WASHINGTON – A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has entered an order revoking the U.S. citizenship of Martin Hartmann for his role as an armed SS guard at the notorious Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Nazi Germany during World War II, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
Hartmann, 88, formerly of Mesa, Ariz., left the United States for Germany prior to entry of the order and is permanently barred from returning.
Hartmann was born in Romania, immigrated to the United States in 1955 and became a U.S. citizen in 1961. In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 17, 2007, the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia alleged that Hartmann joined the SS Death’s Head Guard Battalion at Sachsenhausen in July 1943 and served with the Nazis until the end of the war. The complaint further alleged that his wartime Nazi service rendered him ineligible for a U.S. immigration visa and that he concealed that service when he applied for a visa and later for U.S. citizenship.
“This result reflects the Justice Department’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that those who helped the Nazi regime carry out its genocidal plans find no sanctuary in America,” said Assistant Attorney General Fisher.
In a settlement agreement reached last month and filed on September 17, 2007, Hartmann admitted that he served in the SS Death’s Head Guard Battalion at the Sachsenhausen camp during World War II, and he acknowledged that by serving as an armed SS guard of civilian prisoners he personally assisted in Nazi-directed persecution. Hartmann also consented to the entry of a court order revoking his U.S. citizenship entered today by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. Accordingly, he agreed to depart the U.S. permanently by Aug. 31, 2007, and he acknowledged that he would be ineligible to reenter the United States following denaturalization.
Prisoners at Sachsenhausen were confined under inhumane conditions and were subjected to grueling slave labor, physical and emotional abuse, horrific medical experimentation, torture and execution. During the period of Hartmann’s service there, thousands of Sachsenhausen prisoners died of starvation, disease, exhaustion or outright murder. The complaint alleges that by performing armed SS guard service at the Sachsenhausen camp and its subcamps, and by preventing prisoners from escaping those places of torment and death, Hartmann personally assisted the Nazi government of Germany in persecuting persons because of their race, religion, national origin or political opinion.
“Martin Hartmann and other members of the SS Death’s Head Guard Battalion were indispensable accomplices in the brutal crimes committed in the Nazi concentration camp system,” said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum.
The Hartmann investigation was led by OSI trial attorneys Stephen Paskey and Edgar Chen and is a result of OSI’s ongoing efforts to identify, investigate, and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution who reside in the United States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 106 individuals who assisted in Nazi-sponsored persecution. In addition, 180 suspected Axis persecutors who sought to enter the United States in recent years have been stopped at U.S. ports of entry and barred from entering the country as a result of OSI’s “Watchlist” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.