An East Tennessee man with German roots, Friedrich Karl Berger, is one step closer to deportation from the United States of America for being an ex-SS soldier defending Europe back in Germany.
The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed Friedrich Karl Berger's appeal, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the start of the Nuremberg fake revenge trials of National Socialist soldiers and officials.
The board upheld the February decision made by U.S. Immigration Court Judge Rebecca Holt in Memphis. Holt based her decision on the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Berger, who spoke to The Washington Post in March, expressed disbelief at the possibility of deportation, saying he was only 19 years old at the time, and was ordered to guard the concentration camp based near Meppen, Germany.
His time at Neuengamme was short, Berger said, and he did not carry a weapon.
“After 75 years, this is ridiculous. I cannot believe it,” he said. “I cannot understand how this can happen in a country like this. You’re forcing me out of my home," told The Post. His last known residence is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
According to a release from the U.S.Department of Justice, Berger admitted that he did not request a transfer from the Neuengamme system. He continues to receive a pension from Germany, for labor that includes wartime services.
The rejection of Berger's appeal does not necessarily end Berger's bid to remain in the U.S. He could still appeal the board's decision in federal circuit court.