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Jakiw Palij

(1923 - )

Jakiw Palij is a former Nazi guard who immigrated to the United States in 1949, claiming on his immigration papers that he had been a simple farm-worker on his father's land during the war.  Palij entered the U.S. through Boston and earned his citizenship, purchasing a home in Queens, New York in 1966.   For almost 40 years Palij lived a quiet life, until an investigator from the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) showed up at his home in 2001 to question him about his wartime activities.  Following an interview Palij signed a statement aknowledging his activities during the war, although he claimed that he was forced into service and never took part in any killings. 

Palij was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 2003 by a Federal court in New York, where the judge ordered him to be deported to the Ukraine, Germany, or Poland.  These three countries have repeatedly refused to accept him, and the now 94-year old Palij has been comfortably living in his Queens, New York townhome since.  Lawmakers and Jewish groups have been pushing to have him extradited, as he is the last surviving Nazi collaborator who has been ordered to leave American soil.  Since 2005, eight Nazi collaborators under deportation orders have died in the United States after being rejected by Germany and their countries of origin.  German officials have stated that they will only admit ex-Nazis who previously held German citizenship, or have been charged with a crime in Germany.  

Sources: Debbie Cenziper, Scott Nover.  Former guard at Nazi camp is the last remaining war collaborator ordered out of the United States. Authorities want him gone before he dies, Washington Post, (December 16, 2017);
Corey Kilgannon.  Accused Nazi Guard Speaks Out, Denying He Had Role in Atrocities, New York Times, (November 21, 2003);
Justice Long Delayed for Nazi Collaborator, New York Times (November 29, 2017).