March 19, 2009 / 5:48 PM / 9 years ago

U.S. deports former Nazi guard to Austria

* Kumpf admitted he took part in massacre of 8,000 Jews

* Born in Serbia, he became U.S. citizen in 1964

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) - The United States has deported to Austria a former Nazi concentration camp guard who admitted he participated in the 1943 massacre of 8,000 Jews, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

It said Josias Kumpf, 83, who was living in Racine, Wisconsin, served as a guard at the Nazi-run Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany and at the Trawniki labor camp in Poland.

At Trawniki, he participated in a mass shooting in which about 8,000 Jewish men, women and children were killed in pits on Nov. 3, 1943, department officials said.

Kumpf said his assignment was to watch for victims who were still "halfway alive" or "convulsing" and prevent their escape, according to the department.

"Josias Kumpf, by his own admission, stood guard with orders to shoot any surviving prisoners who attempted to escape an SS massacre that left thousands of Jews dead," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita Glavin.

Kumpf also served at slave labor sites in Nazi-occupied France where prisoners built launching platforms for Germany’s V-1 and V-2 rockets that were used in attacks on Britain, department officials said.

They said Kumpf, who was born in Serbia, joined the SS Death’s Head guard forces at Sachsenhausen in 1942 and served there for about one year before transferring to Trawniki.

He immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1956 and became a U.S. citizen in 1964. In 2003, the Justice Department sued to strip him of his U.S. citizenship.

U.S. courts then revoked his citizenship and later upheld an order to deport him.

In another Holocaust-related case, German prosecutors issued an arrest warrant on March 11 for 88-year-old Ohio resident John Demjanjuk on suspicion he helped in the murders of at least 29,000 Jews as a Nazi death camp guard.

The United States is considering whether to send Demjanjuk to Germany to face the charges. (Editing by John O‘Callaghan)

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