NEW YORK (Oct. 28)
A former Waffen SS officer who served at three subcamps of the Mauthausen death camp during World War II gave up his U.S. citizenship last week, rather than face denaturalization proceedings.
Martin Zultner, 79, a former resident of Chicago who has lived since 1975 in Salzburg, Austria, voluntarily renounced his citizenship at the U.S. Consulate there on Oct. 23. He will be barred from entering the United States.
His action enabled the Justice Department to conclude the fastest denaturalization proceeding it has ever undertaken, according to Eli Rosenbaum, principal deputy director of the department’s Office of Special Investigations.
“We consider this is a big victory for us,” said Rosenbaum, who conducted an interview with Zultner in May in Salzburg, during which he admitted his wartime activities.
Zultner is the 33rd former Nazi to have lost his American citizenship. Of these, 29 have been removed from the United States.
Zultner, an ethnic German born in Romania, in fact agreed to give up his citizenship in August, shortly after the Justice Department filed suit to denaturalize him. But U.S. regulations governing such cases require that certain steps be taken before the renunciation is accepted.
Zultner admitted that as a corporal in the Waffen SS between August 1943 and April 1945, he had served as administrative aide to SS supervisors and camp commandants at the Schwechat, Floridsdorf and Modling concentration camps.
He confessed to assigning armed guards to escort prisoners to slave labor locations and issued rifles to SS guards at the camps. He also admitted concealing his SS service when he applied in 1949 for a visa to enter the United States. Zultner immigrated to the United States from Salzburg in 1950.
Among the war crimes he admitted taking part in was “the infamous death march from Modling to Mauthausen in April 1945,” said OSI Director Neal Sher. Hundreds of prisoners were shot to death during that march, he said.