Russian authorities intend to seek charges against a 95-year-old German who served as a guard at a concentration camp in Saxony during World War II and was expelled by the Ministry of Justice from the United States to Germany, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“We drew attention to the decision of the US Department of Justice to send 95-year-old Nazi criminal Friedrich Berger to Germany. We welcome this decision of the US Department of Justice. According to available information, Friedrich Berger is on a pension in Germany, including his service during the war. Upon arrival in Germany, he was only interrogated and not taken into custody. According to some media reports, citing the German prosecutor’s office, the case against the Nazi was dismissed for lack of evidence of guilt. For our part, we intend to persistently seek from the German authorities to clarify the situation around Friedrich Berger and bring official charges against him,”Zakharova said.
The official representative of the Foreign Ministry added that “the atrocities of Hitler’s executioners and their accomplices do not have a statute of limitations,” Russia’s position on this issue is adamant.
Earlier, the United States sent Germany a former guard of the Nazi concentration camp Berger. The decision to deport him was made last year when the US authorities indicated that war criminals could not find protection in the United States. According to the American justice authorities, Berger worked as a guard at a concentration camp near Meppen in Lower Saxony and was thus “an active participant in one of the darkest chapters in human history.”
Berger himself, who moved to the US state of Tennessee in 1959 and continued to receive a pension from Germany for many years, did not deny that he was a concentration camp guard but tried to justify himself by saying that he was only following the orders of his superiors. During the trial, he noted that he was only 19 years old at the time.
Berger was guarding the outer camp of the Neuengamme concentration camp, where, according to US authorities, Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch and French were held in “terrible” conditions and worked “to exhaustion and death.”
According to Spiegel magazine, it is not yet known whether Berger will face trial in Germany. In December, the prosecutor’s office in the city of Celle announced that the proceedings against Berger were terminated for lack of evidence.