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United States v. Geiser

September 29, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ANTON GEISER, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David Stewart Cercone, United States District Judge

Electronic Filing

MEMORANDUM OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, the United States of America (the "Government"), filed this action to revoke the naturalized citizenship of Defendant, Anton Geiser ("Geiser"), pursuant to Section 340(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, ("INA"), 8 U.S.C. § 1451(a). The Government charges that Geiser procured American citizenship illegally by obtaining an immigration visa to which he was not entitled. Such lack of entitlement to enter the United States stemmed from his alleged service as a guard at Nazi concentration camps in Germany from 1943 to 1945. Geiser's naturalization was premised on his 1956 entry into the United States under the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 (the "RRA"), Pub. L. No. 83-203, 67 Stat. 400 (amended 1954). The parties have filed cross motions for summary judgment, and the matter is now before the Court.

II. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Geiser was born on October 17, 1924, in Djak-Selci, Yugoslavia. Geiser's Concise Statement of Material Facts ("Geiser's CSMF") ¶ 1. Geiser worked on his family's farm in Yugoslavia until 1942, when he and his father received letters from the German government directing them to report to Satnica, Yugoslavia for a military physical. Geiser's CSMF ¶¶ 3 & 6. Geiser entered the Nazi Waffen SS on or around September 14, 1942. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 7.

Certain units of the Waffen SS, known as the SS Death's Head battalions, were used to guard Nazi concentration camps. Government's Concise Statement of Material Facts ("Government's CSMF") ¶ 15.

In January of 1943, Geiser was transferred to the SS Death's Head battalion at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Oranienberg, Germany, where he served as a guard. Geiser's CSMF ¶¶ 12 & 13; Government's CSMF ¶ 48. As an armed guard at Sachsenhausen, Geiser rotated through duties such as guarding the perimeter, escorting prisoners to work sites, and standing guard in the camp's guard towers. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 14; Government's CSMF ¶¶ 53 & 54.

In November of 1943, Geiser and twelve (12) other SS guards were ordered to Buchenwald Concentration Camp to transport prisoner from Buchenwald to Arolsen, a subcamp of Buchenwald. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 16; Government's CSMF ¶ 94. At Arolsen, Geiser was an armed guard with duties that included guarding the camp's perimeter and escorting prisoners to and from work sites. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 18; Government's CSMF ¶¶ 96 & 97. At the end of March of 1945, as the Allied forces were closing in on Arolsen, Geiser and the other guards were ordered to evacuate the prisoners from Arolsen to Buchenwald. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 18; Government's CSMF ¶¶ 96 & 97. Geiser returned to Buchenwald, but quickly left the camp as Allied forces advanced toward Buchenwald. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 24.

Geiser traveled on foot to Volkmarsen, Germany, where he remained until 1948. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 27. In the fall of 1948, Geiser moved to Voecklabruck, Austria, to live with his future wife. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 28. In August 1956, in Salzburg, Austria, Geiser applied for an immigration visa to enter the United States under the Refugee Relief Act of 1953, Pub. L. No. 203, 67 Stat. 400 (amended 1954)("RRA"). Government's CSMF ¶ 112. The application lists his name as "Anton Geisser." Id. An immigrant visa was issued to Geiser on August 23, 1956. Government's CSMF ¶ 113. Geiser then entered the United States on or about October 28,1956. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 34; Government's CSMF ¶ 114.

On October 14, 1961, Geiser filed an application for naturalization as a United States citizen under the name "Anton Geisser." Government's CSMF ¶ 115. Geiser filed a petition for naturalization with the Court of Common Pleas of Mercer County, Pennsylvania on January 23, 1962. Government's CSMF ¶ 116. In the petition, Geiser requested that his name be changed from "Anton Geisser" to "Anton Geiser." Id. Geisser was naturalized by the court on March 27, 1962, and received Certificate of Naturalization No. 8058860. Geiser's CSMF ¶ 35; Government's CSMF ¶ 117.

By performing his duties as a guard, the Government contends that Defendant personally assisted the Nazi Government in persecuting persons because of race, religion or national origin. Geiser's service as an armed guard at the concentration camps rendered him ineligible for the immigration visa, and his entry into the United States was illegal. Therefore, the Government argues that Geiser's naturalization was unlawful, and his citizenship must be revoked.

III. LEGAL STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P 56(c), summary judgment shall be granted when there are no genuine issues of material fact in dispute and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. To support denial of summary judgment, an issue of fact in dispute must be both genuine and material, i.e., one upon which a reasonable fact finder could base a verdict for the non-moving party and one which is essential to establishing the claim. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When considering a motion for summary judgment, the court is not permitted to weigh the evidence or to make credibility determinations, but is limited to deciding whether there are any disputed issues and, if there are, whether they are both genuine and material. Id. The court's consideration of the facts must be in the light most favorable to the party opposing summary judgment and all reasonable ...


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