Nazi Guard Loses Citizenship Appeal

Tuesday, February 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — A retired aircraft worker whose U.S. citizenship was revoked because he served as a Nazi concentration camp guard during World War II lost a Supreme Court appeal Tuesday.

The court, without comment, turned down Michael Negele's argument that a federal court improperly revoked his citizenship.

A federal judge in St. Louis ruled in 1999 that Negele, 80, of St. Peters, Mo., received U.S. citizenship illegally in 1955.

The judge said Negele was ineligible for U.S. citizenship because he served in the Nazi SS Death's Head Battalion as a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin and at the Theresienstadt Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia.

Negele received special training with guard dogs at Sachsenhausen, the court found, adding that the Waffen SS trained dogs to attack prisoners when they tried to escape.

The court found that when Negele entered the United States in 1950, he concealed his guard service by falsely stating on his visa application that he had served in the German army.

U.S. immigration law would have barred him from entering this country if he had disclosed his service in the Waffen SS as a camp and ghetto guard.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the judge's ruling last August.

In the appeal acted on Tuesday, Negele's lawyers said the federal court lacked authority to rule that he was unlawfully admitted to the country. They also said the immigration law that would have barred Negele from entering the country was no longer in effect in 1955, when he was granted citizenship.

The case is Negele v. U.S., 00-1165.