Frankfurt, Feb 22 (dpa/GNA) – A 95-year-old man who served as a Nazi concentration camp guard arrived in Germany on Saturday after being deported from the United States, a federal police spokesperson told dpa.
Friedrich Karl B, whose name is not being published under Germany’s strict privacy laws, is being investigated for accessory to murder. It is however unclear if there will be a trial.
He arrived at Frankfurt Airport on a medical transport plane. Federal police then handed him over to law enforcement officials from the central state of Hesse.
Officials first asked him on arrival whether he was prepared to testify. He said he was, though after recovering from the stresses of travel.
Hesse’s State Criminal Police Office said he would be questioned by prosecutors in the town of Celle.
According to US authorities, Friedrich Karl B confessed to having guarded prisoners at a satellite camp of the main Neuengamme concentration camp in northern Germany. But he argues he had only followed orders, Der Spiegel magazine reported.
He last lived in the state of Tennessee, where he had moved in 1959, the report said.
In November a US appeals court confirmed the deportation a judge had ordered in February 2020.
The man had been an « active participant in one of the darkest chapters in human history, » a representative of the immigration authorities said, adding that the US did not offer protection to « war criminals. »
In the February judgement, the court wrote that that Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, French and political prisoners, among others, had been imprisoned in the satellite camp. In the winter of 1945, they were interned under « horrible » conditions and had to work « until exhaustion and death. »
Around 70 prisoners had died « under inhumane conditions, » the judgement continued.
In September, the public prosecutor’s office in Celle took over the investigation, but discontinued it in December « due to lack of sufficient suspicion. »
It said at the time that admitting to guarding prisoners in a concentration camp – a role which did not serve in the systematic killing of prisoners – was not sufficient in itself to prove the crime. The investigations had « not linked the man to a concrete act of killing. »
A spokesperson for the office told dpa that the suspension of proceedings was « not set in stone: » should Friedrich Karl B be willing to testify, the proceedings could be resumed at any time.