Johann Breyer

Johann Breyer ( 30 of maypole of 1925 – 22 of July of 2014 ) was a retired toolmaker and dies that the Office of Special Investigations tried unsuccessfully to denature and deported for his services as a guard of the Waffen-SS as a teenager. It was considered the “most arcane and convoluted litigation in the history of OSI.” 1 In 2013 Germany issued an arrest warrant accusing him of helping to kill 216,000 Jews as a guard at Auschwitz. 2 He was arrested at his home in northeastern Philadelphia the 17 of June of 2014 , at age 89, and held without bail pending an extradition hearing. His health deteriorated rapidly during his detention. He died on July 22 , before his hearing. 3


Johann Breyer was born in 1925 in the German ethnic village Neuwalldorf, Czechoslovakia (now Nová Lesná , Slovakia ), son of Katrina and farmer Johann Breyer. Katrina Breyer was born in 1895 in Manayunk , Pennsylvania (a fact that would be fundamental in the later efforts to deport him of the United States) moving with his family to Neuwalldorf as a teenager. Breyer attended the German school and worked on his father’s farm. In 1942, at age 17, he enlisted in the Waffen-SS , was assigned as guard at Buchenwald and Auschwitz . He acknowledged that he acted as an armed guard and escort the prisoners to their workplaces and denied any personal involvement or witnessing atrocities. 4 When Soviet troops began to approach Auschwitz in January 1945; Breyer was on vacation at the time and was redirected to fight to the battlefront until he was taken prisoner by the Soviet Army in May 1945. 5 emigrated to the United States in 1952 under the Displaced Persons Act (DPA) established in Philadelphia where he raised three children with his wife, working as a manufacturer of tools and dies for an engineering company. 6 He became a naturalized US citizen. UU. In 1957 .

OSI prosecution

The OSI caught up Breyer when a routine cross – check records Auschwitz guards and records the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) showed that had emigrated to the United States . In 1992, OSI filed an action to remove the nationality with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania claiming Breyer was ineligible to enter the United States. UU. Through the DPA , because it had aided in the persecution in times of war and has been part of a movement hostile to the EE. UU. 7

Breyer stated that he should be considered to have entered the country legally because his mother was born in the USA. UU. And that the laws in force at the time of granting the citizenship derived only patrilineally were in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th. Amendment . Therefore, you had to file an application for citizenship with the INS . The cases proceeded along parallel lines (the OSI’s efforts at denaturalization and Breyer’s assertion of derived citizenship) for many years. Referring to Fig.

In the OSI litigation, the district court held that Breyer was ineligible to enter under the APD, but that the law denied Breyer citizenship at birth was unconstitutional . At that time, the INS had yet to rule on Breyer’s claim of derived citizenship for the court to defer to INS, thus refraining from deciding whether Breyer was in fact a US citizen. UU. Of birth. Meanwhile, the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections had been introduced in Congress to provide for the acquisition of US citizenship from either parent for people born abroad to parents, only one of which is A citizen of the United States. The OSI pressured Congress to put a “one exception to the law” to “deny the application of the law to anyone who would not have been eligible to enter the United States under the DPA.” This was, in effect, a proscription bill against Johann Breyer as he was “the only pending case affected by the bill.” 9The United States Constitution prohibits draft proscriptions under Article I, Section 9 .

The INS rejected Breyer’s application on the basis of the new law and therefore the OSI filed a deportation case. Breyer appealed the decision of the INS in the district court on the grounds that the new law was a bill of proscription and also unconstitutional under the equality clause as they were denied inadmissible under the Peace Agreement of Citizenship only if it had been derived maternally. The district court ruled against Breyer. He also lost his deportation case at the immigration court. He made an appeal of both losses to the Third Circuit of United States Court of Appeals . The third circuit maintained that the new statute was “arbitrary and irrational” and that it had the right to the citizenship derived at birth. 10

OSI subsequently filed a claim in the district court claiming that Breyer’s SS service was in itself an expatriation motive (that is, an act that would make him lose his citizenship). Under US law of 1942 he could not be an expatriate if he was a minor when he pledged allegiance oaths and military service with a foreign power, as the district court held. However, the question remained as to whether he had committed any act after his eighteenth birthday by which he could be expatriated. “Breyer stated that he had done his best to be excused from service,” refused to tattoo his SS, deserted in August 1944 and returned “only because he feared being killed if he did not.” 11 The district court held that Breyer’s service after his 18th birthday was involuntary and non-expatriable. The OSI appealed, but the third circuit upheld the decision of the district court noting that “leaving his unit under what he believes to be execution penalty indicates that Breyer’s service was not voluntary.” 12

Request for extradition from Germany

The 17 of June of 2013 , the District Court of Weiden, Germany issued an arrest warrant against Johan Breyer for complicity of murder, while he was guard at Auschwitz. He was arrested at his home in Philadelphia a year later, although he was in poor health at age 89 was held without bail pending an extradition hearing. Given the advanced age and who was a teenager when the Second World War ended in Europe is likely to be the last person pursued by the US government. UU. For his service on the SS. 13

In the case of retired worker John Demjanjuk of Cleveland set a precedent to extradite to Germany the people for whom the OSI could not receive judgments in his favor in the judicial system of the United States . In 2011, Demjanjuk, then Stateless , was extradited to Germany and convicted of accessory to murder for his tour of duty guard at Sobibor . This was the first (and so far only) time that someone has been convicted solely on the basis of serving as a guard of a field, without evidence of having participated in the death of any specific inmate.


He died on 22 of July of 2014 in a hospital in Philadelphia , while awaiting his extradition to Germany , to explain their activity in the field of death that was Nazi Germany in Auschwitz, Poland.


  1. Back to top↑ «Justice Department Censors Nazi-Hunting History» . . Retrieved on July 24, 2014 .
  2. Back to top↑ “Johann Breyer, nazi of 89 years lived in Latin accused of killing 200,000 Jews in Auschwitz, facing extradition to Germany” . Archived from the original on November 22, 2015.
  3. Back to top↑ Julie Shaw (October 22, 2012). “Ex-Nazi guard in Philly is dead” (in English) . . Retrieved on July 24, 2014 .
  4. Back to top↑ «Nazi guard Johann ‘Hans’ Breyer could face charges in thousands of Jewish deaths | National Post . ” . Retrieved on July 24, 2014 .
  5. Back to top↑ «Johann Breyer extradition: Criminal complaint in extradition of Johann Breyer – Documents – Los Angeles Times» . June 18, 2014 . Retrieved on July 24, 2014 .
  6. Back to top↑ .html
  7. Back to top↑ Feigin, pp. 175-176
  8. Back to top^ Feigin, p. 176
  9. Back to top^ Feigin, p. 188 note 12
  10. Back to top↑ Breyer v. Meissner , 214 F.3d 416, 427 (3rd Cir. 2000)
  11. Back to top↑ Feigin, pp. 182-183
  12. Back to top↑ Breyer v. Ashcroft , 350 F.3d 327, 335 (3rd Cir. 2003)
  13. Back to top↑