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U.S. citizen faces extradition for alleged war crimes at concentration camp

Courtesy: The National Archives

Courtesy: The National Archives

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) – A U.S. citizen has been arrested after officials say he was responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths at a concentration camp in Germany.

Federal authorities are working to extradite 89-year-old Johann Breyer for war crimes he allegedly committed during World War II.

According to court documents, German authorities charged Breyer with complicity in the murder of over 216,000 Jews, who were forcibly deported to Auschwitz in 1944.

According to CNN, in the 1990s, federal authorities tried to strip him of his U.S. citizenship, arguing that Nazis were not eligible.

Breyer says he served as an armed guard at the camp but only worked the perimeter and didn’t know about the crimes being committed inside.

He won his fight to stay in the United States in 2003 because officials said he was not responsible for joining a Nazi unit since he was only 17-years-old at the time.

However, experts say he received benefits that were not given to guards who refused to perform the full range of duties at the camp.

Authorities say he has made statements to minimize his role in the Holocaust.