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Nazi War Crimes Trials:
Josias Kumpf

(March 2009)


Nazi Trials: Table of Contents | Auschwitz Trials | Nuremburg Trials


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Josias Kumpf, 83, is a former Nazi SS guard born in Serbia who immigrated from Austria to the United States and was living in Racine, Wisconsin. He was deported from the United States to Austria in March 2009.

Kumpf served at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany and the Trawniki labor camp in Poland. While at Trawniki in 1943, Kumpf participated in the mass shooting of 8,000 Jewish men, women, and children as his job was to watch for victims that had not died immediately and prevent them from escaping. By his own admission, Kumpf was given orders to stand guard and shoot surviving prisoners of the massacre.

In June 2005, Kumpf was discovered to have lied on his immigration forms from 1956 that inquired about his participation in Nazi activities. Kumpf was stripped of his citizenship and his appeals were finally exhausted in June 2008. He remained in the United States until March 2009 when Austria accepted him and made arrangements for his return.

However, a day after arriving in Austria, Kumpf was freed. According to the Austrian justice ministry, he could not be put on trial because the statute of limitations had expired. Before his extradition, the ministry also informed the United States that Kumpf would be freed since he was under the age of 20 at the time of his crimes, he was never an Austrian citizen, and his crimes were not committed in Austria. He is currently considered an illegal alien in Austria, which is trying to send him to Poland, another country where he would not be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations.


Sources: Jerusalem Post; JTA (March 22, 2009)

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