By Joe Pinchot
SHARON — A federal appellate court will hear arguments March 3 in the case of a Sharon man stripped of his citizenship because he was a Nazi concentration camp guard.
Anton Geiser, 83, of 411 Cedar Ave., has appealed U.S. District Court Judge David S. Cercone’s Sept. 29, 2006, order that revoked Geiser’s citizenship; vacated the March 27, 1962, order of Mercer County Common Pleas Court granting him citizenship; canceled his naturalization certificate; and ordered that his naturalization certificate, passports and other citizenship papers be surrendered.
U.S. Department of Justice charged that Geiser’s service as a concentration camp guard made him ineligible for entry into the U.S., a contention Cercone agreed with.
Geiser’s attorneys argued the U.S. Department of State would admit camp guards who were not war criminals.
Geiser gave a deposition in which he admitted carrying a loaded rifle and patrolling the grounds of the Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald and Arolsen concentration camps, but said he never harmed or mistreated anyone.
Geiser is an ethnic German who grew up in a part of Yugoslavia that is now in western Croatia. He was drafted into the German army at age 17 and made a member of the Waffen SS under a German policy of conscripting ethnic Germans into military service.
Following the war, Geiser lived in Germany and Austria before coming to the Shenango Valley in 1956 because he had relatives here.
The father of three began work at the former Sharon Steel Corp., Farrell, within two weeks of coming here, and retired in 1987 after 31 years in the blast furnace and boiler house.
U.S. District Court for the Third Circuit, Philadelphia, will hear the appeal.