FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
TUESDAY, JULY 22, 1997                             (202) 616-2771
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department today asked a
federal court in Connecticut to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a
Guilford, Connecticut man who served in two infamous SS units
that participated in the Nazi campaign to annihilate the Jews of

     In a complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in New
Haven, the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations
(OSI) and Christopher F. Droney, the U.S. Attorney in
Connecticut, allege that Walter Berezowskyj, 73, served the Nazis
as an armed guard beginning in April 1943.  The complaint says
Berezowskyj, a former machine operator in the steel industry,
first worked at two SS slave-labor camps for Jews in Nazi-
occupied Poland, then in at least one Nazi concentration camp in
Nazi-annexed Austria.

      For approximately six weeks in the spring of 1943, the
complaint alleges, Berezowskyj trained at the Trawniki Training
Camp, an SS training and base facility in Poland that prepared
eastern European recruits to assist in "Operation Reinhard," the
Nazi campaign to annihilate the Jews of Poland.  As part of his
training at Trawniki, the complaint states that Berezowskyj
served as an armed guard at the SS Labor Camp Trawniki, a 
slave-labor camp adjacent to the training camp.  The complaint
further alleges that in May 1943, Berezowskyj was transferred to
serve as an armed guard at the nearby SS Labor Camp Poniatowa. 
Thousands of innocent Jewish civilians were interned under
inhumane conditions at each of these camps as forced laborers. 
On November 4, 1943, while Berezowskyj was serving as an armed
guard at Poniatowa, all of the prisoners still alive there were
murdered as part of the final phase of Operation Reinhard.

     The Complaint further alleges that by at least July 1944,
Berezowskyj was guarding prisoners at the Gusen subcamp of the
infamous Mauthausen Concentration Camp near Linz, Austria, as a
member of the "SS Death's Head Battalion Mauthausen" (SS
Totenkopf Sturmbann Mauthausen).  Thousands of prisoners from all
over Europe were incarcerated at Gusen because of their race,
religion, national origin, or political opinion.  They were
forced to work under brutal conditions and were subjected to
savage punishments.  As a result, the mortality rate among
prisoners at Gusen was extremely high.  Many prisoners were
murdered directly by the guards, while others died from
exhaustion, starvation, and disease.

     OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated that the so called
Trawniki-men "played an instrumental role in realizing Adolf
Hitler's genocidal ambitions.  The Trawniki-men rounded up and
murdered Jews throughout Nazi-occupied Poland and brutally
enslaved thousands of non-Jewish Poles."

     The complaint also alleges that Berezowskyj was ineligible
for citizenship because he misrepresented and concealed his true
wartime activities from immigration and naturalization officials
when he applied for a U.S. visa in 1949 and for U.S. citizenship
in 1981.  Specifically, the complaint states that Berezowskyj
failed to disclose his service on behalf of the Nazis as an armed
guard and that he claimed that he spent the war as a farmer.

     Rosenbaum said the initiation of proceedings to denaturalize
Berezowskyj was a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and
prosecute former participants in Nazi-sponsored acts of
persecution who reside in the United States.  To date, 59 Nazi
persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship as a result of
OSI's efforts, and 48 such persons remain under investigation. 
An additional 123 Nazi persecutors 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.