Published: Tue, August 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump, ICE Arrest Nazi War Criminal, Deported to Germany

Trump, ICE Arrest Nazi War Criminal, Deported to Germany

United States immigration officials have arrested and deported a former Nazi concentration camp guard who lived in NY, according to government officials.

Palij lived quietly in the USA for years, as a draughtsman and then as a pensioner, until almost 30 years ago, when investigators found his name on an old Nazi roster and a fellow former guard spilled the secret that he was "living somewhere in America".

Palij, 95, was born in what was then-Poland and now Ukraine, and immigrated to the U.S. in 1949, becoming a citizen in 1957.

At the time, Palij denied that he was a collaborator, telling The New York Times, he was conscripted at 18 when the Nazis took over his farm. Though there's no evidence Palij harmed anyone, Owens noted the Jews massacred at Trawniki "spent at least half a year in camps guarded by Trawniki-trained men", including Palij. According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in November 1943 at least 6,000 Jewish inmates of the camp were shot to death in one day by guards.

"The United States will never be a safe haven for those who have participated in atrocities, war crimes, and human rights abuses", Sessions said in a statement, slightly tarnished by the 69 years the U.S. had been doing exactly that for Palij.

Jakiw Palij has been stateless since a federal judge revoked his U.S. citizenship in 2003.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents deported a suspected former Nazi death camp officer from the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, New York City, on Tuesday, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Palij was first ordered to be removed from the country in 2004, but the case languished for years because no country would take him.

President Donald Trump instructed US Ambassador Richard Greneli to make Palij's deportation a "top priority".

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The White House statement added that the Trump administration conducted extensive negotiations with Germany to secure Palij's deportation due to the fact he never held German citizenship.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his department had successfully helped remove 67 other Nazis in the past, and that the United States "will never be a safe haven for those who have participated in atrocities, war crimes, and human rights abuses".

Authorities believed he was the last Nazi collaborator still living in the U.S., and his residence in the Queens area of New York City attracted protests from residents. The local government in Warendorf county, near Muenster, indicated that Palij would be taken to a care facility in the town of Ahlen.

The last known Nazi collaborator living in the US was deported to Germany overnight.

The German foreign ministry said it had agreed to accept the former Ukraine national Jakiw Palij following his expulsion from the United States late Monday, saying Berlin felt obliged to accept him in light of the Nazis' crimes. He became a USA citizen in 1957, and spent decades undisturbed in obscurity.

Palij came to the United States in 1949.

He later entered the claiming he was a farmer and factory worker.

Palij's case will now be part of an investigation at a Nazi crimes investigation unit in Ludwigsburg, Germany, Bild reported.

USA officials say his deportation had always been stymied by Germany's reluctance to take him in.

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