Wisc. Ex-Nazi Guard Deported to Austria

83 year old Josias Kumpf, a resident of Racine, Wisconsin since 1956, was http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2009/March/09-crm-252.html, following his removal from his home earlier this week by ICE officials. The New York Times reports:

[Kumph]admitted that he participated in a murderous November 1943 Nazi operation that went by the code name “Aktion Erntefest” — Operation Harvest Festival — in which roughly 42,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered at three Nazi camps in eastern Poland in two days.

Mr. Kumpf acknowledged his role was as a guard and an assassin at the Trawniki Labor Camp, where 8,000 men, women and children were shot dead in a single day, Nov. 3, 1943, Justice Department officials said.

In 2007, Spiegel Online reported Kumph obtained U.S. citizenship in 1964 but it was stripped from him in 2005, because he failed to disclose his past on his entry visa. [More...]

The German publication says in 2005, Kumph was given a choice of countries to be deported to: Serbia, Austria or Germany and he chose Germany. (He was born in Serbia.) I'm not sure why he's ending up in Austria. Maybe Germany wouldn't take him.

When his citizenship was revoked, Kumpf became the 100th Nazi criminal to be successfully prosecuted by the OSI since it was created in 1979.

His defense to being stripped of his citizenship:

In a 2003 interview, Kumpf said he was taken from his home in Yugoslavia as a 17-year-old and forced to serve as a guard, but did not participate in any atrocities.

...."We think the judge's interpretation of the law is in error," Kumpf's attorney Peter Rogers said Thursday. "We do not believe that 'assistance and persecution' would include a gentleman who was involuntarily (conscripted) into the army, assigned to the SS and then stationed at places where admittedly terrible things happened. My client never took part in them."

The U.S. doesn't agree:

Kumpf said his assignment was to watch for victims who were still "halfway alive" or "convulsing" and prevent their escape, according to the department.

"Josias Kumpf, by his own admission, stood guard with orders to shoot any surviving prisoners who attempted to escape an SS massacre that left thousands of Jews dead," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita Glavin.

Kumpf also served at slave labor sites in Nazi-occupied France where prisoners built launching platforms for Germany's V-1 and V-2 rockets that were used in attacks on Britain, department officials said.

As for the U.S. city the most Nazi deportation cases in our federal courts: Chicago.

< Thousands To Be Freed From Camp Bucca | Senate Confirms Elena Kagan as Solicitor General >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    i'm not sure they needed to. (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 02:41:33 AM EST
    Does the US claim that he actually shot any wounded prisoners?

    to be deported. practically anyone associated with the camps is probably guilty of something, by definition. let's assume, purely for the sake of argument, that he was conscripted, against his will, into the german army.

    again, for the sake of argument, let's further assume he was assigned to the camp, also against his will. so far, so good, he's really done nothing in violation of international law.

    however (and this is kind of a ginormous however), in order for him to have remained at the camp, and not been shipped off to either front, he would have had to have done his job. again, by definition, this would have entailed participating in the institutionalized brutality against the camp's occupants.

    apparently, he wasn't shipped off to the front.  i think it's probably safe to assume he "did his job" in the camp.

    Chicago may be the main site (none / 0) (#1)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 08:35:33 PM EST
    because there seems to be at least one a year of these in southeastern Wisconsin, with its massive German immigration for more than a century before WWII -- and since, with so many Holocaust survivors in Milwaukee, too.  Some have helped to spot former Nazis here; stories are horrifying to read about that happening to survivors, decades after trying to put the past in the past.  (The area also now has a sizeable community of Russian Jewish emigres, as there also was a century ago, many of them also sponsored now by descendants of earlier influxes.)  

    17 (none / 0) (#2)
    by jussumbody on Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 12:04:01 AM EST
    That seems pretty harsh.  Or not, since there is no mention of sending him to prison.  Just deportation.  Does the US claim that he actually shot any wounded prisoners?