Michael Gruber, who was accused of serving as an SS guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany during World War II, returned to Austria last week, two years after a Manhattan Immigration Court ruled that he should be deported. Gruber, 86, a retired auto body worker who lived in New City in Rockland County, is a native of Croatia with Austrian citizenship.
The Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations had sought Gruber’s deportation for participating "in the persecution of persons because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion" at Sachsenhausen in 1943-44.
Gruber, according to OSI, traveled to Austria at his own expense "rather than be transported by the government." OSI director Eli Rosenbaum said "Michael Gruber’s removal reflects the government’s enduring commitment to ensuring that the United States is a haven for the oppressed, not a sanctuary for oppressors."