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Austria to Arrest, Expel Ex-Guard at Death Camp

June 01, 1987|From Reuters

VIENNA — Austrian Interior Minister Karl Blecha today issued a warrant for the arrest and expulsion from the country of a self-confessed former Nazi death camp guard, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

He said Romanian-born Martin Bartesch, 60, who was stripped of his U.S. citizenship on Friday, entered Austria last Thursday, but he would not say where he was staying.

The Austrian APA news agency, quoting police sources, said it is believed that Bartesch had relatives in the province of Upper Austria.

Bartesch, who has admitted being a guard at Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria, was stripped of his citizenship in Chicago. He had admitted lying or concealing his wartime activities when he entered the United States in 1955 from Austria and when he became an American citizen in 1966.

The ministry spokesman said Bartesch will be held pending proceedings to expel him from the country, which he entered on his still valid U.S. passport. He left the United States on Wednesday.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department said it has evidence that Bartesch shot to death a French Jewish prisoner at Mauthausen in 1943. Tens of thousands of prisoners died in the camp at the hands of the Nazi Waffen-SS battalion to which Bartesch belonged.

The Justice Department said Washington will make available any records on the case if Austria requests them.

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