FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2001
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MOVES TO REVOKE CITIZENSHIP OF
FORMER NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMP GUARD
WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of Justice today initiated proceedings to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a Chicago man based on his participation in the persecution of Jews and other civilians during World War II while serving as an armed guard at two notorious Nazi concentration camps.
The complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago by the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago, alleges that Joseph (Juozas) Guzulaitis, age 77, was an armed guard at the Majdanek Concentration/Extermination Camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and at the Hersbruck Forced Labor Camp in Germany. The complaint also alleges that Guzulaitis served as an armed Nazi guard during the infamous "death march" from Hersbruck to the Dachau Concentration Camp in April 1945.
The Criminal Division's Assistant Attorney General, Michael Chertoff said, "The complaint filed today against Joseph Guzulaitis reflects the Justice Department's unswerving commitment to the pursuit of justice on behalf of the victims of Nazi inhumanity." Prisoners at the two Nazi camps lived and labored under grotesquely inhumane conditions and were kept alive by the Nazis only to be physically exploited as slave laborers. When they were no longer able to work, the prisoners were murdered or left to die. The average life expectancy of a prisoner at Hersbruck during the time that Guzulaitis served there was only two months.
In October 1945, Guzulaitis was recognized on a street in Munich, Germany, by two Holocaust survivors who identified him as having been a brutal guard at Hersbruck and on the death march. He was arrested and confined until March 1947. After U.S. authorities misplaced original arrest file documents, including the statements by the two men, Guzulaitis was released.
Guzulaitis entered the United States in 1950 and was naturalized in Chicago in 1964. The complaint states that although he was asked during the naturalization process to list all the organizations of which he had been a member, including foreign military service, he listed only a baker's union in Chicago. Additionally, despite being asked to specify each time he had been arrested, he listed only a minor traffic violation.
The proceedings to denaturalize Guzulaitis are a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. Since OSI began operations in 1979, 66 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship, and 54 such individuals have been removed from the United States. Additionally, more than 150 suspected Nazi persecutors have been stopped at U.S. ports of entry and barred from entering the country in recent years as a result of OSI's watchlist border control program. OSI has nearly 200 U.S. residents currently under active investigation.