FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECRM
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 1999(202) 616-2777
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT MOVES TO REVOKE U.S. CITIZENSHIP OF FORMER NAZI CAMP GUARD
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department today asked a federal court in Albany, New York, to revoke the U.S. citizenship of an Ellenville, New York resident on the basis of his participation in acts of persecution against Polish and Jewish civilians while serving during World War II as an armed guard at two SS slave-labor camps in Nazi-occupied Poland.
In a complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in Albany, the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York allege that Mykola Wasylyk, 76, served the Nazis as an armed guard of civilian prisoners beginning in April 1943. According to the complaint, Wasylyk -- who has homes in both Ellenville and in Northport, Florida, and owns and operates rental bungalows in Ellenville -- served as a guard at two SS slave-labor camps where Jews were incarcerated in Nazi-occupied Poland.
The complaint alleges that from April to June 1943, Wasylyk trained at the Trawniki Training Camp, an SS-run training and base camp facility in Nazi-occupied Poland that prepared Eastern European recruits to assist German personnel in implementing "Operation Reinhard," the Nazi campaign to annihilate Jews in Poland. The complaint states that during his training at Trawniki, Wasylyk served as an armed guard at the SS Labor Camp Trawniki, a slave-labor camp for Jews adjacent to the training facility. The complaint further alleges that in June 1943, Wasylyk was transferred to serve as an armed guard at the nearby SS Labor Camp Budzy, which was a slave-labor camp located near the Polish town of Kranik. Thousands of Jewish men, women, and children were incarcerated under inhumane conditions at those two camps and forced to work as slave laborers.
According to the complaint, by early August 1944, Wasylyk was serving in 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.
The complaint also charges that when Wasylyk applied for a visa to enter the United States in 1949, he misrepresented and concealed his true wartime activities from U.S. immigration officials. Specifically, the complaint states that Wasylyk failed to disclose his service on behalf of the Nazis as an armed guard of civilian prisoners and that he falsely claimed to have worked at a paper firm in Dresden, Germany, from April 1943 to 1945. The government's suit seeks a judgment revoking his United States citizenship and a declaration that Wasylyk illegally procured his naturalization.
OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum stated, "The so-called Trawniki men did much of the dirty work in the Nazis' genocidal drive to murder Jews in Poland." "It is an affront to the surviving victims of the Nazis and to American veterans of World War II to permit members of this notorious unit to continue to enjoy the benefits of their illegally procured U.S. citizenship," said U.S. Attorney Daniel J. French.
The initiation of proceedings to denaturalize Wasylyk 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. Sixty-three individuals who assisted in Nazi persecution have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 52 such persons have been removed from the United States since OSI began operations in 1979. In addition, more than 150 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. More than 250 persons remain under investigation by OSI.