- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2002

The Justice Department wants to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a Florida man for his suspected participation in the persecution and mass murder of Jews and other civilians during 1942 and 1943.
A complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Pensacola said Michael Gorshkow, 79, of Panama City, Fla., participated in Nazi crimes in Belarus while serving in the Gestapo, the Nazis' secret state police.
According to the complaint, Mr. Gorshkow was a Gestapo interpreter and interrogator at the headquarters of the German security police in Minsk and participated in a Nazi mass murder at the Jewish ghetto in Slutsk in February 1943.
The department said some 3,000 Jewish men, women and children were fatally shot at pits or burned alive when Nazi-led forces set fire to the ghetto and blocked the Jews from leaving.
"The Gestapo was one of the most feared instruments of Nazi brutality and murder, and no one who participated in the Gestapo's reign of terror deserves the privilege of U.S. citizenship," said Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, who heads the department's criminal division.
Eli M. Rosenbaum, head of the department's Office of Special Investigations, said the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Slutsk "is a particularly ghastly example of the mass murders carried out by Nazi forces in the name of 'racial purity.'"
According to the complaint, the Gestapo and other elements of the German security police in Minsk were responsible for exterminating Jewish residents and suppressing suspected communist sympathizers. Nearly a half million Jews were killed by Nazi-controlled forces in Belarus during the German occupation.
The complaint said Mr. Gorshkow helped interrogate political prisoners in Minsk and participated in "anti-partisan" operations involving the torture, deportation and murder of thousands of civilians.
Mr. Gorshkow, who was born in Estonia, immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1951. Department officials said he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in St. Louis County, Minn., in 1963.
The complaint said he was ineligible to immigrate to the United States under a statute that barred the entry of persons who assisted in persecution, and that he was also ineligible for a U.S. visa because he misrepresented his wartime activities during the immigration process.

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