WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have asked a federal immigration judge in Chicago to deport a Wisconsin man who admitted performing SS guard service during a Nazi mass killing operation in occupied Poland in 1943, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
In a charging document filed with the immigration court, the government asserts that Josias Kumpf, 81, of Racine, Wis., served as an armed SS Death’s Head guard at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Germany; at the Trawniki SS Labor Camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, where 8,000 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered in a single day as part of a mass murder operation involving 42,000 victims at three camps; and at construction sites in France at which prisoners built launching platforms for Germany’s V-1 and V-2 missiles.
“Kumpf’s confessed role in a little-known but horrific chapter of the Holocaust – the November 1943 massacre at Trawniki, Poland – makes him ineligible for the privilege of living in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Fisher. “We will remove him as swiftly as the legal process allows.”
Kumpf was born in the former Yugoslavia, immigrated to this country in 1956 under a program intended to benefit post-war refugees in Europe, and became a U.S. citizen in 1964. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a district court decision revoking Kumpf’s U.S. citizenship on the basis of his wartime Nazi service. Documents filed by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) with the immigration court state that Kumpf should be deported on the basis of the facts proved during the denaturalization case. OSI investigated Kumpf and litigated that case. In revoking Kumpf’s citizenship, the Court of Appeals quoted chilling admissions made by Kumpf to OSI in which he described his duties as a guard during the November 3, 1943, massacre at the SS labor camp at Trawniki. Kumpf explained that he “was watching them shoot some people,” that some of the victims were “still halfway alive” and “convuls[ing],” and that if a prisoner attempted escape, his instructions were to “shoot them to kill, shoot to kill.”
“The November 1943 Nazi massacres at Trawniki and other camps – carried out under the macabre code-name ‘Operation Harvest Festival’ – were among the most barbaric crimes of the Holocaust,” said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum. “No one who participated in those atrocities has the slightest right to remain in this country.”
The government’s case against Kumpf 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 101 individuals who assisted in Nazi crimes of persecution. In addition, over 170 individuals who sought to enter the United States in recent years have been blocked from doing so as a result of OSI’s “Watchlist” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.
The removal case is being litigated by trial attorneys Stephen Paskey and Adam S. Fels of the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations.