WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. authorities deported a former SS guard to Austria.
Josias Kumpf, 83, of Racine, Wis., was deported after he exhausted his appeals of an immigration judge’s 2007 deportation order.
"The removal of Josias Kumpf to Austria has achieved a significant measure of justice on behalf of the victims of Nazi inhumanity and it reflects the unswerving commitment of the U.S. government to continuing that quest for justice," Eli Rosenbaum, the director of the Office of Special Investigations, said in a statement. Thursday.
Kumpf served as an SS guard at the Sachsenhausen and Trawniki camps in Germany and Poland. Kumpf has acknowledged participating in "Operation Harvest Festival in November 1943 in eastern Poland, during which 42,000 Jewish adults and children were murdered over three days. His job was to shoot to kill any prisoners attempting escape.
He has said he never actively participated in murder and that German authorities forced him into SS service when he was 17. However, in stripping him of his U.S. citizenship, American judges have ruled that Kumpf violated rules that ban naturalization for individuals who “personally advocated or assisted persecution."
Kumpf, born in Serbia, immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1956 and was naturalized in 1964.