Crimes against humanity have scarred our evolutionary history time and again. No era has escaped witnessing the hardships we are capable of inflicting upon one another. While it would be impossible to assess which self-inflicted tragedy could rightfully claim the crown, this much we do know.
No crime in the history of modern man comes even close to rivaling the evilness inflicted by Adolf Hitler and his band of Nazi bloodthirsty demons.
From Auschwitz to Nuerenburg, to Poland and Russia, millions of Jews and other “undesirables” of non-Jewish descent were inhumanly put to their deaths, inclusive of women and children. They were gassed, gunned down in mass, and hung in town squares, their bodies often left to rot in the streets and hillsides.
In 1945 when American troops liberated the survivors of Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, as the Russians had liberated the camp in Auschwitz, Poland, Nazi soldiers began shedding their swastikas and running like cowards to avoid prosecution. Some even came to the U.S. to hide in plain sight.
Still today, on very rare occasions, a former Nazi gets flushed out from where they have long resided undetected in their middle-class all-American neighborhood. They’re fairly ancient by now because unlike their victims, they were afforded the opportunity to live.
Friends, neighbors, and associates, as one would expect, are aghast at the discovery. “He’s such a great guy,” they say. “He and his family have lived around here forever.” “What did you say his name really is?”
Friedrich Karl Berger, age 95 and still a German citizen, has been peacefully residing in Tennessee where he ended up after the war, but a U.S. immigration judge has just ordered his immediate deportation. The Justice Department ruled that Berger willingly served as a concentration camp guard and this “constituted assistance in Nazi-sponsored persecution.”
The Holtzman Amendment forbids any person found guilty of participating in Nazi persecution from residing in the United States. When the amendment was up for removal in November 2020, the Board of Immigration Appeals instead called for its continuation.
And it’s a good thing they did.
Berger admitted to having worked as a guard at a Neuengamme, Germany sub-camp in 1945. He revealed how the majority of prisoners held and/or executed at the sub-camp were Russian, Dutch, and Polish civilians. But the camp also took in its fair share of Jews, Danes, Latvians, French, Italians, and anyone else in opposition to the Nazi regime.
Here’s the real kicker.
Since fleeing his native country, Berger has continued to receive a “wartime” pension from Germany. Yeah. Keyboards don’t stutter.
Germany has been paying him all of these years for his meritorious service.
Berger claimed his case was based on a pack of “lies.” “I was 19 years old. I was ordered to go there.” Hoping to avoid his fate he told the judge that he had only been at the camp for a few weeks. He also claimed to have not been armed, though records indicate otherwise.
“After 75 years, this is ridiculous. I cannot believe it,” Berger commented. “I cannot understand how this can happen in a country like this. You’re forcing me out of my home.”
We don’t see it this way, Mr. Berger. America was never your home. You just hid here.
The Justice Department commented on Berger’s deportation by saying how their decision “demonstrates the Department of Justice’s and its law enforcement partners’ commitment to ensuring that the United States is not a safe haven for those who have participated in Nazi crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses.”
It was determined that prisoners at the camp where Berger served were held in “atrocious” conditions. This especially holds true during the winter of 1945 when Berger was there. The Justice Department said the prisoners were forced to work outdoors “to the point of exhaustion and death.”
Was Berger just some innocent kid who had no other option than to do what he did? Should he have been allowed to remain in Tennessee where he has peacefully residing? What do you think of the judge’s call?