- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 9, 2002

A federal immigration court yesterday ordered a St. Peters, Mo., man deported to Romania for participating in the Nazi persecution of Jews and other civilians during World War II, the Justice Department said.

U.S. Immigration Judge Bruce W. Solow in St. Louis, citing captured Nazi documents, said Michael Negele, 81, served from November 1943 through June 1944 in the SS Death's Head Battalion as an armed guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.

Judge Solow said thousands of Jews and other civilians from throughout Europe "suffered inhumane forms of physical abuse and death" at Sachsenhausen.

The judge also said Mr. Negele served through the end of the war as a guard of prisoners at the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto, near Prague, as part of the Nazi regime's "final solution to the Jewish question." The ghetto held Jews, including prominent Germans, children and elderly civilians.

Justice Department officials said Theresienstadt also functioned as a way station to the Nazi extermination facilities at Auschwitz and Treblinka.

Mr. Negele admitted in court that he had guarded the Jewish ghetto, where 10,000 people died, with a German shepherd trained to attack prisoners who attempted escape. He used the same dog while at Sachsenhausen.

"Countless innocent men, women and children were brutalized and killed in Sachsenhausen and Theresienstadt as part of the Nazi regime's genocidal plan," said Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, who heads the department's criminal division.

"Guards such as Negele made these crimes possible and are not entitled to the privilege of continued U.S. residence," he said, noting that the case had been handled by the department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

Mr. Negele, a native of Romania, entered the United States in 1950 on a visa he obtained in Germany. He became a U.S. citizen in 1955. In July 1999, the U.S. District Court in St. Louis revoked his U.S. citizenship because of his Nazi guard service. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the denaturalization order in August 2000, and in February 2001, the Supreme Court denied Mr. Negele's petition for review.

To date, 68 Nazi persecutors have lost U.S. citizenship, and 56 have been deported since OSI began operations in 1979. More than 170 are under OSI inquiry.

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