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Man Accused Of Being Nazi Guard Ordered Deported to Soviet Union

August 7, 1987 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal judge in Chicago has ordered a man accused of being a former Nazi labor camp guard deported to the Soviet Union, the Justice Department said Friday.

Liudas Kairys, 66, entered the United States in 1949 under the Displaced Persons Act and became a citizen in 1957. He married, had two daughters and worked at a South Side Chicago candy company for 30 years.

Documents and witnesses identified Kairys as a platoon leader at the Treblinka labor camp in Poland in 1943 and 1944. A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago stripped Kairys of his citizenship in December 1984 after finding he had concealed his SS guard service from immigration authorities.

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Kairys maintains he is a victim of mistaken identity and that he worked on his father’s farm in Lithuania from 1940 to 1945. He also says the Soviet Union fabricated the evidence against him, including his fingerprint on a Nazi-SS identity card.

However, the judge ruled that independent Western evidence corroborated the Soviet Union’s evidence.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January 1986 affirmed the district court’s ruling and the Supreme Court let it stand without comment in May 1986.

On July 27, Immigration Judge Craig Zerbe in Chicago ordered Kairys deported, Michael Wolf, deputy director of the department’s Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations, said Friday.

Zerbe, in his 27-page decision, said the denaturalization trial evidence was sufficient to deport him.

Kairys can appeal the deportation order to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church, Va., but had not done so as of Friday. His Chicago attorney, Charles Nixon, did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.

Thousands of Jewish and Polish civilians were incarcerated at the Treblinka labor camp and many died as a result of conditions there, the government said.

When the labor camp closed late in 1944 as the Russian front advanced through Poland, the guards participated in a daylong execution of virtually all the Jewish prisoners remaining.

About 900,000 people were gassed to death at the Treblinka death camp near the labor camp. The death camp closed in 1943 following a prisoner revolt.

A case similar to Kairys’, that of Karl Linnas, attracted wide attention this spring from Jewish groups seeking his deportation and conservatives deploring the reliance of U.S. courts on Soviet evidence.

Linnas, of New York, was deported to the Soviet Union on April 20 after being stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1982 because he concealed his service as an administrator at a Nazi camp in Estonia.

He died of heart failure July 2 in the Soviet Union, where he had been tried in absentia and sentenced to death.

Kairys has not yet been tried in the Soviet Union, Wolf said.

Attorney General Edwin Meese III, lobbied by Linnas supporters, had agreed to allow Linnas to be deported to Panama, but the Central American nation balked after outraged Jewish groups protested.