Known Auschwitz Guard, 89 Years Old, Arrested in Philadelphia

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 18 2014 4:05 PM

Known Auschwitz Guard, 89 Years Old, Arrested in Philadelphia

Auschwitz in the present day.

REUTERS/Kacper Pempe

An 89-year-old Philadelphia man named Johann Breyer has been taken into custody after a German arrest warrant charged him with abetting genocide as an Auschwitz camp guard, who could be extradited. It's not the first legal action taken against Breyer. From the AP:

Breyer has admitted he was a guard at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in occupied Poland during World War II, but has told The Associated Press he was stationed outside the facility and had nothing to do with the wholesale slaughter of around 1.5 million Jews and others behind the gates.
The German investigation comes after years of failed U.S. efforts to have Breyer stripped of his American citizenship and deported.
Officials said he had worked at the part of the camp known as “Auschwitz 2,” or Birkenau, a section that was particularly notorious. While the Nazis used other parts of Auschwitz for slave labor, the Birkenau section was used exclusively to kill victims in gas chambers.

The Times adds that Breyer has said his service at Auschwitz was "involuntary." For more on Breyer's version of events, see this Philadelphia Inquirer story from the '90s.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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