Department of Justice Seal




(202) 514-2008

WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced today that a federal immigration court has ordered the removal of Bronislaw Hajda, an Illinois man who participated in a massacre of Jews while serving as a guard at a Nazi slave labor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.

U.S. Immigration Judge Carlos Cuevas of Chicago on Friday ordered the removal of Hajda, 74, a retired factory worker living in Schiller Park, Illinois. Hajda admitted that he was removable based on a federal district court's 1997 findings that from, 1943 to 1945, he served in occupied Poland as an armed guard at the SS Training Camp Trawniki, the Treblinka Labor Camp where he participated in the mass execution of hundreds of Jewish prisoners -- and the SS Streibel Battalion.

The order directs that Hajda be removed to Poland, his country of birth, or in the alternative, Germany, from which he immigrated to the United States.

"Bronislaw Hajda took part in barbaric acts of persecution, including a massacre of hundreds of innocent civilians. We hope to proceed with his removal as soon as possible," said Eli M. Rosenbaum, director of the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which brought the case.

In April 1997, after a four-day trial, Judge David H. Coar of the U.S. District Court in Chicago stripped Hajda of his U.S. citizenship after concluding that Hajda's wartime service and activities constituted assistance in the persecution of civilians. Judge Coar specifically found that Hajda "unquestionably participated in the massacre of Jewish prisoners" when the Nazis liquidated the Treblinka Labor Camp on July 23, 1944. On that day, hundreds of Jewish prisoners were shot by camp guards at point-blank range in a pit. Judge Coar ruled that, after the liquidation of Treblinka, Hajda joined the SS Streibel Battalion, which forcibly conscripted Polish civilians as slave laborers to build military fortifications. The District Court also found that Hajda intentionally misrepresented and concealed his wartime activities when applying for a visa to enter the United States.

The district court's decision was upheld in its entirety by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in March 1998, and Hajda conceded before Judge Cuevas that Judge Coar's findings are binding on the immigration court.

Rosenbaum said that the proceedings to remove Hajda were a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. "The court's decision," he stated after the denaturalization order was issued last year, "confirms that individuals, like Hajda, who helped the Nazis realize their genocidal ambitions had no right to enter this country."

To date, 61 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship since OSI began operations in 1979, and 48 such individuals have been removed from the United States. There are nearly 300 persons currently under investigation by OSI, according to Rosenbaum.