FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1996                         (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


          The Department of Justice initiated deportation
proceedings against Ferdinand Hammer, a Sterling Heights,
Michigan, resident, who concealed from U.S. authorities that he
was an S.S. concentration camp guard during World War II, and a
guard on inmate transports between Nazi camps.
     On May 22, 1996, United States District Court Judge Horace
W. Gilmore stripped Hammer, 74, a retired foundry supervisor, of
his citizenship within two hours of the conclusion of four-day
denaturalization trial.  In a subsequently-issued written
judgment, the Court found that " . . . defendant was a guards at
the Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps . . ." and
that he served as a SS guard on prisoner transports between
camps.  The Court specifically found that Hammer's trial
testimony denying that he served as a guard was not credible. 
Captured Nazi documents offered in evidence by the Department's
Office of Special Investigation (OSI) confirmed Hammer's service
at the concentration camps and on transports between camps. 
"horrible mistreatment was meted out to inmates of these camps,"
Judge Gilmore noted.  The Court concluded that Hammer made
material misrepresentations about his wartime persecutive
activities in association with Nazi Germany in applying for U.S.
naturalization in 1963.  The Court cited an affidavit that Hammer
executed in support of his application for U.S. citizenship, in
which he swore that he had served only in combat units, fighting
the Soviets, and that he had never worked in a concentration
camp.  Judge Gilmore accordingly revoked Hammer's citizenship. 
Hammer did not appeal the decision.
     During Hammer's service as an armed guard at the infamous
Auschwitz death camp complex in Nazi-occupied Poland and
Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany, thousands of people
were interned at those camps because of their race, religion,
nationality or political beliefs and were subjected by guards to
such forms of persecution as beating, whipping, torture,
starvation and mass murder.  During transports, guards subjected
the emaciated prisoners to exposure to freezing temperatures and
inadequate rations and shot prisoners who were unable to continue
walking, as well as anyone who tried to escape.
     The Order to Show Cause filed today in U.S. Immigration
Court in Detroit by OSI and the Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) office in Detroit alleges that Hammer should be
deported for his participation in persecution in association with
the Nazi government as an armed concentration camp guard and as a
guard on prisoner transports.
     OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated that "Judge Gilmore has
already ruled that the evidence compellingly proves that Hammer
served as an armed SS guard in at least two of the most notorious
Nazi concentration camps and also as a guard on prison
transports.  We intend to seek Hammer's expeditious removal from
this country."  Rosenbaum said that the commencement of
proceedings to deport Hammer is a product of OSI's ongoing
efforts to identify and take legal action against former
participants in Nazi-sponsored persecution who reside in the
United States.  57 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S.
citizenship and 48 have been removed from the United States since
the unit began operation in 1979.  More than 300 persons are
currently under investigation by OSI.