US urged to extradite ex-Nazi suspect to Serbia (AP) Associated Press) By JOVANA GEC BELGRADE, Serbia 12/21/10 6:40 AM)
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BELGRADE, Serbia -- United States should quickly extradite to Serbia
a naturalized American citizen suspected of serving in a World War II
Nazi unit that killed 17,000 people, the World Jewish Congress urged
Accusations against 88-year-old Peter Egner, who lives in a
retirement community outside Seattle, are "so horrendous that no
further time must be wasted," the group said in a statement sent to
The Associated Press.
"Not only the Jewish community in Serbia, but Jews worldwide expect
Nazi war criminals to be tried and brought to justice, irrespective
of their age," said WJC president Ronald S. Lauder. "These people may
be frail, but so are many Holocaust survivors. Justice done belatedly
is still better than justice not done at all."
Serbia last month formally asked the U.S. to hand over Egner for a
Egner was born in Yugoslavia, but emigrated to the U.S. in 1960,
gaining American citizenship six years later. The U.S. Justice
Department filed a lawsuit in 2008 to revoke Egner´s citizenship,
which would pave the way for his extradition.
The accusations allege that Egner served as a guard and interpreter
with the Nazi-controlled Security Police and Security Service in
Belgrade - then part of Yugoslavia - from April 1941 to September
1943. It says Egner did not divulge that information when he applied
for citizenship but falsely claimed he served in the German army as
an infantry sergeant, and was granted U.S. citizenship in 1966.
Egner has denied any knowledge of the Einsatzgruppe unit that rounded
up Jews, political prisoners and other enemies of the Third Reich
after Hitler´s attack on the Soviet Union in the early 1940s.
The U.S. Justice Department, citing Nazi documents, said in the fall
of 1941, Egner´s unit executed 11,164 people - mostly Serbian Jewish
men, suspected communists and Gypsies. It also said in early 1942,
the unit murdered 6,280 Serbian Jewish women and children who had
been prisoners at Semlin camp. Daily over two months, those women and
children were taken from the camp and forced into a specially
designed van, where they were gassed with carbon monoxide.
Serbia´s war crimes prosecutor has said he wants to try Egner in
Serbia. The Simon Wiesenthal Center also has encouraged Serbia to try
Egner and two other alleged Nazis here. ------ Associated Press
Writer Dusan Stojanovic contributed to this report (© 2010 The
Associated Press 12/21/10)
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