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Trial Date Set for Alleged War Criminal

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The deportation hearing of alleged Nazi war criminal Karl Bruno Blach, a Czechoslovakian native accused of serving as a guard and dog handler at both Dachau and Wiener-Neudorf concentration camps, will take place this September, it was announced here by United States Immigration Judge James Patrick Vandello.

The Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) has charged that Blach, 65, of La Habra, Calif., voluntarily joined the Nazi Party in 1939 and in June 1940 became a member of the Waffen SS, Hitler’s corps of storm troopers. In addition, the OSI charges that Blach participated in the spring 1945 evacuation march from Wiener-Neudorf to Mauthausen, in which numerous persons died, in an effort to flee advancing forces.

At a hearing last week, Blach’s attorney, Ronald Parker of Fullerton, Calif., stated that there were 30 charges made against his client and that of the 30, Blach admits to only three: that he is not a U.S. citizen, that he was born in Czechoslovakia, and that he is presently stateless.

Judge Vandello explained to Blach that the alleged crimes of which he is being accused are of a deportable nature, and that if he doesn’t choose a country, the court will have to decide. Blach was given until July to file any papers which might block his deportation order.

Officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center here attended last week’s hearing and continue to moniter the case. “We are gratified that (the OSI) is finally forcing people like Karl Bruno Blach to stand before the bar of justice,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Center. “It is unfortunate, however, that the inevitable and just conclusion of such cases very often takes years rather than months to resolve.”

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