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Justice Department Accuses Man of War Crimes in the Ukraine

Deportation could be the final step for a 71-year-old man who “actively participated in beatings and executions of unnamed Jewish civilians” in the Ukraine during World War II, according to federal authorities. The allegations were made against Michael Derkacz by the Justice Department in Federal District Court in Brooklyn as it began a civil suit to revoke his citizenship.

Derkacz, a retired window washer from Queens, NY, became a naturalized American citizen five years after he entered the United States in 1949 by having “willfully misrepresented and concealed his service” in the Ukrainian police unit, the Justice Department charged. Deportation to the Soviet Union, where Derkacz’ alleged crimes occurred, is a possibility if the proceedings to strip him of his U.S. citizenship are successful.

Allan Ryan, Jr., director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation currently investigation about 300 suspected war criminals, reported that the Derkacz case is the 10th in which this special unit has tried to revoke the citizenship of a war criminal.

When reached at his home, Derkacz called the Justice Department’s allegations “an honest to-God lie” and claimed that he “protected the people (Jews) from the Germans.” Derkacz said. “he plans to fight the government’s denaturalization proceedings. When pressed as to why he never mentioned to American consular officials in West Germany that he had served as a policeman in the Ukraine, Derkacz said, “no body asked me.”

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