updated 1/4/2007 11:55:48 PM ET 2007-01-05T04:55:48

An immigration judge has ordered the deportation of an 81-year-old man who admittedly served as an elite SS Death's Head guard during World War II Nazi operations, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

Under the order issued Wednesday by Immigration Judge Jennie Giambastiani in Chicago, Josias Kumpf of Racine, Wisconsin, could be removed to either Serbia, Austria or Germany. The Justice Department said in a news release Thursday that Kumpf chose Germany.

Peter Rogers, a Pittsburgh lawyer representing Kumpf, said he would appeal the ruling within 30 days as required.

In July, the departments of Justice and Homeland Security asked Giambastiani to deport Kumpf, who was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 2005 after a federal judge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, concluded he had "personally assisted" in the persecution of prisoners.

Researchers said the Serbian-born Kumpf served as a guard at the Trawniki Training Camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin, as well as at construction sites in German-occupied France where laborers were forced to build launching platforms for Germany's V-1 and V-2 missile attacks on Great Britain.

‘Unfit to live in the United States’
"This case reflects the Justice Department's commitment to the principle that those who helped the Nazi regime carry out its infamous genocidal designs are unfit to live in the United States," said Assistant U.S. Attorney General Alice S. Fisher in a statement issued in Washington.

In a 2003 interview, Kumpf said he was taken from his home in Yugoslavia as a 17-year-old and forced to serve as a guard, but he did not participate in any atrocities.

Rogers, Kumpf's attorney, said Thursday that he does not believe "'assistance and persecution' would include a gentleman who was involuntarily (taken) into the army, assigned to the SS and then stationed at places where admittedly terrible things happened. My client never took part in them."

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, who stripped Kumpf of his citizenship, said Kumpf arrived at Trawniki no more than a day after 8,000 Jewish prisoners were killed at an adjoining labor camp in 1943.

Kumpf "stood guard near the pits where the massacre occurred with instructions to shoot prisoners who attempted to escape, including those who in his words were 'still halfway alive,'" Adelman wrote.

Adelman also found that when Kumpf applied for an immigrant visa to the United States in 1956, he did not disclose he had been an SS guard because he feared it would disqualify him.

Kumpf received an immigrant visa and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1964. During his court deposition, he said he told his wife not to mention his service as an SS guard because he feared it would have prevented him from becoming a citizen.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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