Although the number continues to grow smaller, there are still numerous individuals that were involved in World War II alive today.
One such man, 89-year-old Johann “Hans” Breyer, was recently arrested in Philadelphia on charges outlined in a warrant issued from Weiden, Germany. According to the Huffington Post, the warrant charged Breyer with aiding and abetting the murder of 216,000 people while he worked as a guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Breyer has openly admitted that he worked as a guard at the camp, although he has claimed that he was stationed outside the facility and was not responsible for the more than one million deaths that occurred there.
Breyer has also been living in the United States for several years, and he is an American citizen with an American mother. He allegedly asked the law enforcement officials arresting him if he could have the opportunity to retrieve documents that prove his right to stay in the country.
Still, he faces an extradition hearing on August 21.
Because of his age, the retired toolmaker has some health complications such as mild dementia, heart problems and a history of strokes.
“Mr. Breyer is not a threat to anyone. He’s not a flight risk,” Breyer's attorney, Dennis Boyle, said.
Breyer has already faced deportation in the past, as he won a 2003 hearing regarding his past as a Nazi guard. According to CNN, the court ruled that Breyer would not be punished fo for his past due to the fact that he was only 17 when he joined the Nazi unit. Both U.S. and German officials have been seeking a way to further punish Breyer, and new evidence suggests that Breyer received a promotion and benefits within the SS only offered to guards who performed a full range of duties, including murder.