NEW YORK (Jan. 1)
A former Waffen SS concentration camp guard who fled to West Germany last August after admitting to the Justice Department that he had killed a Jewish inmate in cold blood, was stripped of his U.S. citizenship by a Federal District Court Judge in Newark, N.J., Monday.
Stefan Leili, 77, a resident of Clifton, N.J., was denaturalized on the orders of Federal Judge Harold Ackerman when he failed to appear in court for a hearing on his case. Ackerman also instructed the Justice Department to advise West German authorities that Leili is no longer a U.S. citizen.
The Justice Department obtained a sworn deposition from Leili last August in which he confessed that he shot and killed a 17-year-old Jewish inmate at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. The youth, identified as Leon Axelroud, was running away from two other SS guards when Leili shot him in the back, even though he knew there was no way for the inmate to escape from the camp.
He also admitted punitive acts against Jews and slave laborers at the Styr concentration camp in Austria to which he was transferred from Mauthausen.
Leili was captured by Allied Forces in March, 1945. He concealed the fact that he had joined the notorious Waffen SS “Death Head” Division in July 1943, claiming he was a private in an infantry division and later a prisoner of war. On the basis of his sworn affidavits he was issued a U.S. visa and entered the country on February 14, 1956. He was granted U.S. citizenship on November 15, 1962.