FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MOVES TO REVOKE CITIZENSHIP
OF FORMER NAZI SLAVE LABOR CAMP GUARD
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice initiated proceedings today to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a Mays Landing, New Jersey, man based on his service during World War II as an armed guard at three Nazi slave labor camps.
The complaint, filed today by the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, alleges that Andrew Kuras trained as an SS auxiliary at the Nazi-operated Trawniki Training Camp in German-occupied Poland and served as an armed guard at three different Nazi slave labor camps. In one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust, some 20,000 Jewish prisoners from two of those camps were shot to death within a single 36-hour period, on November 3-4, 1943.
The lawsuit filed by the Government today seeks a ruling that Kuras, 80, obtained his U.S. citizenship illegally and a judgment revoking that citizenship.
"It would be anathema to the values our country cherishes to count among our citizens individuals who aided the Nazis in their infamous quest to rid the world of millions of men, women and children," said United States Attorney Christopher Christie of New Jersey.
The complaint alleges that after entering German service in December 1942, Kuras trained at the Trawniki camp, run jointly by the SS and the German police, which trained Eastern European recruits to assist the Nazis in implementing their plan to murder Jews in Poland, code-named "Operation Reinhard." Kuras served as an armed guard at the SS Labor Camp Trawniki, a slave labor camp for Jews that was adjacent to the Trawniki camp. The complaint states that from late February 1943 until at least April 1943, Kuras served as an armed guard at another slave labor camp for Jewish prisoners in German-occupied Poland, the SS Labor Camp Poniatowa. Kuras also guarded Jewish prisoners forced to dig peat at Dorohucza, a slave labor camp located near the SS Labor Camp Trawniki.
On November 3-4, 1943, most of the Jewish prisoners in Lublin District were murdered by German SS and police forces as part of Nazi Germany's so-called "final solution to the Jewish question." At the Poniatowa camp, some 14,000 Jewish men, women and children were shot. Approximately 6,000 were shot at the SS Labor Camp Trawniki.
OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum said, "Kuras and other Trawniki-trained guards successfully prevented those interned at the Nazi slave labor camps from escaping the tragically inhumane conditions at those camps, thereby helping to ensure that thousands of Jews died unimaginably horrible deaths."
Kuras immigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1962. The complaint alleges that he concealed his service as an armed guard at the three Nazi slave labor camps when he applied for his visa by telling U.S. officials that he had spent the war years as a farmer in his hometown in Poland and then in a town in Germany.
Michael Chertoff, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, said, "The Nazis and their accomplices extinguished the lives of millions of innocent people. It is never too late to deny these individuals the benefits of U.S. citizenship, which they obtained illegally."
Since 1979, 70 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of their U.S. citizenship and 57 have been removed from the country, as a result of OSI operations. Also, 165 suspected Nazi persecutors have been stopped at U.S. ports of entry and barred from entering the country.