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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CRM

TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2001

(202) 514-2008

WWW.USDOJ.GOV

TDD (202) 514-1888


JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS DEPORTATION

OF FORMER NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP GUARD


WASHINGTON D.C.--The Department of Justice today asked a federal immigration court in St. Louis to deport a St. Peters, Missouri man for participating in the persecution of Jews and other civilians while serving during World War II as an SS guard at a Nazi concentration camp and at a Nazi-created Jewish ghetto.

A charging document, filed today in United States Immigration Court in St. Louis by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, alleges that Michael Negele, 80, served as an SS guard at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, near Berlin, and at the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto, in the Czech Republic.

"Nazi concentration camps and ghettos like those at which Negele served were places where suffering and harm were inflicted daily upon tens of thousands of innocent persons," said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenabum. He added, "Those like Negele who guarded these inhumane facilities to ensure that no one escaped, were essential to the success of the Nazi regime's lethal designs. Negele's continued presence in the United States is a violation of U.S. law."

The government charges that Negele entered the Waffen-SS in November 1943, and served in the SS Death's Head Battalion as an armed guard of prisoners at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp until June 1944. Jews and other civilians from virtually every country in Europe were incarcerated in Sachsenhausen because they were considered enemies of the Nazi state. Prisoners in Sachsenhausen were confined under ruthless conditions, and thousands died there from starvation, disease, hanging, gassing, medical experimentation, and shooting.

The complaint further alleges that after serving as a guard at Sachsenhausen, Negele was transferred to the Jewish ghetto town of Theresienstadt, in which Jews, including prominent Germans, children and elderly civilians, were imprisoned as part of the Nazi regime's "final solution to the Jewish question." While at Theresienstadt, Negele guarded the perimeter with a dog trained to attack prisoners. Some 10,000 prisoners died in the ghetto.

Negele, a native of Romania, entered the U.S. in 1950, using a visa he obtained in Germany. He became a U.S. citizen in 1955. In July 1999, the U.S. District Court in St. Louis revoked Negele's citizenship following a trial. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the denaturalization order in August 2000, and on February 20, 2001, the United States Supreme Court denied Negele's petition for review.

Rosenbaum said that the initiation of proceedings to deport Negele is a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. To date, 64 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 53 have been removed from the United States since OSI began operations in 1979. Nearly 250 persons are currently under investigation by OSI, according to Rosenbaum.

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