WASHINGTON – A federal court in Washington, D.C., has entered an order revoking the U.S. citizenship of a former Florida resident for his role in a Ukrainian police unit that participated in the mass murder of over 100,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
In a complaint filed on Nov. 16, 2006, the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which initiated and investigated the case, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, alleged that Orest Galan, 84, of Pinellas Park, Fla., joined the Nazi-operated Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) in the city of L’viv, Ukraine (formerly Poland), in January 1943, and served until at least May 1944, during the Nazi occupation of L’viv. The UAP rounded up Jews, terrorized them, oversaw their forced labor, killed those attempting to escape, and delivered others to Nazi killing sites for mass execution.
Assistant Attorney General Fisher stated, “This case reflects the Justice Department’s dedication to the principle that those who helped the Nazi regime carry out its infamous designs do not deserve the privilege of American citizenship or residence.”
In a settlement agreement reached last month and filed by the government with the court on Nov. 17, 2006, Galan admitted that he served in the UAP in L’viv during World War II, and he consented to the entry of a federal court order revoking his U.S. citizenship, conceding that he would be deportable from the United States following denaturalization. He further agreed to depart the United States permanently by November 15, 2006. Galan has left the United States for Ukraine and will not be permitted to reenter this country.
According to the complaint, Galan and other uniformed UAP men enforced Nazi persecutory measures against those whom the Nazis deemed dangerous or undesirable because of their race, religion, national origin or political belief, particularly Jews who lived in L’viv. UAP men routinely checked personal identification documents and arrested Jews for failing to produce special work passes or failing to wear armbands bearing the Star of David symbol that identified them as Jews.
Between March 1942 and June 1943, with the vital assistance of the UAP, almost all of the more than 100,000 Jews in L'viv were seized and transported to killing sites, including the Belzec extermination camp, or to forced labor camps, where most died of starvation, overwork, or disease.
Galan, who was born in what is now Ukraine, entered the United States in 1950 and became a U.S. citizen in 1970. The complaint asserts that his citizenship should be revoked because his wartime service to Nazi Germany rendered him ineligible for a U.S. immigration visa and because he concealed that service when he applied for both a visa and U.S. citizenship.
“Orest Galan and other members of the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police were indispensable accomplices in the Nazis’ systematic and brutal destruction of the Jewish community of L’viv,” said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum. “Had he told the truth after the war, he never would have been permitted to enter this country, much less become a United States citizen.”
The Galan case is a result of OSI’s ongoing efforts to identify, investigate, and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution who reside in the United States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 104 individuals who assisted in Nazi persecution. In addition, more than 175 individuals who sought to enter the United States in recent years have been blocked from doing so as a result of OSI’s “Watchlist” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.