FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 1995                           (202) 514-2007
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888



     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Criminal Division's Office of
Special Investigations (OSI) announced that a federal judge in
Philadelphia yesterday revoked the U.S. citizenship of Jonas
Stelmokas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an officer and platoon
commander in the Nazi-sponsored 3rd Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft
(Protective Detachment) Battalion during World War II.
     In a 62-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Jan E.
DuBois found that Stelmokas, 78, a retired architect, voluntarily
joined the Schutzmannschaft in July 1941, shortly after the
German invasion of Lithuania, and served until August 1944, when
he was transferred to the Luftwaffe.  The court found that
Stelmokas' Schutzmannschaft battalion, whose members swore
allegiance to Adolf Hitler, was under the control of German
Einsatzgruppe (mobile killing unit) A, and assisted in
implementing the German policy of destroying the Jews of
     Judge DuBois further found that Stelmokas was commander of
the detachment guarding the Jewish ghetto in Kaunas, Lithuania at
a time that Jews confined in the ghetto "were subject to extreme
deprivation, brutality, and arbitrary shootings, . . . and that
[Stelmokas] was responsible for enforcing the confinement of Jews
in such conditions."  The judge also found that Stelmokas was on
duty with his battalion on October 28, 1941 when the "entire
battalion" participated in the so-called Grosse Aktion (Great
Action) in which Nazi documents record that 9,200 Jews interned
in the Kaunas ghetto, among them 4,273 children, were
methodically shot to death during a 24-hour period.  Grosse
Aktion was the largest single act of mass murder carried out in
all of Lithuania during World War II.
     In stripping Stelmokas of his naturalized U.S. citizenship,
Judge DuBois concluded that the Government had "proved by clear,
unequivocal, and convincing evidence" that, as a result of
Stelmokas' membership and service in the Schutzmannschaft and his
concealment of that service when he immigrated to the United
States in 1949, his 1955 naturalization as a United States
citizen "was illegally procured."
     OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum termed the Stelmokas decision
"an important victory in the Government's comprehensive effort to
identify and take legal action against those who helped realize
Adolf Hitler's genocidal ambitions."  To date, OSI has obtained
the denaturalization of 52 Nazi persecutors and has removed 44
such persons from the United States.  Rosenbaum noted that the
Stelmokas case is the first Nazi trial in this country to make
use of what he called the "treasure trove" of captured Nazi
documents that recently became available when the collapse of
communist rule in eastern and central Europe led to the opening
of archives in the former Soviet Union to western investigators.
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