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Former Ss Guard at Sachsenhausen Agrees to Leave the United States

June 2, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A former SS guard at a Nazi concentration camp, who was stripped of his U.S. citizenship for concealing his wartime activities, has agreed to leave the United States rather than face deportation proceedings.

Michael Schmidt, a longtime resident of the Chicago suburb of Lincolnwood, agreed to permanently leave the country by year’s end, the Justice Department reported Monday.

Schmidt, 69, a retired school janitor, signed an agreement with the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations. He said he would not contest OSI’s allegation that he participated in the persecution of civilians while serving as an armed guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany as a member of the Nazi SS Death’s Head Battalion.

Initially, Schmidt had denied OSI’s charges. He has now acknowledged he lied about his wartime activities when he applied for admission to the United States in 1952 and on his citizenship application.

The Justice Department asked a Chicago immigration judge in December to deport Schmidt, who had been stripped of his citizenship in January 1990 by the U.S. District Court in Chicago. The decision to denaturalize him had been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Neal Sher, director of OSI, said Schmidt signed the agreement to leave in order to avoid defending the deportation action against him.

Sher said Sachsenhausen had been the site of “grotesque” medical experiments on Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, U.S. prisoners of war and political prisoners.

Schmidt, a native of Romania but of ethnic German background, lives in Lincolnwood, a Chicago suburb where many Jews reside.

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