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Originally published July 23, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Page modified July 23, 2014 at 10:34 PM

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Suspected Nazi guard's death a blow to prosecutors

Nazi hunters seeking to prosecute aging war criminals have been dealt a blow with the death of a retired Philadelphia toolmaker.


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How do we reconcile his deeds with a necessary military code that you follow orders? Ask any of our own soldiers if... MORE
@gaullist He will be just fine. His 'maker' is the jack-hole that committed mass genocide by eradicating almost every... MORE
Now the real trial begins as he gets to defend himself before his maker. MORE

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PHILADELPHIA —

Nazi hunters seeking to prosecute aging war criminals have been dealt a blow with the death of a retired Philadelphia toolmaker.

German prosecutors had hoped to extradite 89-year-old Johann "Hans" Breyer over his war-time service at Auschwitz.

But Breyer died at a Philadelphia hospital Tuesday, hours before a U.S. judge approved his extradition.

Breyer had spent a month in jail before he was hospitalized Saturday.

Defense lawyers had argued that he was too frail for prison.

Lawyer Dennis Boyle confirmed his death and said the family had no comment Wednesday.

Prosecutors in Bavaria had charged Breyer with being an accessory to the murder of more than 200,000 Jews at Auschwitz.

Breyer had insisted that he never killed anyone, and said he did not serve in the Waffen SS voluntarily.



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