Former SS guard in shooting case to return to Britain

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The Independent Online
A FORMER SS concentration camp guard who is alleged to have killed two Soviet prisoners in a work detail while serving at the Mauthausen camp near Linz, Austria, in April 1942, has agreed to return to Britain rather than face a deportation hearing in Miami, writes Simon Midgley.

Alexander Schweidler, a 71-year-old retired computer programmer now living in Florida, has promised a US immigration judge that he will return to the United Kingdom, where he has citizenship, by 1 February next year.

Once he arrives, however, Scotland Yard's War Crimes Unit will investigate the allegations and if there is sufficient evidence the Crown Prosecution Service may decide to bring criminal proceedings against him. Mr Schweidler, a Slovak, arrived in Britain in 1948 as a refugee and later became a British citizen. In 1965, he emigrated to the United States where he worked as a janitor, a computer operator and a computer analyst before retiring in 1984 to live in Florida with his wife, Anna.

A statement issued by Judge Daniel Dowell on Monday said Mr Schweidler had admitted to being liable to deportation 'because of his having assisted in the persecution of civilians at Mauthausen'. Officials at the US Department of Justice's Office of the Special Investigator in Washington said that in an interview last March he had admitted that his duties had included shooting escaping prisoners. However, Mr Schweidler says he does not remember 'doing anything like that'.

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