Aside from death, one of the worst horrors of war in all of history was found behind the walls of the German concentration camps during World War II.

I won't go into those details...it's something you should already know.
If not, do a Google search.

The concentration camps were ruled mostly by guards who were given strict orders...many followed those orders gladly, some just went along, others did not want to participate in what went on. After the war, many guards and officers were captured. Some escaped capture or prosecution and fled to different countries to hide...including the United States.

One such escapee was Johann Leprich, a member of an SS unit called the Death's Head Battalion (skull & crossbones) and an armed guard at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria from 1943-1944. In that camp alone, over 100,000 prisoners lost their lives. Leprich came to America in 1952 and wound up in Michigan. He entered our country under the guise of having been a Hungarian army soldier during the war and became a citizen in 1958.

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Leprich's whereabouts were discovered in the 1980s by U.S. Officials and an effort to get him deported was underway. He fled the country, traveling back and forth from Canada to the United States. Even while he was being sought for arrest, he still managed to renew his driver's license in person. In 1987, his U.S. citizenship was eliminated for hiding the truth about his past.

Finally, he ended up back in his old house in a Detroit / Clinton Township suburb, where he stayed for a number of years. He lived openly and freely and was even collecting Social Security.

Leprich was living with his wife until the summer of 2003 when federal agents caught up with him; they made the arrest on Tuesday, July 1. Leprich, who was 77 years old, was found hiding in a secret compartment under the stairway. If he was 77 years old in 2003, that would have made him just a teenager when he was working as a concentration camp guard.

Leprich always said he hated being a guard in that camp (he was only 14 thru 19 years old from 1940-1945) and all he did was stand out in the cold and observe. He said he did not participate in any of the atrocities.

You can find out exactly what went on at Mauthausen Concentration Camp here.

Leprich was jailed in Detroit in 2003 and released in February 2019 at the age of 92.

The gallery below shows photos of a couple of concentration camps, including Mauthausen, and a photo of Johann Leprich himself.

WWII Concentration Camp Guard Busted in Michigan, 2003

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