An innovative way to discover the story of Palestine
Vote for us. Our Digital Magazine is up for a Webby Award.
23 Jul 2014 18:07 GMT | US & Canada, Germany, United States
A Philadelphia man suspected of being an SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp has died a day before the US government was set to approve his extradition to Germany.
Johann Breyer died on Tuesday night aged 89 at a Philadelphia hospital, his lawyer said on Wednesday. His death came on the same day that Timothy Rice, a magistrate, issued an order granting a request for extradition.
German prosecutors had hoped to try Breyer on charges of aiding in the murder of more than 200,000 Jews at the Auschwitz death camp. Breyer had said he was forced to work there as a guard as a teenager.
Rice had found probable cause that "Breyer is the same person sought for aiding and abetting murder in Germany", adding that no statute of limitations offers a safe haven for murder".
Breyer was being held on allegations stemming from his suspected service as an SS guard at Auschwitz during the second world war. US marshals arrested him in June outside his home in northeast Philadelphia.
He was facing charges of aiding in the killing of 216,000 Jewish men, women and children at a Nazi death camp.
Breyer claimed he was unaware of the slaughter at Auschwitz and then that he did not participate in it, but "the German allegations belie his claims", the judge wrote.
"Given Breyer's role as an elite SS armed guard at a camp designed and operated almost exclusively as a killing centre for Jews, Germany has established probable cause of Breyer's complicity in the mass murders at Auschwitz.''
German authorities in the Bavarian town of Weiden issued a warrant for Breyer's arrest in June 2013.
He was accused of 158 counts of accessory to murder - one count for each trainload of victims brought to the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland from May to October 1944, when Breyer was allegedly a guard there.
Content on this website is for general information purposes only. Your comments
are provided by your own free will and you take sole responsibility for any direct
or indirect liability. You hereby provide us with an irrevocable, unlimited, and
global license for no consideration to use, reuse, delete or publish comments, in
accordance with Community Rules & Guidelines and Terms and Conditions.
Volunteers on the Mediterranean island are helping integrate young arrivals and keep them away from human traffickers.
Migrants, Africa, Middle East
Fifty-four years after the failed CIA operation, Cubans there on Giron beach recount the botched raid.
War & Conflict, History, Cuba
The lives of 304 people - including 250 schoolchildren - were lost a year ago, prompting national angst and anger.
South Korea, Park Geun-hye, Asia Pacific
As officials work on peace deals with separatists, a rogue religious battalion vows to fight its way to Moscow.
War & Conflict, Europe, Russia
Video released online shows one group of captives being shot and another group being beheaded on a beach.
ISIL, Middle East, Libya, Ethiopia
UN refugee agency says only 28 rescued after vessel reportedly carrying 700 migrants goes down in Mediterranean Sea.
Humanitarian crises, Europe, Migrants, Malta
General Asad Durrani, the former head of the ISI, Pakistan's notorious spy agency, on its role in the "War on Terror".
Politics, War & Conflict, Asia
101 East investigates the multi-billion-dollar trade in counterfeit medicines, which is creating a global health crisis.
Health, Thailand, Asia Pacific
Marco Polo's travels retraced - from the Pamir Mountains along the Silk Road to Xanadu and the kingdom of women.
Arts & Culture, Business & Economy, China
We explore the hip side of Congo-Brazzaville with a style icon, a rap artist, a wrestler, and a radio talk show host.
Arts & Culture, Congo, France