FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
FRIDAY, JULY 21, 1995                              (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888

                         WHO FLED COUNTRY

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced
today that a federal judge in Chicago has revoked the U.S.
citizenship of Wiatscheslaw (Chester) Rydlinskis of Bloomingdale,
Illinois, a former armed SS guard and dog handler in Nazi
concentration camps.
     U.S. District Court Judge William T. Hart entered the
default judgment of denaturalization today after Rydlinskis, 71,
a retired draftsman, failed to answer a complaint filed in
December by the Criminal Division's Office of Special
Investigations (OSI) and the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago. 
Papers recently filed by the government revealed that Rydlinskis
had fled from the United States to Germany late last year after
being officially informed that the complaint was to be filed.
     The complaint alleged that Rydlinskis joined the Waffen-SS
in 1941 and served as an armed guard and dog handler in the 
SS-Totenkopfsturmbann (SS Death's Head Battalion) from 1941 to 1945
at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied
Poland, the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and at
Buchenwald's Laura subcamp.
     As a member of the SS Death's Head Battalion at Laura, the
complaint charged, the defendant also guarded the camp's inmates
to prevent their escape as they were evacuated in cattle cars and
by forced march from the camp toward Dachau concentration camp in
late March 1945.  Many prisoners died during the evacuation due
to harsh conditions, lack of adequate food and water, and
mistreatment by guards.  Numerous inmates were shot by SS guards
when they could no longer continue to march.
     The complaint said Rydlinskis' service as an armed guard and
dog handler in the Waffen-SS at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Laura,
and his participation in the evacuation of Laura inmates to
Dachau constituted assistance in the Nazi program of persecution
based on race, religion, political opinion and national origin.
     Following the end of World War II, the complaint said,
Rydlinskis concealed his service as an armed SS guard at
Auschwitz and Buchenwald from U.S. government officials at the
following times:
          In 1956, when he successfully entered the United
          States from Bremen, Germany, under the Refugee
          Relief Act of 1953; and
          In 1966, when he successfully applied for
          naturalized U.S. citizenship.
     Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of OSI, said revocation of
Rydlinskis' citizenship resulted from the Department's ongoing
efforts to identify and take legal action against former
participants in Nazi persecution who reside in the United States. 
With this case, 51 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S.
citizenship as a result of OSI's investigations and prosecutions,
and 43 such persons have been removed from the United States, he
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