Suspected Nazi, of Northeast Philly, dies before extradition

Entrance to the Auschwitz Nazi prison camp. Credit: Wiki Commons.
Entrance to the Auschwitz Nazi prison camp. Credit: Wiki Commons.

A suspected Nazi who stood guard at Auschwitz prison camp, but lived in the Northeast a majority of his adult life, died the night before a judge ruled he should be extradited back to Germany, reports said.

The lawyer of Johann Breyer, 89, told the Associated Press Wednesday that his client — who was admitted to the hospital on Saturday — died in a Philadelphia hospital Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Timothy Rice agreed to extradite Breyer back to Germany to face trial for his alleged war crimes during World War II.

Rice told the news service that “Breyer, the individual before this court, is the same person sought for aiding and abetting murder in Germany,” and “No statute of limitations offers a safe haven for murder.”

According to court documents, Breyer was accused of aiding in the death of more than 216,000 Jewish people while serving at Auschwitz.

While Breyer said he did indeed serve at the camp, he denied hurting anyone and instead claimed he was mainly used for manual labor.

Breyer moved to Philadelphia after the war. He was granted US citizenship because his mother was born here.

Breyer’s Background

US government tried to revoke his citizenship in 1992 when it learned of his past.

In 2003, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that because Breyer was only 17 at the time — too young to be held accountable.

He was arrested in June after the German government issued a warrant for his arrest.

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly


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