The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 30, 2013

AP IMPACT: US limbo for Nazi suspects ordered out

(Continued)

—Michael Negele, died in St. Peters, Missouri, in 2008 at age 87. He was ordered deported to his native Romania or to Germany in 2003, and he exhausted appeals in June 2004. Neither country was willing to take him, the DOJ said. Negele was accused of being an armed guard and dog handler at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany, and later at the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto in what is now the Czech Republic. Negele had argued he was not involved in any wartime atrocities.

—Bronislaw Hajda, died in Schiller Park, Illinois, in 2005 at age 80. He was ordered deported to his native Poland or Germany in 1998, and his appeals process ended in 2001. But both countries repeatedly refused to accept him, authorities said. He was accused of participating in a massacre of Jews at a Nazi slave labor camp. Hajda had denied the allegations and said he never killed anyone.

Leading Holocaust experts express frustration at the failure to remove such men from the United States.

"That they have been able to live out their lives enjoying the freedoms of this country, after depriving others of freedom and life itself, is an affront to the memory of those who perished," said Paul Shapiro, director of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

The reluctance of countries to accept suspected Nazi collaborators could become a factor in the case of Michael Karkoc, a Minnesota man identified in an AP investigation last month as a commander in a Nazi SS-led unit accused of massacres.

Both German and Polish prosecutors are investigating whether there is enough evidence to bring charges against Karkoc, 94, and seek extradition. If neither country decides to charge Karkoc, U.S. officials may try to hold him accountable through separate civil proceedings that would strip him of his citizenship and seek to have him deported. In that event, the U.S. would need to find a country that would take him in — and the earlier cases suggest that may prove difficult.

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