Jakiw Palij, 95, suspected of war crimes in Poland, expelled as German minister says there is no cut-off point to justice
By Kate Connolly and Erin Durkin | 21 August 2018
THE GUARDIAN — A 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard has been deported to Germany from the US after years of diplomatic wrangling over his status.
Jakiw Palij, who lived in Queens, New York City, landed at Düsseldorf airport on Tuesday morning.
Palij is accused of having lied to gain entry to the US almost 70 years ago, claiming he was a Polish farmer. Almost 20 years ago the US authorities determined that he had been a member of the SS, the elite corps of the Nazi party, and had worked at the Trawniki concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. The camp trained soldiers to round up Jews for extermination.
His US citizenship, which he had been granted in 1957, was revoked in 2003. In 2005 a judge ordered his expulsion.
But German authorities resisted taking him, saying the crimes he was alleged to have carried out took place on foreign soil. The US was unable to prosecute him for the same reason. Both Poland and Ukraine (in which the part of Poland where Trawniki was located now lies) refused to take Palij, claiming he was Germany’s responsibility.
For years American diplomats have been leaning on the German government, claiming it had a moral responsibility to accept him.
Meanwhile, Palij continued living in the two-storey, red-brick home in Queens, which he shared with his wife, Maria. His presence outraged the Jewish community; there were frequent protests over the years, including chants such as: “Your neighbour is a Nazi!” […]