FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      CRM
THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 1997                        202-633-2010
                                             TDD  202-514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Department of Justice announced today
that it had initiated deportation proceedings in U.S. Immigration
Court against a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, man who served the
Nazis in World War II as an armed SS concentration camp guard at
the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and the Auschwitz
death camp in Poland.

     The Department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and
the Philadelphia District Office of the U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service yesterday served Johann Breyer, 71, with
an order to show cause why he should not be deported from the
United States for assisting in the persecution of civilians on
the basis of race, religion, national origin, and political
opinion during World War II.

     In July 1993, after Breyer admitted that he served as an
armed SS perimeter guard at both Nazi camps with orders to shoot
escaping prisoners and that he escorted slave laborers to work
sites, U. S. Distrct Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. in Philadelphia,
stripped Breyer, a native of Slovakia, of his U.S. citizenship. 
Yohn concluded that because Breyer had assisted in persecution
and was a member of a movement hostile to the United States,
Breyer's naturalized citizenship was illegally procured. Yohn's
decision to strip Breyer of his naturalized citizenship was
unanimously affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit in 1994.

     In his decision denaturalizing Breyer, Yohn wrote that
"[d]efendant admits, and history confirms, that activities which
occurred at these camps [Buchenwald and Auschwitz] were brutal
and included such acts upon the inmates of the camps as murder,
torture, confinement, forced labor and experimentation.  While at
these camps, defendant wore a uniform, carried a rifle with
ammunition, was paid a stipend, was allowed to leave camp, and
had orders to shoot prisoners attempting to escape.  The court
does not believe any difficult line drawing is necessary.  (A)s a
matter of law . . . defendant assisted in persecution. . . ."

     OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated that "Breyer had no
right to enter this country in the first instance," and that the
government would seek to have him removed from the United States
"as expeditiously as possible."  The Breyer proceeding is a
result of OSI's ongoing investigation of Nazi persecutors
illegally residing in the U.S.  Since OSI was created in 1979, 57
Nazi persecutors have been stripped of their illegally-obtained
citizenship, and 48 persons have been permanently removed from
the United States.
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