WASHINGTON – The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security have commenced proceedings before an immigration judge in Atlanta seeking the removal of a Lawrenceville, Ga., resident who served the Nazi SS during World War II as a handler of attack dogs and a guard of prisoners at the notorious Dachau and Buchenwald Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany.
Paul Henss, 85, a German citizen, entered the United States in 1955 after concealing his concentration camp service. A charging document filed by the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alleges that Henss joined the Nazi Party prior to his volunteer service as a concentration camp guard. In early 1941, Henss volunteered to serve in the Waffen SS and became an SS dog handler in 1942 after serving in the elite Waffen SS combat unit “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.”
In the charging document, the government alleges that Henss instructed other concentration camp guards at Dachau and Buchwenwald in the use of trained attack dogs to guard prisoners and prevent their escape. Henss himself also personally guarded prisoners and forced labor details with a trained attack dog in order to prevent prisoners from escaping. SS regulations governing the training and use of attack dogs specified that the dogs were to be directed to bite prisoners “without mercy” if they tried to escape.
“Hundreds of thousands of persons were confined under horrific conditions at Dachau and Buchenwald on the basis of their race, religion, national origin or political opinion,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division. “By commencing these proceedings against a man who participated in the victimization of those who were interned there, the Justice Department continues to make good on its pledge to ensure that the United States does not become a sanctuary for human rights violators.”
“The SS committed mass murder at Dachau and Buchenwald and subjected thousands of inmates to slave labor, starvation, grotesque medical experimentation, and torture,” said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum, whose office investigated the case. “The brutal concentration camp system could not have functioned without the determined efforts of SS men such as Paul Henss, who, with a vicious attack dog, stood between these victims and the possibility of freedom.”
Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 106 participants in Nazi crimes of persecution, stripping them of U.S. citizenship and/or removing them from this country. In addition, more than 180 individuals implicated in wartime Axis crimes have been blocked at ports of entry from entering the United States as a result of OSI’s “Watch List” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.
The removal case against Henss is being litigated by OSI trial attorneys Todd Schneider and Edgar Chen. The Atlanta office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has provided assistance. Members of the public are reminded that the charging document contains only allegations and that the government will be required to prove its case before an immigration judge.