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Nazi guard Jakiw Pilaj deported to Germany ‘unlikely’ to be prosecuted



jakiw palij stretcher
Palij was deported from the U.S. on Monday for his work as a
guard at a Nazi death camp during World War

Karadshow/Josef Frank Weiser

  • Former Nazi guard Jakiw Palij was deported form the US
    to Germany on Monday. 
  • But a German official told CNN on Wednesday that Palij
    will likely not face prosecution for working at the Trawniki
    concentration camp.
  • Jens Rommel says prosecutors would have to prove that
    Palij committed murder or helped others murder in order to
    press charges, and there’s no evidence he did either.

The former Nazi death camp guard who was deported from his home
in New York City to Germany on Monday will likely not be
prosecuted, a German official said Wednesday.

Jens Rommel, of the Central Office for the Investigation of Nazi
Crimes, told CNN that there’s no evidence 95-year-old Polish-born
Jakiw Palij killed anyone during his time working as a guard at
the Trawniki concentration camp,
in what is today the Ukraine.

“Mere membership in the SS or even training in the Trawniki camp
is no longer prosecutable under our current law,” Rommel told

. “That means we would have to prove, here in Germany,
that an individual has either committed a murder on his own or
has supported the murders of others through his actions.”

jakiw palij.JPG
is seen above in a photo taken in 1949, when he got a visa to
move to the US.


While Palij has admitted to being a guard at the camp, and lying
to US immigration officials about his wartime work when he
immigrated in 1949, he claims he never hurt anyone.

Not much information actually exists about the Trawniki camp
since virtually all of the prisoners there were
, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial

It’s estimated that 6,000 Jewish men, women and children were
shot to death at the camp on November 3, 1943, in what was one of
the largest single Holocaust massacres.

The lack of information about the camp and Palij’s work there is
part of the reason why his case languished for so long.

A judge actually ordered Palij deported in 2004, after the man
admitted to lying to US immigration officials about his wartime
work. At that point, US officials petitioned Germany,
Poland, and the Ukraine to take him — but all three refused.

After increased pressure from President Donald Trump, German
officials eventually conceded and agreed to take Palij.

jakiw palij home
York State Assemblyman, Dov Hikind, D-Brooklyn, is seen outside
Palij’s home in the New York City borough of Queens on


“His transfer from the USA doesn’t change anything about the
state of evidence,” Rommel told
The Guardian
. “In theory, prosecutors in Würzburg could
resume their proceedings in case something changed, but for that,
proof would be necessary in particular, which would bring the
person into direct connection with the crimes, and that is what
has been missing so far.”

In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, US Ambassador to
Germany Richard Grenell said he has regularly asked German
officials to reconsider taking Palij.

He said newer officials, including Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
and Interior Minister Horse Sheehofer, understood it was a “moral
obligation” to accept Palij, as he “served in the name of the
former German government.”

So what happens to Palij now? He’ll likely spend his few
remaining days in government care. After arriving in Germany on
Tuesday, he was transferred to a senior home in the town of

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