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WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Justice today initiated proceedings to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a Dayton, Ohio, man based on his participation in the persecution of Jews and other civilians during 1942 and 1943.

The complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court in Dayton, alleges that Ildefonsas Bu mys, an 81-year-old native of Lithuania, served from December 1942 until November 1943 as an armed guard at the Majdanek concentration camp and killing center near Lublin, Poland. More than 170,000 civilian prisoners died at Majdanek, including tens of thousands of Jewish men, women and children who were murdered by asphyxiation in the camp's gas chambers as part of the Nazi plan to exterminate Jews in Poland.

"Majdanek was an infamously brutal place, where thousands of innocent civilians were murdered en masse," said Michael Chertoff, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division. "No one who helped prevent prisoners from escaping that brutality should enjoy the privilege of U.S. citizenship."

According to the complaint, Bu mys began serving in a Nazi-controlled auxiliary police battalion in January 1942 and guarded prisoners in Lithuania before being sent to Majdanek in December 1942. The complaint also states that nearly 13,000 Jews were murdered at Majdanek within a month after Bu mys arrived, and that prisoners who were not murdered often died from mistreatment, starvation or disease. Prisoners who were unable to work as slave laborers were routinely gassed, shot or hanged."The guards at Majdanek had standing orders to shoot to kill any prisoner who attempted to escape the camp's horrific conditions," said Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of the Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which brought the case with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Dayton. "During the period of Bu mys's service at Majdanek, the camp had the highest mortality rate of any Nazi concentration camp."

On Nov. 3, 1943, nearly 8,000 Jewish prisoners were murdered at Majdanek as part of a massive Nazi killing operation in Poland. Jewish men and women were dragged from their barracks by SS men and guards, forced to strip, and marched to pits where they were shot to death in groups of ten, with each group of prisoners lying on top of the previous victims while loudspeakers played music to mask the sounds of gunfire and screams.

The complaint alleges that Bu mys served at Majdanek until after the massacre.

Bu mys immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 1958 and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in Dayton in 1993. According to the complaint, he lied under oath when he applied for citizenship by falsely claiming that he had not been associated with any Nazi police unit or concentration camp and had not assisted in the persecution of any person.

The proceedings to denaturalize Bu mys are a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. Since 1979, 70 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of their U.S. citizenship and 57 have been removed from the country, as a result of OSI operations. Also, 165 suspected Nazi persecutors have been stopped at U.S. ports of entry and barred from entering the country as a result of OSI's "Watch List" border control program.