Concentration Camp Survivor’s Writings Implicate Former Camp Guard
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A former Nazi concentration camp guard now living in California has been implicated in the killings of at least two prisoners by the writings of a camp survivor, a historian testified.
Bruno Karl Blach, 66, was one of three guards ordered to find two missing prisoners who, when found, were ″knocked down and stomped on until another guard arrived and shot them,″ historian Charles W. Sydnor Jr. testified Wednesday, reading an account of imprisonment by Dr. Rolf Busch-Waldeck.
The Justice Department, seeking to deport Blach to his native Czechoslovakia, said Blach voluntarily joined the Nazi Party and, in June of 1940, the Waffen-SS, the elite combat arm of the Nazi secret police.
The government alleges that Blach served as a guard and dog handler at Dachau in Germany from 1940 to 1943 and Wiener-Neudorf in Austria from 1943 to 1945, his duties including the armed supervision of slave laborers.
Blach has admitted serving as a concentration camp guard, but denied any criminal actions. ″I didn’t do anything wrong at all,″ Blach said. ″I didn’t have any contact (with prisoners) at all.″
Sydnor, president of Emory and Henry College in Virginia, testified during the third day of a deportation hearing for Blach, a retired grocery store distribution center clerk from suburban La Habra.
The government contends Blach lied on his visa application about his service in the Nazi SS security service when applying to immigrate to the United States in 1956.
A suspended West German investigation alleges Blach, as an SS corporal, killed 36 inmates of Wiener-Neudorf because they were too weak to evacuate before the camp was liberated by American troops in 1945.
Camp survivors also allege in oral and written statements that Blach shot prisoners during the 12-day forced march to another concentration camp.
The West German investigation was suspended probably when authorities discovered Blach was living in the United States, out of West German jurisdiction, Sydnor testified.
Sydnor previously testified that he found Blach’s SS medical records and 1939 application for membership in the Nazi party among World War II archives.
In 1939, Sydnor said, membership in the Nazi party wasn’t mandatory and men weren’t drafted into the SS. The government says Blach, in his 1951 application for U.S. admission, said he was inducted into the regular German Army.
German and U.S. archives indicate a man named Bruno Blach joined the Waffen-SS, the armed security forces that was formed to be Adolph Hitler’s bodyguards, shortly after joining the Nazi party, Sydnor said.
Records show Blach was assigned several months later to the Death’s Head unit at Dachau concentration camp, Sydnor said. Beatings, tortures and killings of prisoners in most cases were committed by Death’s Head guards, he testified.