ICE deports suspected Nazi death camp officer living in New York City

U.S. deports its last known Nazi collaborator

In a statement, the White House said the deportation of Jakiv Palij, who lived in New York City, was carried out early Tuesday.

The last Nazi war crimes suspect living in the United States has been deported to Germany 14 years after a judge ordered his expulsion, the White House said on Tuesday.

His deportation is the first for a Nazi war crimes suspect in the U.S. since 2009 when Germany agreed to take John Demjanjuk, a retired autoworker living in OH, who was accused of serving as a Nazi guard.

According to the release, 95-year-old Jakiw Palij worked as a Nazi-aligned guard at the Trawniki labor camp in German-occupied Poland in the 1940s, before moving to Queens in 1949, and eventually becoming a United States citizen in 1957.

Later that year, roughly 6,000 Jewish men, women and children held captive at Trawniki were shot to death - one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust.

Grenell told the network that deporting Palij - who lived in New York City - was "difficult" because Palij is not a German citizen and was effectively "stateless" after losing his USA citizenship. It was the first time involvement in a camp was sufficient to be found culpable even without proof of a specific crime.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement on Tuesday: "The United States will never be a safe haven for those who have participated in atrocities, war crimes, and human-rights abuses".

He told investigators that: "I would never have received my visa if I told the truth".

Jakiw Palij, 95, admitted he falsely claimed to be a farmer and factory worker during World War II to gain entry into the United States 25 years ago.

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Palij's fate in Germany is unclear as prosecutors have previously indicated there doesn't appear to be enough evidence to bring wartime charges. Born in Poland in 1923, he was trained by the SS in the Trawniki concentration camp in southeastern Nazi-occupied Poland in 1941.

The White House said in a statement that President Donald Trump had "prioritised" the removal of Palij "to protect the promise of freedom for Holocaust survivors and their families".

In 1989, a fellow former Trawniki guard identified Palij to Canadian authorities, and in 1993, agents from the US Department of Justice's Nazi-hunter unit came knocking on his door.

His US citizenship was revoked shortly after in 2003 and he was ordered to be deported in 2004.

"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 USA had been doing exactly that for Palij. "Palij lied about his Nazi past to immigrate to this country and then fraudulently become an American citizen".

After the war, Palij maintained friendships with other Nazi guards, who the government says came to the U.S. under similar false pretenses.

The US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who has clashed repeatedly with Berlin officials over transatlantic policy differences since his arrival in May, welcomed Palij's arrival.

A US Justice Department (DOJ) statement from that year noted that the NY judge said "that on November 3 and 4, 1943, "in a brutal spate of killing, ' other units 'slaughtered Trawniki's entire inmate population" of some 6,000 Jewish civilians'". The Trump administration and ICE's behavior will go down as one of the darkest, most ignoble chapters in American history, and no amount of Nazi airport carpools will undo that legacy. But for years, no country would take him in.

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