Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
AP Exclusive: Philadelphia man Nazi probe target


< Previous Page


Weiden prosecutors, who were chosen because the office is nearest where Breyer last lived in Germany, say it could take several months before deciding whether to file charges.

A former prosecutor in Schrimm’s office, Thomas Walther, said he had known of the file on Breyer from his time there. He is now already representing, pro bono, a woman who lost her two siblings in Auschwitz at the time that Breyer is alleged to have been there. The woman will join any prosecution as a co-plaintiff as allowed under German law. Walther said he has established the email address auschwitz.coplaintiff(at)gmail.com for other victims’ families.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"Time is swiftly running out to bring Nazi criminals to justice," Walther said. "I hope that prosecutors in Weiden will act soon on this case."

The Breyer case was handled in the U.S. by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations. Eli Rosenbaum, who previously headed the office, would not comment on any details of evidence that had been collected against him, nor say whether American agencies were involved in helping with the German probe. Rosenbaum is now with the Justice Department’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, into which the OSI was merged.

Breyer was born in 1925 in what was then Czechoslovakia to an ethnic German father and an American mother, Katharina, who was born in Philadelphia. Slovakia became a separate state in 1939 under the influence of Nazi Germany. In 1942, the Waffen SS embarked on a drive to recruit ethnic Germans there and Breyer joined at age 17. The fact he was a minor at the time was critical in the 2003 decision to allow him to stay in the United States.

Called up to duty in 1943, Breyer said he was shipped off the same day to Buchenwald — in Germany — where he was assigned to the Totenkopf.

By treaty, the U.S. can extradite its citizens to Germany. But Breyer said he would fight any attempts to take him away from the U.S. and his wife and family.

"I’m an American citizen, just as if I had been born here," he said in his Philadelphia home. "They can’t deport me."

Herschaft reported from New York, Moore from Philadelphia


story continues below
story continues below

David Rising can be reached at http//www.twitter.com/davidrising; Matt Moore at http//www.twitter.com/MattMooreAP; and Randy Herschaft at http://www.twitter.com/HerschaftAP



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.