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Germany to ask US for help with Nazi investigation

Published: Friday, May 31, 2013 9:39 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 31, 2013 9:41 a.m. CDT

BERLIN – German prosecutors say they plan to ask American officials for help in their war crimes investigation of an 88-year-old Philadelphia man who is accused of serving as an SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp.

Gerd Schaefer, a prosecutor in Weiden in Bavaria, said Friday the request should be ready within about two weeks.

Retired toolmaker Johann "Hans" Breyer admits he was a guard at Auschwitz during World War II, but says he was stationed outside the facility and had nothing to do with the slaughter of around 1.5 million Jews and others behind the gates.

Schaefer wouldn't specify exactly what help authorities were seeking, other than to say that "the accused needs to be contacted."

Breyer's attorney was out of the country and didn't immediately respond to an email.

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