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Alleged Nazi guard flees country
Lawrenceville resident, 85, is no-show at hearing; judge orders him deported

LAWRENCEVILLE - The "Welcome" mat is still out. The yard is impeccably kept. Not a "For sale" sign in sight.

Despite the inhabited appearance of Paul Henss' Lawrenceville home, federal immigration authorities said Tuesday the accused former Nazi has fled to his native Germany, avoiding a deportation hearing.

Nobody answered Henss' door Tuesday afternoon in the well-kept, middle-class Glen Oaks Racquet subdivision. A telephone message left at his home was not returned. A neighbor said she didn't know the 85-year-old who moved here nine years ago.

Earlier, Henss failed to appear at a 1 p.m. deportation hearing in Atlanta, stemming from charges he served as a Nazi concentration camp guard. The no-show spurred a federal immigration judge to order Henss removed from the country.

But Henss may have already been thousands of miles away.

Edgar Chen, an attorney with the Department of Justice's Office of Special Investigations, said he contacted Henss' daughter, who lives in the Atlanta area, by telephone after her father failed to appear. Henss, he said, had already left the country.

The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security said in October that Henss, a German citizen, assisted in Nazi persecution of Jews, a crime punishable by deportation under U.S. immigration law.

Henss is accused of training and handling attack dogs at the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.

Federal authorities allege Henss hid his concentration camp service when he immigrated into the United States in 1955.

Henss told reporters Oct. 1 he trained German shepherds and Rottweilers during World War II but did not participate in war crimes. He said he has lived in Georgia for 10 years.

"I didn't hurt nobody," Henss said at the time. "Otherwise I wouldn't have come to the United States."

A court document states Henss admitted on March 13 he served as a guard at both Nazi concentration camps for two to three months each, guarding forced labor details of prisoners at both camps and instructing other SS personnel on dog-handling techniques.

The Justice Department has no jurisdiction to file charges against Henss, an official said last month.

Court documents state Henss allegedly joined the Hitler Youth organization in Germany in 1934, when he was about 12 years old, and he joined the Nazi Party after he turned 18.

Henss, who worked in the packing industry after coming to America, called the case against him unfair.

"I forgot about the war," he said. "I wanted to leave the war behind me."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.