NEW YORK (Nov. 15)
A deportation hearing against Boleslavs Maikovskis, a former Latvian Nazi policeman accused of war crimes, was postponed today until February in order for the government to clarify charges and to give Maikovskis’ lawyer time to answer them.
Judge Francis Lyons of the Immigration and Naturalization Service Court ordered William Strasser, an INS trial attorney, to revise the government’s charges making them more specific. He said that Joseph Lombardo, Makov skis’ attorney, must then file a plea to the charges by Jan. 10 and a hearing will be set sometime in February.
Lyons denied a request by Strasser that Maikovskis’ plea to the charges be given today. He also denied Lombardo’s request that a hearing be postponed for six months.
Maikovskis, 75, has been living in Mineola. Long Island, and working as a carpenter since entering the United States in December, 1951. The government has charged that he lied about the Nazi past when entering the U.S. Similar hearings, the first against Nazi war criminals in 20 years, were also scheduled today against two other Latvian immigrants, Karlis Detlavs. 65, in Baltimore, and Bronius Kaminskas. 73. in Hartford. At a brief hearing in Baltimore this morning before federal immigration officer Martin Travers, Detiavs denied he took part in any massacres of Latvian Jews. The case against him was adjourned No date was set. The INS did not say where the men would go if they are deported. This will probably be decided when and if deportation orders are issued.
The INS ordered the three men on Oct. 13 to appear today and show cause why they should not be deported for concealing alleged war crimes when they applied for U.S. entry. The INS action which came after investigators returned from Israel where they had interviewed witnesses, was the first time the government has on its own initiative taken deportation action against persons accused of war crimes.
NOT SEEKING REVENGE
Except for newsmen, the only other person in the audience at the hearing today was Tuvia Fried man, the Nazi hunter, who is head of the Nazi Documentation Center in Haifa. He said he discovered Maikovskis in Mineola 13 years ago.
When Maikovskis and his attorney entered the court room they first sat behind Friedman. He turned to Maikovskis and showed him a picture taken 35 years ago of a man in a SS uniform and asked him first in Russian and then German if that was him. Maikovskis replied, “Speak to my lawyer.” Lombardo told Friedman to leave his client alone.
Later, speaking to newsmen, Friedman said he had witnesses, documentation and other evidence against Maikovskis and other accused Nazi criminals from the Baltic countries who are now living in the United States. He declared that the Jewish people were not seeking revenge “but justice.” He added, “I believe in the United States there will be justice.”
Maikovskis, who has been identified as a wartime member of the Nazi controlled police department in Rezenke has been charged by the INS with selecting Jewish children from the Dwinsk ghetto for execution in 1943 and with assaulting Jews in the Riga police station among other charges. The three hearings today are expected to be the beginning of a series of cases against suspected war criminals now living in the U.S.
REACTIONS TO EX-NAZI
A segment of CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” last night dealt with Maikovskis. While the Latvian immigrant refused to be interviewed, reporter Mike Wallace talked to some of his neighbors in a local bar. These people, including a Jewish lawyer, felt that after 30 years the case should be dropped. But an INS official who lives in Mineola said the case should continue so that at least the young will know what happened during the Holocaust. A Latvian Jewish survivor said she owes it to those who died to testify against Maikovskis.