identified in 1950 in a German ship that had been sunk by the Allies 5 many years earlier.
Mr. Rosenbaum stated it was not clear how the cards had been not destroyed immediately after many years underwater. Following the ship was raised from the Baltic Sea, lots of of the cards had been illegible and some had been only partly legible. People that could be study had been transcribed and recorded. 1 of the cards recognized Mr. Berger.
“It was needle-in-a-haystack things, to place it mildly,” Mr. Rosenbaum stated.
Mr. Berger, he stated, had enlisted in the German military in 1943 and had been assigned by the SS to guard the Meppen camp. He moved to the United States in 1959, and he had lived quietly in a ranch home on a cul-de-sac in Oak Ridge, Tenn., about 25 miles west of Knoxville.