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90 Assembly members call for 92-year-old Nazi concentration camp worker to be deported

Protest outside Palij’s Jackson Heights home

June 14, 2017 By Jason Cohen

Nearly 90 Assembly Members signed on to a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday that calls for the deportation of a Nazi death camp guard who lives in Jackson Heights.

The effort was led by Assembly Members Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) and Michael Simanowitz (D-Queens), with local assembly members Michael DenDekker (D-East Elmhurst) and Aravella Simotas (D-Astoria) among the dozens signing on (see letter below).

Jakiw Palij, 92, a resident of Jackson Heights, was a guard at the notorious Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland during 1943, when some 6,000 Jews were killed and buried in pits.

After WWII, the Polish-born Palij came to America claiming he was a farmer, and was granted citizenship in 1957.  Once his past was uncovered, he was subsequently stripped of his U.S. citizenship, which the government claimed was obtained illegally and under false pretenses–triggering the deportation process. His deportation order was upheld by the courts in 2004 but as of today Palij remains a resident of Queens.

“Jakiw Palij’s presence in Queens is an insult to the memories of millions of Holocaust victims, and those who continue to bear their pain to this day,” said Assemblyman Simanowitz, who represents Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. “The atrocities committed by Palij are unspeakable; to gift him the hard-fought freedoms of this country is intolerable. I stand with my colleagues in calling for his deportation and for justice to be served.”

However, in 2003 Palij told the New York Times, he never killed anyone during the war. He claimed that at the age of 18 he was taken to the camp and forced to work as a guard and wore a different uniform than the Nazis. The federal government never accused of being directly involved in the killings. Rather, it claimed that by cooperating as a Nazi guard, he ”directly contributed to their eventual slaughter” by preventing the victims from escaping.

In May, Rep. Joe Crowley (D- Jackson Heights) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking him to deport Palij.

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11 Comments

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Gary

Good Luck! Sessions is likely looking into how America can provide refugee status to former Nazi guards!

Reply
Karn

That means should government deport all the illegal immigrants living in USA. Because they don’t have any rights to earn money and lied to government and is staying in America on tax payers hard earned money.? This is called hypocrisy and double standards, if you are protesting him to be deported then all illegal immigrants should be deported as well. Not only them but all those who came here on refugee visas when their countries were in turmoil should also be sent back since their countries are now flourishing! Many of those refugees lied as well, they all lived in a neighborhing countries and not the war torn countries, and I am not talking about last 10 years I am talking about decades ago.

Reply
George

This man wasn’t 92 when he lied to obtain residency in the US. Lying on application forms for entry into the US is illegal. (Read the recent SCOTUS decision.) Therefore, he has been living in the US illegally and now he’s been found out. Deport him. He committed a crime here and he aided and abetted the slaughter of many in the concentration camps. He does not deserve mercy. Strong people have the courage to defy authority and that is what he should have done at the time.

Reply
Jorge

It figures cowards have no comment, because all who agree with deporting this all are bandwagon followers. …..and then you wonder why this world is such a mess…..people keep living in the past and can’t move on…..learn how to forgive………

Reply
Jorge

It’s so damn sad that you are trying to deport a 92yr old man because of what happened a long time ago……….he was a guard he had no other choice, he didn’t kill known one he was just doung what he could. …..do you people ever ask yourself what this man was thinking or going through in there mind……for God’s sake they were soldiers and just following orders……I’m talking about the common soldier. …not the higher ups that new ………comon when will you people stop and move on with your lifes………one more thing yoy are not the only culture that suffered a tragedy…….thats my opinion and before you judge me……judge yourself…….

Reply
Al

Kenny-

Being 92 doesn’t mean he’s any less guilty.
How old are you anyway?
Your comments sound pretty uneducated, suggesting that maybe you’re in the 5th or 6th grade?
When it’s time for you to read up on WW2 and all of the horrible atrocities that were committed then perhaps you will change your opinion of the 92-year old man. Unless of course you’re just a fool…

That swine doesn’t deserve to be living here

Reply
Kenny

Nice you go to a 92 yr olds home to protest. He was probably 20 when this went on. He was also most probably ordered under the threat of death to perform whatever acts he’s being accused of.

Reply
Liberace

What about all the south American drug lords who caused thousands of deaths, caused thousands more to become addicted to the poison they distribute. Ruined all those lives, shattered so many familys and caused so much suffering , all while becoming rich and profiting from the devestation of others. Terrible. Its all just ignored. Horrible . They get to live here for years and live the life of a millionaire

Reply
Anonymous

You do know that there are druglords from all over the world that reside in the U.S right? Not just South America.

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