FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
NAZI COLLABORATOR WHO HELPED LURE JEWS FOR EXECUTION DEPARTS UNITED STATES
WASHINGTON D.C. -- Christopher A. Wray, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, today announced that Algimantas Dailide, 82, a retired real estate agent living in Gulfport, Florida, has permanently departed the United States for Germany. A 2002 court order directed the defendant’s deportation because of his involvement in the Nazi persecution of Jewish civilians in Vilnius, Lithuania during World War II.
Dailide, a native of Lithuania, entered the United States in 1950 and became a U.S. citizen in 1955. In February 1997, the U.S. District Court in Cleveland revoked Dailide’s U.S. citizenship because of his involvement in Nazi persecution. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit subsequently affirmed the denaturalization. Dailide moved to Florida in 1999, and in May 2002, a United States immigration judge in Bradenton ordered him deported to Lithuania. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the decision in October 2003 and in December 2003 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit refused to stay the deportation order.
Specifically, court judgments won by the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) confirmed that Dailide, as a member of the Nazi-sponsored Lithuanian Security Police (the “Saugumas”), took part in the wartime arrest of Jewish men, women and children who were attempting to escape from forced confinement in the Vilnius Jewish ghetto.
The Saugumas systematically arrested and turned over for punishment and execution, Jews who attempted to escape confinement from the Vilnius ghetto, as well as any person who tried to help them. Jews arrested by the Saugumas were either shot at execution pits at Paneriai, a wooded area outside Vilnius where some 50,000 Jews were murdered during the war.
Dailide joined the Saugumas in 1941, and served until 1944, when the Nazis fled Vilnius. He entered the U.S. in 1950, after falsely telling U.S. immigration officials that he had been a “forester” during the war.
The defendant participated in October 1941 in a scheme in which a Saugumas collaborator falsely promised Jews that he would smuggle them out of Vilnius in his truck for a fee. Pursuant to the plan, the escaping Jews were taken into custody by the Saugumas, and were turned over to Nazi security forces.
Assistant Attorney General Wray expressed appreciation to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for its recent assistance in the Dailide matter and stated, “Dailide’s work for the Nazi-sponsored Lithuanian Security Police directly resulted in the persecution of Jews, who were then turned over to Nazi authorities to be shot and killed.”
OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum added, “Algimantas Dailide is the 60th Nazi criminal removed by OSI from the United States, an important milestone in the government’s continuing efforts to secure a measure of justice on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust.”
Dailide is the fourth Vilnius Saugumas member to depart the United States as a result of OSI’s efforts. In 1996, a federal court in Boston denaturalized Vilnius Saugumas Chief Aleksandras Lileikis, who then fled to Lithuania and died there awaiting trial for war crimes. In 1996, a federal court in Washington, D.C. denaturalized Kazys Gimzauskas, Lileikis' deputy and a former resident of St. Petersburg, Florida. He moved back to Lithuania while under investigation by OSI. In February 2001, Gimzauskas was convicted by a Lithuanian court of participating in genocide. In 1998, a federal court in Tampa denaturalized Adolph Milius of St. Petersburg, who participated with Dailide in the arrests of Jewish civilians. Milius also fled to Lithuania, where he died in 1999.
Dailide’s removal is a result of OSI's continuing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. Since OSI began operations in 1979, 73 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 60 have been removed from the United States. Also, more than 160 suspected Axis persecutors have been barred from entering this country through OSI’s “Watch List” border control program.