Skip to Content

Newsroom

Press Releases

Reps. Nadler, Meeks and Jeffries Urge State Department to Share Information on the Failed Deportation of Convicted Nazis

Washington, D.C. - Today, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) alongside House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, seeking information on the failed deportation of Nazi war criminals. In particular, the members seek information about nine cases where Nazis who were hiding in the United States were convicted and stripped of their citizenship but were never deported.

In the letter, the members wrote “We ask that you direct the State Department Office of the Historian, along with any other relevant offices or bureaus as needed, to conduct a review of these cases and how they may have been handled by the Department over time, and to provide us with a briefing on these cases at the earliest possible opportunity.  We recognize that other countries may simply have been unwilling to take custody of these criminals upon deportation from the U.S., but we welcome a clear picture of the diplomatic engagement around these cases that nevertheless failed to secure their deportation.  It is important that the State Department provide the public with a complete accounting of that profound injustice.”

Full text of the letter can be found below and here:

The Honorable Antony Blinken
Secretary
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Blinken:

In 1979, at the urging of Congress and at the insistence of Chairman Peter Rodino and Representative Elizabeth Holztman, the Department of Justice established the Office of Special Investigations to investigate and prosecute alleged Nazi war criminals. According to the formative report on the subject, OSI’s work in identifying, prosecuting, and slating these war criminals for removal from the United States “stand[s] as a permanent and irrefutable response to those who would deny the Holocaust and its horrors.” 

We write to draw your attention to nine particular cases brought by OSI.  Specifically, among those identified by OSI as Nazis hiding in the United States after World War II, nine men were prosecuted, convicted, and ordered deported—but never actually removed from the United States.  It seems important to repeat their names:

  • Osyp Firishcak 
  • Bronislaw Hajda 
  • Johann Leprich 
  • Michael Negele 
  • Jack Reimer 
  • Theodore Szehinskyj 
  • Anton Tittjung 
  • Mykola Wasylyk 
  • Vladas Zajanckauskas 

Some of these men were stationed at Nazi concentration camps.  Others participated in the horrific liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto.  The Department of Justice established beyond a reasonable doubt that each of them contributed to the atrocities of the Holocaust.  A federal court stripped each of them of their citizenship and ordered them deported.  But none of them were ever actually deported, and all nine of them died comfortably in the United States.  Why?

    We ask that you direct the State Department Office of the Historian, along with any other relevant offices or bureaus as needed, to conduct a review of these cases and how they may have been handled by the Department over time, and to provide us with a briefing on these cases at the earliest possible opportunity.  We recognize that other countries may simply have been unwilling to take custody of these criminals upon deportation from the U.S., but we welcome a clear picture of the diplomatic engagement around these cases that nevertheless failed to secure their deportation.  It is important that the State Department provide the public with a complete accounting of that profound injustice.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request
Back to top