NEW YORK (Jan. 23)
A suburban Los Angeles man who was found guilty of mass murder during World War II was ordered extradited to West Germany on Tuesday.
Bruno Karl Blach, 69, a retired grocery store clerk in La Habra, Calif., agreed to the extradition at his appearance Tuesday in federal district court in Los Angeles, according to the Office of Special Investigations of the Justice Department.
After OSI began deportation proceedings against Blach in 1987, the U.S. Immigration Court ruled that Blach had served as an SS guard and dog-handler at Dachau concentration camp from 1940 to 1943, and at Wiener Neudorf concentration camp from 1943 to 1945.
Blach appealed the case, which was still pending when he was arrested in October. He has been held in jail since then.
Blach will be sent to Duisburg, West Germany, to stand trial for mass murder in Germany and Austria.
Blach, who joined the Nazi party in January 1939, was a member of the SS Totenkopf (Death’s Head Battalion).
Testimony against Blach was given in the California court by concentration camp survivor Alexy Bialas, who testified that Blach threw an elderly Polish Jew into a ditch and personally shot him with a machine gun after the man faltered in his step.
Blach, who entered the United States in 1956, never became a U.S. citizen.
A native, of Czechoslovakia, Blach was charged with murder in the Duisburg court in June 28, 1989. The German court accused him of killing three persons in Austria on the way from Wiener Neudorf to Mauthausen concentration camp, in April 1945.
The Duisburg court, in its warrant for Blach’s arrest, said prosecution for murder is not subject to a statute of limitations under West German law.