FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL JUDGE REVOKES CITIZENSHIP OF NEW JERSEY MAN
WHO SERVED AS GUARD AT NAZI SLAVE LABOR CAMPS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie of the District of New Jersey announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden, New Jersey, has revoked the U.S. citizenship of Andrew Kuras, 81, of Mays Landing, who admitted serving during World War II as an armed guard at three Nazi slave labor camps and further admitted to concealing that service at the time he immigrated to the United States.
“No one who assisted the Nazi regime in its persecution of innocent civilians is entitled to the privilege of United States citizenship,” said Assistant Attorney General Wray.
“As a former armed guard at Nazi slave labor camps, whose admitted duty was to prevent the escape of Jewish prisoners from those camps, Andrew Kuras was never eligible to enter this country or obtain United States citizenship,” said Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, brought the case against Kuras.
“Justice for the victims of the Holocaust compels us to pursue those who abetted the Nazis’ genocidal plans -- a mission that has not diminished in importance with the passage of time,” said Christopher J. Christie, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey.
Kuras did not dispute documents filed with the court that showed that after he entered German service in December 1942, he trained at the Nazi-operated Trawniki Training Camp in German-occupied Poland, where men were trained to participate in implementing the Third Reich’s plan to murder Jews in Poland, code-named “Operation Reinhard.” The men who were trained at Trawniki served in various capacities, including as armed guards at Nazi slave labor camps. According to documents filed with the court, Kuras admitted serving as an armed guard at three Nazi slave labor camps for Jews in German-occupied Poland: the SS Labor Camp Trawniki, located adjacent to the Trawniki Training Camp; the SS Labor Camp Poniatowa; and the SS Labor Camp Dorohucza. Papers filed by the government noted that Dorohucza was a particularly brutal camp where Jews were forced to work and live under horrific conditions. The documents also reflect that Kuras guarded the prisoners at these three forced labor camps until a few weeks prior to the two-day period of November 3-4, 1943, when more than 20,000 men, women and children incarcerated at Trawniki, Poniatowa and Dorohucza were shot to death in one of the largest single massacres of the Holocaust.
Kuras immigrated to the United States in 1951 and became a U.S. citizen in 1962. He has admitted that he concealed his Nazi service 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.
The case was litigated by OSI Trial Attorneys Hillary Davidson and Adam Fels and by Michael Chagares, Civil Chief of the United States Attorney’s Office in Newark.
The denaturalization of Kuras 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 94 individuals who assisted in Nazi persecution. In addition, 170 individuals who sought to enter the United States in recent years have been blocked from doing so as a result of OSI's “Watch List” program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.