New York (Sep. 1)
A 25-year-old member of the Jewish Defense League attacked Boleslavs Maikovskis, a 75-year-old Latvian immigrant accused of collaboration with the Nazis in 1941 and 1942, during deportation proceedings today against Maikovskis in the Immigration and Naturalization court in Federal Plaza here.
Identified by the JDL as Martin Schwartz of Brooklyn, Schwartz reacted with rage when Maikovskis’ defense attorney said he had “proof” that some of the prosecution witnesses had lied in describing Maikovskis’ wartime record in Latvia. Screaming “you’re a lying bastard,” Schwartz rushed toward Maikovskis, grappled with him and knocked him to the floor. Four court attendants pulled Schwartz off Maikovskis. The hearing was resumed after Schwartz was removed from the courtroom.
Schwartz was one of 20 JDL members who came to the Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan to demonstrate against Maikovskis, who was sentenced to death in absentia in the mid-1960s by a Riga court as a “mass murderer.” Maikovskis has been fighting deportation by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service since 1977. The INS claimed Maikovskis lied about his role as a member of a wartime pro-Nazi Latvian police force to gain entry into the United States.
JDL MEMBERS ALLOWED INTO COURTROOM
Five of the 20 JDL demonstrators were allowed to take seats in the courtroom. However, only Schwartz lost his self-control and attacked the defendant, according to Arnold Weinstein, JDL national director.
Weinstein told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the 20 JDL members were allowed to enter the Federal Plaza and to stage a peaceful protest. He said the demonstrators first recited morning prayers and that he then read a statement aloud, declaring that “this is no longer a time for words but for action — the prayer and the fist” — a reference to the JDL emblem of a clenched fist and the slogan “Never Again.”
Weinstein also told the JTA that the JDL was not claiming responsibility for the Sunday night fire-bombing of Maikovskis’ home in Mineola, Long Island, “but we applaud it and we could only wish that this would happen to every Nazi and Jew-hater living in America.” Weinstein said he had been informed that Schwartz, who was in the custody of his attorney, had been arrested. He said he assumed Schwartz would be booked for a hearing for the attack on Maikovskis.
The fire-bombing, in which damage proved to be slight, was the second such action at the Maikovskis home. In August 1978, the suspected Nazi war criminal was shot in his home by unidentified assailants. He was hit in the right knee by a bullet but recovered soon afterwards. Officials of the JDL, which had been picketing Maikovskis’ home, denied any connection with the shooting but applauded it.