WASHINGTON (Jan. 27)
The United States Supreme Court Tuesday declined to reconsider its December 1 refusal to hear an appeal by convicted Nazi was criminal Karl Linnas against his deportation to the Soviet Union. The court’s action prompted demands by prominent Republicans and Democrats that Attorney General Edwin Meese carry out Linnas’ deportation as soon as possible.
In 1981, the Federal District Court on Long Island, NY, stripped Linnas, now 67, of his U.S. citizenship, after finding him responsible for multiple acts of murder committed during his wartime service as chief of the Nazi concentration camp at Tartu, Estonia.
According to the Justice Department, more than 12,000 persons were murdered at the camp. Linnas was ordered deported in 1983 and has been held since April 1986 at the Metropolitan Correction Center in New York City.
REACTIONS TO THE COURT’S DECISION
Praising Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision for “upholding the laws of our nation and bringing to justice a man whose actions are directly responsible for some of the most brutal murders of our time,” Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R. NY) declared that “Linnas must and will be deported from the United States.”
Also urging Meese to act swiftly was Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman, who as a Democratic Congresswoman sponsored the 1978 federal legislation that specifically authorized the deportation of Nazi war criminals.
She said Tuesday that the Supreme Court’s final decision “brings to an end Linnas’ effort to forestall the inevitable — his deportation from this country. The United States should not provide a safe haven even one day longer for this Nazi criminal,” she said.
Reacting to the Supreme Court decision, World Jewish Congress vice president Kalman Sultanik, himself a Holocaust survivor, declared: “At long last, justice has been done. There is no statute of limitations on crimes against humanity.” The Justice Department has not disclosed what, if any, transportation arrangements have been made for Linnas. His deportation papers must in any event be signed by or on behalf of Meese before the expulsion can actually be carried out.