Department of Justice Seal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1997                           (202)514-2008
                                                TDD (202)514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today asked a
federal court in Pennsylvania to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a
Philadelphia man who it said had served during World War II as a
member of an SS-run unit that participated in the Nazi campaign
to annihilate the Jews of Europe and in the mass enslavement of
Jewish and non-Jewish Poles.

     In a complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Office of Special Investigations
(OSI) and the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia alleged that
the defendant, Fedir Kwoczak, 76, served the Nazis  beginning in
February 1943.  

     The complaint says that Kwoczak, a former masonry worker,
trained at the Trawniki Training Camp, an SS-run training and
base facility in Nazi-occupied Poland that prepared east European
recruits to assist the Nazis in implementing their racially
motivated population policies.  According to the complaint,
Kwoczak and other "Trawniki men" participated in "Operation
Reinhard," the Nazi program to murder the Jews of Poland.  During
Operation Reinhard, nearly 2 million Polish Jews were murdered in
actions throughout Poland.  Jews who were not killed outright
were confined in forced labor camps.

     OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum said, "Trawniki men played an
instrumental role in carrying out Adolf Hitler's genocidal
designs.  The Trawniki men rounded up and murdered Jews
throughout Nazi-occupied Poland and brutally enslaved thousands
of non-Jewish Poles."  

     The complaint states that Kwoczak served as an armed guard
at both the SS Labor Camp Trawniki, a slave labor camp adjacent
to the training facility, and the SS Labor Camp Poniatowa. 
Thousands of Jewish men, women, and children were incarcerated
under inhumane conditions at the two camps as forced laborers. 
In November 1943, all of the Jewish prisoners at both camps were
murdered as part of the final phase of Operation Reinhard.

     The complaint alleges that in April 1943, Kwoczak was sent
with a battalion of Trawniki guards to Warsaw, Poland to assist
in guarding and liquidating the ghetto that had been established
there by Nazi authorities to forcibly confine all of the Jewish
residents of the city.  During April through mid-May 1943, they
took part in rounding up more than 50,000 Jews; thousands of
those captured were shot.  The surviving Jews were sent to the
Treblinka Death Camp, the Concentration Camp Lublin (Majdanek),
and various forced labor camps.  Finally, the Nazi forces set the
ghetto afire to destroy it and force out those Jews who mounted a
resistance effort. 

     The complaint also stated that in August 1943, Kwoczak
assisted in the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Bia ystok,
Poland.  The ghetto was liquidated during August and September
1943, and the approximately 25,000 to 30,000 residents were sent
to the Treblinka and Sobibor death camps, the Concentration Camp
Lublin, and elsewhere.
     The complaint further alleged that by late summer 1944,
Kwoczak was a part of the SS Battalion Streibel, a unit whose
primary function was to round up and guard thousands of Polish
civilian forced laborers at fortification and construction sites
in south-central Poland.  Kwoczak remained a member of this unit
until April 1945.

     The complaint also alleged that Kwoczak misrepresented his
wartime activities when he applied for a visa to enter the United
States in 1949.  

     "The defendant concealed his service to the Nazis from U.S.
officials when he immigrated from Germany in 1949," Rosenbaum
stated. "Kwoczak never would have received a U.S. visa had he
disclosed the truth." 

     Rosenbaum said that the initiation of proceedings to
denaturalize Kwoczak is a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to
identify and take legal action against former participants in
Nazi persecution residing in this country.  Some 60 Nazi
persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 48 have
been removed from the United States since OSI began operations in
1979.  An additional 124 Nazi persecutors who sought to enter the
United States in recent years have been blocked from doing so as
a result of OSI's "watchlist" program.  There are some 300
persons currently under investigation by OSI, according to