Anton Geiser, a former Nazi concentration camp guard who fought deportation after settling in Pennsylvania, has died, his lawyer said. He was 88.
Geiser, a retired mill worker with three American-born children, was an armed guard for the Nazis at the Buchenwald concentration camp, federal prosecutors said. Geiser, who was originally born in Croatia but settled in Sharon, Pa., after the war, said he was forced into service by the Nazis as a teenager and never participated in the systematic slaughter of Jews and other prisoners inside the camp.
Federal prosecutors disagreed and were seeking his deportation to face a trial as a war criminal, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said Thursday.
“People need to look at him as an individual, and I think that he actually stood for something he believed in,” said Adrian Roe, Geiser’s attorney. “He hadn’t believed in the Nazis. He had been forced into it. He didn’t want to be kicked out. He wanted to stay with his family.”
His death brings the government’s case against Geiser to a close, Roe said.