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The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations was charged with “Nazi-hunting” in 1979 after it became known that many Nazis had left Europe to escape trial in the United States after World War II.
As time went on, however, the division found living witnesses and evidence to be even more scarce. Despite this, the DOJ and OSI have still made it possible to “hunt” down those who contributed to the killing of 11 million people, including 6 million Jews.
The DOJ is still able to fulfill its commitment in 2020 and on Thursday it announced a court’s decision to uphold an order to deport a Tennessee man who once served as a Nazi guard after his attempt to appeal the Court’s decision was denied.
Friedrich Karl Berger, who was ordered to be removed from the country on February 28, served as an S.S. Guard in 1945 in Germany’s Neuengamme Concentration Camp system, where Jews, Poles, Russians, Danes, Dutch, Latvians, French, Italians, and political opponents were imprisoned and killed.
“Berger’s willing service as an armed guard at a Nazi concentration camp cannot be erased and will not be ignored,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Rabbitt added, “On the eve of tomorrow’s75th anniversary of the commencement of the Nuremberg trials of the surviving leaders of the defeated Nazi regime, this case shows that the passage of time will not deter the department from fulfilling the moral imperative of seeking justice for the victims of their heinous crimes.”
In the trial earlier this year, the Memphis court found that Meppen prisoners were put in “atrocious” conditions and were worked “to the point of exhaustion and death.”
“War criminals and violators of human rights will not be allowed to evade justice and find safe haven here,”-Deputy Assistant Director Louis A. Rodi III of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) National Security Investigations Division
Judge Rebecca L. Holt ruled in the earlier trial that deportation was justified under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act for Berger’s “willing service as an armed guard of prisoners at a concentration camp where persecution took place.” Moreover, Berger admitted before the court “that he never requested a transfer from concentration camp guard service” and that he still receives a pension from the German government for “his wartime service.”
Berger was part of the Nazi’s effort in March 1945 to ‘forcibly evacuate’ Neuengamme’s main concentration camp as allied forces were advancing towards it. That mass evacuation caused nearly 70 prisoners to die in a two-week period, as noted in the decision.
The British charged the head of Meppen SS Obersturmführer Hans Griem in 1946 for “ill-treatment and murder of Allied nationals,” but Griem escaped before his trial, leaving only some of his coconspirators to be tried and convicted of war crimes in 1947, according to the DOJ.
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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’
Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social, “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”
Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”
It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.
Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.
And the escalation of war is visible.
Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.
Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.
Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”
Morning. Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.
— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) January 26, 2023
The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”
F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.
Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.
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