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voltz
19-03-09, 17:31
WASHINGTON A former Nazi concentration camp guard who was living in Wisconsin has been deported to Austria, Justice Department officials said Thursday.

Prosecutors said 83-year-old Josias Kumpf (yoh-SEE'-uhs KOOMF) served as a guard at the Sachsenhausen (ZAHK'-zen-how-zen) concentration camp in Germany and the Trawniki (trafh-NEE'-kee) labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and at slave labor sites in occupied France.

U.S. investigators found he participated in a 1943 mass shooting in Poland in which 8,000 Jewish men, women and children were murdered in pits at Trawniki in a single day.

"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," Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita Glavin said in a statement.

Peter Rogers, Kumpf's attorney, didn't immediately return a message Thursday.

Investigators say Kumpf joined the SS Death's Head guard forces in 1942.

Kumpf was born in what is now Serbia, immigrated to the U.S. from Austria in 1956, settled in Racine, Wis., and became a U.S. citizen in 1964.

A federal judge in Milwaukee had previously found Kumpf didn't disclose he had been an SS guard because he feared it would disqualify him when he applied for a visa to the U.S.

In a 2003 interview, Kumpf said he was taken from his home in Yugoslavia as a 17-year-old and forced to serve as a guard, but he didn't participate in any atrocities.

At a 2006 hearing Rogers described Kumpf as "a gentleman who was involuntarily inscripted into the army, assigned to the SS and then stationed at places where admittedly terrible things happened. My client never took part in them."

But at a subsequent deportation hearing, Acting Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich said Kumpf participated in an operation that resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent victims.

"His culpability in this atrocity does not diminish with the passage of time," Friedrich said at the time.

Since 1979, the U.S. Justice Department has won cases against 107 people who participated in Nazi crimes.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090319/ap_on_go_ot/nazi_guard

I didn't know this guy was living in my state and going over what was admitted I have a deal of mixed thoughts on this. 1. He's a war criminal through and through. 2. Even despite having committed these crimes, I couldn't imagine what it's like being forced into a life where you're to follow orders that go against your will and better judgment knowing full well that if you disobey, you will be tried as a traitor and executed.

I don't know what someone in this situation is supposed to do when you're branded with this image and exiled, but at the very least I'm hoping he'll write a book based on his experience and give an insight as to what exactly he had to live through.

violentblossom
19-03-09, 17:45
This is a slippery slope. While yes, he was forced to do some of these things (who's to say what he was and wasn't forced to do in some of the instances?), i HATE that his lawyer denies that he did anything.

It'd just be better to say, "Look, yes, he did some awful things, but he was forced to against his will." Flat out denying it is unscrupulous.

MrBear
19-03-09, 18:13
The dominant thought in my head when I read this is: "It's in the past, under extreme circumstances. Just give it a rest." It's difficult to establish how 'commited' he was in his actions, but does it even matter? It's not like he's a danger to society in any way. He's 83 years old and it probably wasn't a period he looks back on as the best days ever, so just let the past be past!

knightgames
19-03-09, 18:17
Tell that to the remaining family members of those who were slaughtered.

It DOES matter.


I did a family documentary of survivors. While they have moved forward (and some even became quite successful) there was no denying that this abhoration was a singularly driving/impedong force in their lives. One DOESN'T get over this. There is no rest. To imply otherwise is foolish at best.

MrBear
19-03-09, 18:25
Tell that to the remaining family members of those who were slaughtered.

It DOES matter.


I did a family documentary of survivors. While they have moved forward (and some even became quite successful) there was no denying that this abhoration was a singularly driving/impedong force in their lives. One DOESN'T get over this. There is no rest. To imply otherwise is foolish at best.

Do any of the family members feel better, knowing that this man was expelled?

I have the greatest sympathy for the victims of WWII, not less for the civilians; it was a horrible ordeal. But this is one man, doing at the time what was considered your 'job'. He didn't execute the orders, as far as I'm aware. What good does it do to punish him for being involuntarily recruited at a time of war?

I don't think I implied that the people affected by WWII can and should 'get over it'. And if I did, I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention.

irjudd
19-03-09, 18:30
There have been thousands of people that chose to die rather than follow orders that go against their conscience. This fella seems to have chosen to torture and/or kill innocent people in order to save his own life.

Doesn't sound like an honorable person to be sympathizing for.

knightgames
19-03-09, 18:32
Do any of the family members feel better, knowing that this man was expelled?

I have the greatest sympathy for the victims of WWII, not less for the civilians; it was a horrible ordeal. But this is one man, doing at the time what was considered your 'job'. He didn't execute the orders, as far as I'm aware. What good does it do to punish him for being involuntarily recruited at a time of war?

I don't think I implied that the people affected by WWII can and should 'get over it'. And if I did, I'm sorry, that wasn't my intention.


It's all good, Bear. I came off harsh....esp to you in response. I've known several concentration camp survivors other than the above mentioned. They live with this day to day. They had no choice in the matter too. They live daily with this. There's no reason an SS soldier shouldn't either.

I'll be honest and say I don't know what I'd do if I were in his position. I'd like to think I'd not follow in his path despite the obvious outcome of said decision.

I hope we'd live in a world where NONE of us would follow his path. I'm optomistically foolish like that.





It's been 20 years since a drunk driver killed my girlfriend. I have no problem with him still being in jail. Sadly. He's not.

MrBear
19-03-09, 18:43
There have been thousands of people that chose to die rather than follow orders that go against their conscience. This fella seems to have chosen to torture and/or kill innocent people in order to save his own life.

Doesn't sound like an honorable person to be sympathizing for.

I can't honestly say I would've died instead of doing those things; sometimes the survival instinct prevails in such situations.

I'm sympathising with him because I don't see the point in punishing him decades later. I don't see what good will come from it.

It's all good, Bear. I came off harsh....esp to you in response. I've known several concentration camp survivors other than the above mentioned. They live with this day to day. They had no choice in the matter too. They live daily with this. There's no reason an SS soldier shouldn't either.

I'll be honest and say I don't know what I'd do if I were in his position. I'd like to think I'd not follow in his path despite the obvious outcome of said decision.

I hope we'd live in a world where NONE of us would follow his path. I'm optomistically foolish like that.

You're being passionate about the subject, I can understand that. :)

About your reasoning: "There's no reason an SS soldier shouldn't either." is where our opinions differ. Nothing we do will ever undo the crimes committed: but because of the circumstanses (war; kill or be killed, etc.) I won't hold his actions against him. Maybe I'm nave, but I imagine that this man didn't enjoy doing what he did; I think he deserves some peace from the war times - it won't rectify the wicked wrongdoings to let more people suffer than have to.

irjudd
19-03-09, 18:48
I can't honestly say I would've died instead of doing those things; sometimes the survival instinct prevails in such situations.

I'm sympathising with him because I don't see the point in punishing him decades later. I don't see what good will come from it.

I totally agree that punishing him decades later is pointless.

What I don't agree with however is the idea that he was "forced" to do something "against his will". Nobody can force you to do anything except force you to die. Whether or not it comes to that depends on your conviction for right and wrong.

But I can also understand where you are coming from MrBear.

Agent 47
19-03-09, 18:55
having read the article again, it seems to me like this guy is basically being deported under some guilty by association law.

i must agree with Mr Bear.

why not just find every surviving German solder and pick on them too? hey it doesn't matter if you're innocent or not, you wore the uniform

pfft