Berlin’s United States ambassador, Richard Grenell, announced on Jan. 10 that Jakiw Palij has died. Palij was a Nazi Guard who was residing in the United States until his deportation. He was 95-years-old.
Palij was the last known Nazi war criminal from World War II who was residing in the United States. Since 1949, he lived in Queens, New York.
When Palij immigrated to the United States, he claimed that during World War II he was a farmer on his father’s farm. A Justice Department investigation found that Palij actually was an armed guard at Trawniki, a concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.
In 2003 a federal judge revoked Palij of his citizenship, determining he lied in order to enter the U.S. In 2004 he was ordered by the judge to be deported, but he was unable to find a country who would accept him.
In 2017 a bipartisan group of congressional delegates from New York wrote to Rex Tillerson who was the Secretary of State at that time. They urged him to make deporting Palij a priority. They said that Palij’s presence in New York was a continued reminder of those who fought the Nazi’s or had family or friends die in the Holocaust.
Donald Trump stated he would make the deportation a priority as the Obama administration did not care and did nothing to rectify the situation.
Germany agreed to let Palij return, he was transferred from his home strapped on a stretcher, placed into an ambulance and flown to Germany. He was never put on trial for Nazi war crimes.
Written By Barbara Sobel
NPR Radio: Last WWII Nazi Living In U.S., Deported To Germany Last Year, Is Dead at 95
Israel National News: Former Nazi guard dies after being deported from US
Herald Democrat: Nazi who lived in Queens for decades dies months after he’s deported to Germany, and other nation and world news in brief
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Dale Crus’ Flikr Page – Creative Commons License