FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
WISCONSIN MAN WHO AIDED 1943 NAZI MASS MURDER OF JEWS IS
100TH SUCCESSFUL PROSECUTION BY JUSTICE DEPARTMENT’S OSI
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting Assistant Attorney General John C. Richter of the Criminal Division announced today that a federal district court judge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has revoked the U.S. citizenship of Josias Kumpf, a former Nazi concentration camp guard who admitted that in the course of a mass killing operation in occupied Poland in 1943, he stood guard at a pit containing dead and wounded Jewish civilians, with orders to “shoot to kill” anyone who attempted escape.
Kumpf, 80, of Racine, is the 100th Nazi criminal successfully prosecuted by the Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) since OSI was created in 1979.
Kumpf was born in the former Yugoslavia, immigrated to the United States in 1956, and became a U.S. citizen in 1964. In September 2003, the government filed suit to revoke his U.S. citizenship. In a decision released yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Adelman ruled that Kumpf was ineligible for U.S. citizenship because he had “personally assisted” in Nazi persecution.
In reaching that conclusion, Judge Adelman relied on Kumpf’s own testimony regarding his wartime service. Kumpf admitted that from October 1942 to approximately October 1943, he served as an armed guard in the SS Death’s Head guard unit at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin. As the court’s 16-page decision noted, Sachsenhausen was a place “where the Nazis confined, brutalized and murdered thousands of prisoners because of race, religion, national origin or political opinion.” Kumpf also admitted that in October 1943, he was transferred to the SS labor camp at Trawniki, Poland, where he stood guard over a pit containing prisoners who were “halfway alive” and “still convuls[ing],” with instructions to “shoot to kill” any prisoners who attempted escape. Kumpf continued to serve at Trawniki while the bodies of murdered prisoners were burned on an open pyre, after which he took a short leave and visited his family before returning to Nazi service, the court found.
“By his own admission, Josias Kumpf stood guard with a loaded weapon to ensure the complete and ‘successful’ perpetration of one of the bloodiest single-day slaughters of the Holocaust, the murder of 8,000 men, women and children at Trawniki, Poland,” said Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of OSI. “He prevented the escape of those who had not been instantly killed, and the court’s decision to revoke his U.S. citizenship has secured a measure of justice for the victims of that massacre and their families.”
The case was litigated by OSI attorneys Stephen Paskey and Adam Fels with assistance from Matthew Richmond, Civil Chief of the United States Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee.
The denaturalization of 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 100 individuals who assisted in Nazi 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 “Watch List” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.