Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2002
(202) 514-2008
TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice announced today that Nikolaus Schiffer, a former Nazi concentration camp guard, has arrived in Romania, following his deportation from the United States.

Schiffer, 83, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Romanian parents. The defendant moved as a child with his parents to Romania and forfeited his U.S. citizenship when he joined the Waffen SS in 1943. He reentered the United States in 1953 as an immigrant living in Ivyland, Pennsylvania, and became a U.S. citizen in 1958.

In 1995, a federal court in Philadelphia revoked Schiffer's citizenship after finding that he participated in the persecution of Jews and other civilians from 1943 through 1945 while serving as an armed SS guard. He served at the Sachsenhausen and Hersbruck concentration camps in Germany, the Majdanek concentration camp and Trawniki SS training camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and on two so-called Nazi "death marches" to the Auschwitz and Dachau concentration camps.

A U.S. immigration court ordered Schiffer deported in 1997. His removal was delayed while Schiffer appealed.

Atrocities were committed against thousands of civilians at the Sachsenhausen, Majdanek, Trawniki, and Hersbruck concentration camps during the period of Schiffer's SS service. Jews and other civilian prisoners were subjected to grotesque and inhumane treatment, including forcible confinement, slave labor, physical and emotional abuse, torture and mass murder.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff of the Criminal Division stated, "Armed, uniformed guards like Schiffer played a pivotal role in the execution of the Nazi regimes's plan to exploit, abuse, and murder thousands of innocent men, women and children. The United States will continue to deny sanctuary to those who assisted in such crimes."

OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum, added, "It is not too late to secure a measure of justice in this important case. We are grateful to the Romanian authorities for their cooperation in this regard."

67 Nazi persecutors have now been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 55 have been removed from the United States as a result of cases brought by the Office of Special Investigations since the unit's creation in 1979.