FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MOVES TO REVOKE U.S. CITIZENSHIP
OF FORMER NAZI POLICEMAN WHO ASSISTED IN PERSECUTING JEWS
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 the Department of Justice has asked a federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, to revoke the U.S. citizenship of Michael Bojcun, a Trenton resident who allegedly served in the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (“UAP”) during World War II.
In a complaint filed today by the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the government alleged that Bojcun, now 86, joined the UAP on Oct. 1, 1941, only a few months after Nazi Germany occupied the city of L’viv, then in Poland, now in Ukraine. Bojcun remained in UAP service until shortly before the Nazis and their collaborators retreated from L’viv in July 1944.
According to the complaint, Bojcun served in the UAP during the three years when the Nazi occupiers of L’viv enacted a series of increasingly repressive measures against the city’s Jews, leading to their confinement and ultimate murder. The Jews of L’viv were first forced to surrender property and wear armbands identifying them as Jews. UAP men routinely enforced these measures and arrested those Jews who failed to comply. Later, UAP members took part in the forcible relocation of the city’s Jews to an enclosed ghetto, where thousands died from disease, starvation or abuse. Thousands more were used as slave labor, and many were worked to death. Ultimately, the ghetto was liquidated: its inhabitants were violently rounded up and sent to be shot or gassed; a few were sent to forced labor camps, which only a small number survived.
“The UAP actively participated in confining and terrorizing the Jews of L’viv, and then in rounding them up to be murdered,” said Assistant Attorney General Wray. “This case reflects our continuing commitment to pursuing justice on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust.”
“The passage of time does not mitigate Bocjun's contribution to the Holocaust,” said U.S. Attorney Christie. “Even decades later, Nazi collaborators cannot be allowed to continue to hide amongst us in the United States.”
Bojcun entered the United States from Germany in 1949 and became a citizen in 1960. The complaint asserts that his U.S. citizenship should be revoked because his wartime assistance in persecution made him ineligible for citizenship and because he concealed his UAP service when he applied for a visa.
OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated: “The Nazis and the UAP killed over 100,000 men, women, and children in L’viv whose only ‘crime’ was being Jewish. Bojcun and other UAP personnel who took part in these Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution had no right to enter this country or obtain U.S. citizenship.”
Since OSI began operations in 1979, the unit has won cases against 95 Nazi persecutors, stripping them of U.S. citizenship and/or removing them from this country. In addition, more than 170 individuals who sought to enter the country 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.
Members of the public are reminded that the complaint contains only allegations and that the government will be required to prove its case before a federal judge.