- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

The Justice Department yesterday initiated proceedings to revoke the U.S. citizenship of a Dayton, Ohio, man based on his suspected participation in the persecution of Jews and others during 1942 and 1943.

A complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Dayton said Ildefonsas Bu*mys, an 81-year-old native of Lithuania, served from December 1942 until November 1943 as an armed guard at the Majdanek concentration camp near Lublin, Poland.

The Justice Department said more than 170,000 civilian prisoners died at Majdanek, including thousands of Jewish men, women and children who were killed by asphyxiation in the camp's gas chambers as part of the Nazi plan to exterminate Jews in Poland.

"Majdanek was an infamously brutal place, where thousands of innocent civilians were murdered en masse," said Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, who heads the department's criminal division. "No one who helped prevent prisoners from escaping that brutality should enjoy the privilege of U.S. citizenship."

According to the complaint, Mr. Bu*mys began serving in a Nazi-controlled auxiliary police battalion in January 1942 and guarded prisoners in Lithuania before being sent to Majdanek in December 1942.

The complaint said nearly 13,000 Jews were murdered at Majdanek within a month after Mr. Bu*mys arrived, and that prisoners who were not murdered often died from mistreatment, starvation or disease.

Prisoners who were unable to work as slave laborers, according to the complaint, were routinely gassed, shot or hanged.

"The guards at Majdanek had standing orders to shoot to kill any prisoner who attempted to escape the camp's horrific conditions," said Eli M. Rosenbaum, chief of the department's Office of Special Investigations, which brought the case. "During the period of Bu*mys' service at Majdanek, the camp had the highest mortality rate of any Nazi concentration camp."

Mr. Bu*mys immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 1958 and was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in Dayton in 1993. According to the complaint, he lied under oath when he applied for citizenship by falsely claiming he had not been associated with any Nazi police unit or concentration camp and had not assisted in the persecution of any person.

In a related action, a federal court in Manhattan has revoked the U.S. citizenship of a Putnam County, N.Y., man for his involvement in a Nazi wartime massacre of unarmed Jewish civilians in Warsaw and Czestochowa, Poland.

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence M. McKenna ruled on Wednesday that prosecutors proved at a three-week trial that Jakob "Jack" Reimer engaged in "concrete personal persecutorial" conduct on behalf of the German occupation forces in Poland while serving as a noncommissioned officer in an SS auxiliary unit during World War II.

Mr. Reimer, 83, immigrated to the United States in 1952 and became a naturalized citizen in 1959.

The court said that from 1941 to 1944, Mr. Reimer, a native of Ukraine who received German citizenship in 1944, served at the Trawniki Training Camp, a facility operated by the Nazis to train men to assist the Nazis in implementing their plans to annihilate Jews. The court said Mr. Reimer's duties there included training other men.

The court also found that in September and October 1942, Mr. Reimer was assigned to Czestochowa, where he performed what the court termed a "support role" in the Nazi liquidation of the Jewish ghetto, a brutal operation in which 40,000 Jewish civilians were deported to the Treblinka death camp.

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