WASHINGTON – An immigration judge in Chicago has ordered the removal of a Wisconsin man who, by his own admission, stood guard during a Nazi mass killing operation in occupied Poland in 1943, with orders to “shoot to kill” any still-living Jewish victim who attempted escape, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher for the Criminal Division announced today.
Immigration judge Jennie L. Giambastiani ordered the removal of Josias Kumpf, 81, of Racine, Wisconsin, from the United States because of his admitted wartime service as an armed SS Death’s Head guard at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany; at an SS labor camp in Trawniki, Poland, where 8,000 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered in a single day as part of a two-day mass murder operation involving 42,000 victims at three camps; and at construction sites in Nazi-occupied France at which prisoners built launching platforms for Germany's V-1 and V-2 missile attacks on England. Judge Giambastiani concluded that Kumpf's service as an armed Nazi SS guard “unquestionably establishes by clear and convincing evidence that he was actively and personally involved in the persecution of others.”
“This case reflects the Justice Department’s commitment to the principle that those who helped the Nazi regime carry out its infamous genocidal designs are unfit to live in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Fisher.
Kumpf was born in what is now Serbia, immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1956 under a program intended to benefit post-war refugees in Europe, and became a U.S. citizen in 1964.
The immigration judge's decision follows the government’s successful prosecution of a denaturalization case against Kumpf in federal court, an effort that began in September 2003. The denaturalization and removal cases were prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI).
In May 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling that Kumpf had not been eligible for immigration to the United States because of his wartime service to Nazi Germany, and that, as a result, his naturalized U.S. citizenship had been illegally procured. The appellate court quoted sworn testimony by Kumpf in which he described his duties as a guard during the Nov. 3, 1943, massacre at the SS labor camp at Trawniki. As Kumpf explained, he “was watching them shoot some people.” Some of the victims were “still halfway alive,” he acknowledged, and if any of them attempted escape, his assignment was “shoot them to kill, shoot them to kill.”
“Josias Kumpf and other members of the SS Death's Head guard battalions were indispensable accomplices in Nazi mass murder,” said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum. “Had Kumpf told the truth after the war, he never would have been permitted to enter this country.”
The immigration judge's order directs that Kumpf be deported to Germany, Austria, or Serbia. Kumpf selected Germany as his preferred country for removal.
The case was litigated by OSI trial attorneys Stephen Paskey and Adam Fels, and it is a result of OSI’s ongoing efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against participants in Nazi persecution who reside in the United States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 104 individuals who participated in Nazi crimes of persecution. In addition, over 170 individuals implicated in wartime Axis crimes have been blocked from entering the United States in recent years as a result of OSI’s “Watch List” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.