Pennsylvania man faces deportation for SS activities

PHILADELPHIA — A U.S. appeals court has upheld an lower court order allowing for the deportation to Romania of Nikolaus Schiffer, an eastern Pennsylvania man who served as an SS concentration-camp guard.

During World War II, Schiffer, an 80-year-old retired baker, served at the Sachsenhausen and Hersbruck camps in Germany and the Majdanek concentration camp and the Trawniki SS training camp in Poland during World War II.

He failed to disclose information regarding his wartime activities when he sought naturalized American citizenship in 1958.

The Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations brought the case.

According to the Justice Department, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals last month sustained an earlier finding that Schiffer participated in acts of persecution on the basis of race, religion, national origin and political opinion while serving as a member of the Nazi SS.

In the 1997 finding for deportation, U.S. Immigration Judge John J. Gossert Jr. wrote, "Schiffer personally testified to his participation in a death march from Hersbruck to Auschwitz on which weakened prisoners were shot or left to die when they could not continue."

Schiffer's lawyer could not be reached for comment.

In a 1993 federal proceeding that led to Schiffer's being stripped of his naturalized citizenship, a judge found that Schiffer was "an active participant in the persecution occurring at these camps" through his role in preventing the inmates from escaping.

Schiffer was actually born in the Philadelphia area, but lost his American citizenship when he served in the Romanian army.