Deported Ex-Nazi Goes Free in Austria

Concentration camp guard can't be prosecuted there
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2009 12:00 PM CDT
Deported Ex-Nazi Goes Free in Austria
In this Sept. 30, 2003, file photo, Josias Kumpf is seen at his home in Racine, Wis.   (AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg)

Austria says there’s no way it can prosecute Josias Kumpf, the 83-year-old ex-Nazi guard the US shipped its way yesterday, Reuters reports. “We have always pointed out to the United States that he cannot be charged here,” said an Austrian justice ministry spokeswoman. Kumpf has admitted to taking part in the murder of 8,000 Jews in the Trawniki labor camp—part of a larger killing spree that killed 42,000 at three camps—but he was under 20 at the time.

The US sent Kumpf to Austria because it was the country he entered the US from in 1956. But Kumpf has never been an Austrian citizen, and the crimes he’s accused of weren’t committed in Austria. He is technically an illegal alien in Austria, since it hasn’t offered him any legal permit to live there. With his US citizenship revoked, Kumpf is stateless. (More Austria stories.)

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