FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP GUARD LIVING
IN NEW YORK CITY SUBURB IS DEPORTED TO AUSTRIA
WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Department of Justice announced today that Michael Gruber, who served Nazi Germany during World War II as an armed SS guard at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienburg, Germany, has been deported to Austria.
Gruber, 86, a retired auto mechanic who resided in New City, Rockland County, New York, was born in Croatia and is a citizen of Austria.
On May 7, 2002, the Board of Immigration Appeals ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to consider Gruber's appeal, and it let stand Judge Weisel's decision and removal order. Gruber opted to carry out the court's order by returning to Austria at his own expense rather than be transported by the Government.
Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, said, "The successful implementation of Judge Weisel's order is an important victory in the quest for justice on behalf of the Third Reich's millions of victims."Office of Special Investigations (OSI) Director Eli M. Rosenbaum, added, "Michael Gruber's removal reflects the Government's enduring commitment to ensuring that the United States is a haven for the oppressed, not a sanctuary for oppressors."The Gruber case was prosecuted by OSI with the assistance of the New York office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It is part of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against U.S. citizens and residents who participated in Axis-sponsored acts of persecution. Gruber is the 56th Nazi persecutor to have been removed from the United States since OSI began operations in 1979. To date, 68 such persons have been stripped of U.S. citizenship. More than 170 persons are currently under investigation by OSI and seventeen persons are the subject of ongoing prosecutions around the country.