Former Nazi Labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij Removed To Germany

Palij is 68th Nazi removed from the US.

Nazi Labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij
Nazi Labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij

WASHINGTON , USA – -( Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi labor camp guard in German-occupied Poland and a postwar resident of Queens, New York, has been removed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Germany, Attorney General Jeff Sessions of the U.S. Department of Justice, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and ICE Deputy Director and Acting Director Ronald D. Vitiello announced today.

ICE removed Palij based on an order of removal obtained by the Department of Justice in 2004.

“The United States will never be a safe haven for those who have participated in atrocities, war crimes, and human rights abuses,” said Attorney General Sessions.

“Jakiw Palij lied about his Nazi past to immigrate to this country and then fraudulently become an American citizen. He had no right to citizenship or to even be in this country. Today, the Justice Department – led by Eli Rosenbaum and our fabulous team in the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section, formerly the Office of Special Investigations – successfully helped remove him from the United States, as we have done with 67 other Nazis in the past. I want to thank our partners at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security for all of their hard work in removing this Nazi criminal from our country.”

“Nazi war criminals and human rights violators have no safe haven on our shores,” said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “We will relentlessly pursue them, wherever they may be found, and bring them to justice. The arrest and removal of Jakiw Palij to Germany is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the men and women of ICE, who faithfully enforce our immigration laws to protect the American people.”

Palij, 95, was born in a part of Poland that is situated in present-day Ukraine, immigrated to the United States in 1949 and became a U.S. citizen in 1957. He concealed his Nazi service by telling U.S. immigration officials that he had spent the war years working until 1944 on his father’s farm in his hometown, which was previously a part of Poland and is now in Ukraine, and then in a German factory.

Operation Reinhard nazi jews
Operation Reinhard

As Palij admitted to Justice Department officials in 2001, he was trained at the SS Training Camp in Trawniki, in Nazi-occupied Poland, in the spring of 1943. Documents subsequently filed in court by the Justice Department showed that men who trained at Trawniki participated in implementing the Third Reich’s plan to murder Jews in Poland, code-named “Operation Reinhard.” On Nov. 3, 1943, some 6,000 Jewish men, women and children incarcerated at Trawniki were shot to death in one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust. By helping to prevent the escape of these prisoners during his service at Trawniki, Palij played an indispensable role in ensuring that they later met their tragic fate at the hands of the Nazis.

On May 9, 2002, the Criminal Division’s then-Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York filed a four-count complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, to revoke Palij’s citizenship. The complaint was based primarily upon his wartime activities as an armed guard of Jewish prisoners at Trawniki, who were confined there under inhumane conditions. Palij’s U.S. citizenship was revoked in August 2003 by a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York based on his wartime activities and postwar immigration fraud. In November 2003, the government placed Palij in immigration removal proceedings.

In decisions issued on June 10 and Aug. 23, 2004, U.S. Immigration Judge Robert Owens ordered Palij’s deportation to Ukraine, Poland or Germany, or any other country that would admit him, on the basis of his participation in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while serving during World War II as an armed guard at the Trawniki forced-labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland under the direction of the government of Germany and his subsequent concealment of that service when he immigrated to the United States.

As Judge Owens wrote in his decision ordering Palij’s deportation, the Jews massacred at Trawniki “had spent at least half a year in camps guarded by Trawniki-trained men, including Jakiw Palij.”

In December 2005, the Board of Immigration Appeals denied Palij’s appeal.

The removal of Palij to Germany was effectuated through close cooperation between the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State. For nearly four decades, the Justice Department has vigorously pursued its mission to expel Nazi persecutors from the United States. The Palij case was the product of the Department’s longtime efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against participants in Nazi crimes of persecution who reside in the United States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, that office and its successor, the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, have won cases against 108 individuals who participated in Nazi crimes of persecution. In addition, attempts to enter the United States by more than 180 individuals implicated in wartime Axis crimes have been prevented as a result of the “Watch List” program initiated by OSI and enforced in cooperation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

TU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)his removal was supported by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor as well as the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC). The HRVWCC is comprised of ICE HSI’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit, ICE’s Human Rights Law Section, FBI’s International Human Rights Unit and HRSP. Established in 2009, the HRVWCC furthers the government’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the government’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.

The case was investigated, litigated and supervised over the years by a host of attorneys and historians in OSI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, and HRSP, including Director Eli M. Rosenbaum, Senior Trial Attorney Susan L. Siegal and Chief Historian Dr. Jeffrey Richter, all of whom have served with HRSP since its 2010 creation.

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If he had refused to comply with his orders, he would have been shot. It doesn’t say he was an officer who ordered the atrocity, just that he was a guard obeying orders. I think all those who ordered the atrocities and carried them out (officers) are all dead, and we are left with their surviving minions who had no choice but to obey. He was 20 in 1943, hardly old enough to be a corporal in the Nazi regime, surely not an officer who ordered others to murder innocents. Here’s the rub though, after all the money spent, Germany… Read more »

Don Baker

He should have been an illegal invader from Mexico raping and murdering US citizens. Then our government would not have bothered him.


Turn him over to Israel. They will administer the proper punishment…


Is that you, Sholomo? unit 8200 shill!


@Mark….What will they do with him ? Put him in Gaza and drop white phosphorous on him ? Or maybe shoot him in the head if he comes too close to the fence ? Maybe they will just tie him up in a “Stress Position” until he croaks ! Yes, they learned their lessons very well from Der Feurer. Very well indeed. Ever read the book “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers” by Riggs ???


We have our own war criminals who should or should have been prosecuted. Our Government should be put under the gavel. A lot of corruption, needless wars and wasted lives,blood,taxpayer money and a loss of respect from the rest of the world. Enough of the ‘religion’ of WW2!


Oh, I agree. Eric Holder belongs in a Mexican jail for arming Mexican drug cartels. Barack Hussein Obama should be in a cage for all those drone strikes and other bombings. Bill Clinton and Janet Reno have never faced justice for burning innocent children to death at Waco.

Heed the Call-up

Gary, they have no proof of, and he was not charged with, killing anyone. The only thing they have on him is that he might have been there when people were killed. As a guard, if he objected, he’d have shot, too. If you were that man, would you have sacrificed your life for no good reason? Being only one man, he certainly couldn’t have prevented those killings. If any were members of my family, would I feel differently? No. They weren’t even looking for him until 2003, so he clearly wasn’t a high-ranking officer or other high-value person. Was… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Heed, with all due respect, he lied to Immigration so he was an illegal alien. And it is proper to remove (deport) him, as we should any other illegal alien. That said, yes, we probably could have deported a couple of million more commonly encountered illegal aliens for the same price … or better yet, had a Hillary trial!


He helped people escape, so he’s guilty??? How is his fault if they get captured and murdered? There has to be more to this story.


Why do we have fools in government still fighting the Second World War? This is an example of a total waste of government resources.

Heed the Call-up

After 14 years he hasn’t even been deported yet, only “removed”, whatever that means. Amazing the guy is still alive. Why bother at this point? What’s the point? How much did it cost us for this stupidity?


No one should ever get a pass on crimes that they have committed; such as the murder of men, women, and children. Just because he is 95 does not mean that he should not be held accountable. Maybe if it had been members of your family would feel differently.


If you like Blaming people for what happened during a war then why not Blame those that started the war in the first place. In 1995 the US government admitted that the Polish documents were real. They are known as the Warsaw Documents in Germany.

The USA has started many wars based on lies and corruption What do we deserve as a nation and a people for following our leaders?

Should we be held accountable for the actions of our leaders?


He kept people from escaping. Not helped them to escape.

Maybe because murder has no statute of limitations, we are a country that’s supposed to support the rule of law, he lied to gain legal immigration status, and a lot of us had parents and uncles who went in harms way to stamp the foxtrotters out. We have enough Nazi wannabes here. We don’t need to import them.

No other country would accept him back for the deportation to take place. Finally, one did and he went. Let the semantics go.

Heed the Call-up

Clarification, he was not ordered removed due to murder – they have no evidence of that, nor even that he took any part in the killings. He was a lowly guard, not an officer, that might or might not have been at work on the day(s) of those killings. They couldn’t even prove that, only that he was a guard there during that time span. It wasn’t like he was on a war crimes list and anyone was actively searching for him. It then took 14 years after he was discovered to get to this point, at what cost? Yes,… Read more »

Wild Bill

@Heed, “Removed” is just another way to say “deported.”


@JBS….Because their whole history is about revenge and deception. They make it seem as if it was Germanys fault for the war when in fact they declared war on Germany in 1933. Plus, they had a book published in March 1941, 6 months before Pearl Harbor, titled “Germany Must Perish !”, written by Kaufman. It called for the forcible sterilization of all seventy million (70,000,000) humans with any German blood in them as the “Final Solution” of the German problem. It was to be genocide on steroids ! Now where have we heard that term before, as if Hitler invented… Read more »

Roy D.

What you did there, I think I saw it.