NEW YORK (Apr. 27)
Karl Linnas, a Nazi concentration camp commander in Estonia during World War II, is being held at a federal prison in Manhattan because of concern that he might flee the country, federal officials said.
Linnas, who was stripped of his U.S. citizenship in 1981, is appealing a 1982 deportation order issued because of his participation in war-time atrocities. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan heard the appeal. Their decision is pending.
Linnas, 66, of Greenlawn, Long Island, is fighting deportation to the Soviet Union. Neal Sher, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, said Linnas is being held because “We’re not taking any chances that he might flee.”
Sher said officials were concerned that Linnas might imitate Bohdan Koziy, 62, a Ukrainian who was living in Florida. He had been ordered deported from the U.S. for alleged war crimes and for misrepresenting his war-time activities when he entered the country. He fled to Costa Rica in 1984 before he could be deported.
Following an investigation in 1974, federal officials charged that in 1941, Linnas voluntarily joined a unit that assisted Nazis in Killing Jews and other groups. About 2,000 Jews and 1,000 Communists were killed in Estonia.