An 87-year-old man from Philadelphia has been accused of serving as an SS guard at Auschwitz. While the man admits he was a guard, he insists he was not stationed at any part of the camp where captives were killed. The Associated Press, however, has uncovered documents that say otherwise.
The files provided by the U.S. Department of Justice in response to an AP request are now in the hands of German authorities, and could provide the legal basis for charging him as an accessory to the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews in the Nazi death camp.
The retired toolmaker told the AP in September, when German authorities confirmed he was under investigation, that he was always at Auschwitz I, a smaller camp used largely for slave labor, and never entered Auschwitz II, also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, where about 90 percent of the 1.1 to 1.5 million Jews and others killed in the camp were murdered.
The U.S. Justice Department documents tell a different story. One SS administrative document specifically notes that Breyer was an SS guard at Auschwitz II. Another indicates he served with a unit of the SS Totenkopf, or “death’s head,” that was assigned to guard Birkenau.
Story: AP | Photo: AP Photo, Yad Vashem Photo Archives