Nazi Death Camp Guard Fights to Remain in U.S.

Saturday, 24 Nov 2012 11:13 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A former Nazi concentration camp guard, who has lived near Pittsburgh for the past 56 years, is fighting for his last chance to stay in the United States as the government is working to deport him because of his past.

Anton Geiser, who lives in Sharon Pa., is now 87 years old, and has told judges he was made to patrol with a gun outside the Oranienburg and Buchenwald concentration camps, reports the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. However, courts have ruled that anyone patrolling the camps, voluntary or not, must leave the country.

Geiser’s attorney, Adrian Roe, will argue the case next month before the Board of Immigration Appeals in Fairfax, Va., which could be the elderly man’s last stand.

They hope the court will agree with a 2009 U.S. Supeme Court decision that says the government must clarify laws that ban people who participated in atrocities against others, following the case of an African who said he was forced to torture people.

But Roe noted Geiser’s five children live in the U.S., and the former Nazi is a retired steelworker who is recovering from multiple leg fractures he got while falling down his stairs.

Geiser was born in the Croatian sector of Yugoslavia and was only 17 when Hitler's Germany seized the country. He was drafted and ended up in the Waffen S.S., on the Russian front, and was later chosen for the “Death’s Head” battalions that guarded prison camps.

Roe noted that Geiser became a citizen like many other concentration camp guards who were allowed to come into the U.S. in the 1950s after extensive background checks determined they were not responsible for atrocities.

If the board doesn’t overturn the an immigration judge’s 2010 ruling, Roe can appeal to the federal courts, but there is no guarantee that his client would be allowed to stay in the U.S. during that process.

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