Sunday, November 14, 2010

Secret Justice Department report on U.S. help to former Nazis

The New York Times has just posted to its website a secret, 617-page report prepared by the Justice Department on how the U.S. government helped former Nazis, and then prosecuted many who had come to the U.S. under false pretenses. The Justice Department ordered that the report be made, but then suppressed it for four years. Someone just gave the Times the full report, which is available at: Secret Justice Department Report Details How the U.S. Helped Former Nazis.

There is an appendix to the report that gives information about 143 Nazi persecutors whom the Office of Special Investigations, formed in 1979 to investigate and deport Nazi war criminals, prosecuted and attempted to deport (in many cases succeeding).

I have extracted the reports on those accused of committing atrocities in Latvia and Estonia, and they are copied here.

Bogdanovs, Boleslavs
Born: 1917, Russia
Died: 1984, US

Alleged Persecutory Activity: Member of the "Arajs Kommando," a Latvian death squad responsible for mass execution of thousands of civilians in Nazi-occupied Latvia. The victims of the mass shootings were mostly Jewish, but also included political enemies (those believed to be Communists), gypsies and the mentally ill. The leader of the organization, Viktor Arajs, was convicted in West Germany for leading the unit in murdering more than 13,000 people.

Legal history: Denaturalization proceedings commenced in Nov. 1983. Bogdanovs died before the case was resolved.

Detlavs, Karlis
Born: 1911, Latvia
Died: 1983, US

Alleged Persecutory Activity: As a member of the Latvian Auxiliary Security Police, he executed Jews in the Riga ghetto and chose Jews for execution in the Dwinsk ghetto.

Legal History: Detlavs never became a U.S. citizen. INS filed a deportation action in 1976. An immigration judge rejected the government’s case in 1980 and that decision was affirmed on appeal the following year.

Didrichsons, Valdis
Born: 1913, Latvia
Died: 1995, U.S. A
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Member of the Arajs Kommando (see Bogdanovs).
Legal History: The government filed a denaturalization suit in May 1988. The case settled in Feb. 1990 with Didrichsons agreeing to relinquish his citizenship. Because he was ill, the U.S. agreed not to institute deportation proceedings.

Hazners, Vilis
Born: 1905, Latvia
Died: 1989, U.S.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Selected Latvian Jews in the Dwinsk ghetto for execution.
Legal History: Hazners never became a U.S. citizen. A denaturalization action was filed by INS in Jan. 1977. The government’s claims were rejected in 1980 and OSI handled the appeal. The immigration judge’s decision was affirmed in 1981.

Inde, Edgars
Born: 1909, Latvia
Died: 1980, U.S.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Member of the Arajs Kommando (see Bogdanovs)
Legal History: The government filed a denaturalization suit in Aug. 1988. Inde died before the court issued a ruling. [RL: There’s obviously an error in dates here].

Kalejs, Konrads.
Born: 1913, Latvia
Died: 2001, Australia
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Officer in the Arajs Kommando (see Bogdanovs) and a guard supervisor at the Salaspils concentration camp near Riga, Latvia.
Legal History: Kalejs never became a U.S. citizen. A deportation action was filed in Nov. 1984 and he was ordered deported to Australia in Nov. 1988. His appeals were exhausted in Mar. 1994 and he was deported the following month. See pp. 469-478,493.

Kaklins, Talivaldis
Born: 1914, Latvia
Died: 1983, U.S.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Member of Latvian District Police and director of the Madona concentration camp in Latvia. As a member of the District Police, he participated in two mass executions of hundreds of Jews and Soviet activists.
Legal History: A denaturalization case was filed in 1981. It was pending when he died.

Kauls, Juris
Born: 1912, Latvia
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Deputy chief and Commander of the guards at a Nazi concentration camp near Riga, Latvia
Legal History: A denaturalization case was filed in 1984. Kauls left for Germany in 1988 while the case was still pending. The court entered a default judgment of denaturalization.

Kirsteins, Mikelis
Born: 1916, Russia
Died: 1994, U.S.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Member of the Arajs Kommando (see Bogdanovs)
Legal History: A denaturalization case was filed in July 1987. The case settled in Dec. 1991, with Kirsteins relinquishing his citizenship and the U.S. agreeing not to file a deportation action unless the defendant's medical condition improved.

Laipenieks, Edgars
Born: 1913, Latvia
Died: 1998, U.S.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Member of the Latvian Political Police which pursued Jews and Communists.
Legal History: Laipenieks never became a U.S. citizen. A deportation case was filed in June 1981. The government lost; the decision was reversed on appeal, and then reversed again. See pp. 117-126.

Linnas, Karl
Born: 1919, Estonia
Died: 1987, U.S.S.R.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Chief of concentration camp in Tartu, Estonia
Legal History: Denaturalization proceedings commenced in Nov. 1979. Linnas' citizenship was revoked in June 1981 and his appeals were exhausted in Oct. 1982. A deportation action was filed in June 1982 and Linnas was ordered deported in May 1983. Appeals were exhausted in Apr. 1987 at which time he was deported to the U.S.S.R. See pp. 273-297.

Maikovskis, Boleslavs*
Born: 1904, Latvia
Died: 1996, Germany
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Latvian chief of police who participated in the arrest of civilians and the burning of their dwellings.
Legal History: Maikovskis never became a U.S. citizen. INS filed a deportation case in Oct. 1976. Maikovskis was ordered deported to Switzerland in Aug. 1984. Switzerland would not allow him entry and OSI asked the court to modify its order to designate the U.S.S.R. In Oct. 1987, while that request was pending, Maikovskis left for West Germany. In 1988, Germany charged him with war crimes. His trial was suspended due to the defendant's ill health. See pp. 430, 433-434.

Sprogis, Elmars
Born: 1914, Latvia
Died: 1991, U.S.
Alleged Persecutory Activity: Assistant Chief of Police in Gulbene, Latvia. He was involved in the arrest, transportation, and confiscation of property from nine Jews, the transportation of 100 to 150 Jews to the site of their execution, and the appropriation of furniture from the houses of arested Jews. Legal History: A denaturalization complaint was filed in June 1982. The government lost the case both in the district court and on appeal. See pp. 101-105.

Trucis, Arnolds
Born: 1909, Latvia
Died: 1981, U.S.
Alleged persecutory activity: Member of the Latvian Auxiliary Police and the Security Service of the SS which guarded and beat Jewish civilians.
Legal History: A denaturalization action was filed in June 1980. Trucis died before the matter was resolved.

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