Johann Breyer, 89, fights back against the extradition case filed on him by German authorities on the grounds that he worked for the Waffen SS involuntarily.
According to reports, German authorities were not only seeking for his deportation. They were also charging him with assisting and supporting the deaths of 216,000 Jews. The said number was determined after the survival rate of prisoners crammed into the 158 trains which arrived in Auschwitz between May and October 1944 were calculated.
It was found out that Johann Breyer served in Buchenwald as an armed guard. He was, later on, transferred to Auschwitz in 1944 and worked as a perimeter guard. However, according to court documents, Johann Breyer abandoned his unit so he could take care of his sickly parents.
Johann Breyer was born in Czechoslovakia. At 17, he joined the Waffen SS. However, he has since argued that he was not, in any way, involved in the deaths that occurred in the notorious concentration camps where he was assigned.
The US Justice Department first accused Johann Breyer of having Nazi connections way back in 1992 and had wanted to deport him at that time. He was eventually allowed to stay in the country after a legal fight, which articulated on his assertion that he was born a US citizen.
However, officials stated that their accusations against Johnn Breyer now are much stronger and are supported by newly discovered evidence. These include records from the WWII-era which showed that he was in Auschwitz during the Second World War. Additionally, there are also documents in where he admitted that he worked as a camp guard in one of the notorious sub-camps of the Nazis — Birkenau or Auschwitz 2 particularly known as a prisoner killing facility.
But the lawyers of Johann Breyer are not giving up without a fight. They filed several legal papers in court ahead of the scheduled hearing in the extradition case of the ex-Nazi guard. These documents state that their client, Johann Breyer, is not a war criminal. They further went on that Johann Breyer was born in the wrong time and in the wrong place. His lawyers said that Johann Breyer was just forced into the service and that he did not want to be in it. They also added that he already suffered in a Soviet prison camp as a POW.
In the meantime, Johann Breyer, a retired tool-and-die maker, is incarcerated in a federal detention facility in Philadelphia after he was arrested in June of this year.