NEW YORK (Oct. 12)
An activist with groups representing Holocaust survivors here has accused the Reagan administration of refusing to implement a deportation order against an admitted Nazi war criminal because of his Republican Party connections.
Menachem Rosensaft alleged that Boleslavs Maikovskis is being allowed to remain in this country despite the fact that his deportation has been cleared by the U.S. Supreme Court because of his affiliation with the Republican Party’s Heritage Groups during the re-election campaign of former President Richard Nixon.
Rosensaft is founder of the International Network of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors. He made the charge Sunday at a gathering of leaders of more than 20 Jewish organizations organized by New York City Council President Andrew Stein and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.
The Heritage Groups have recently come under scrutiny because of the membership in them of several former Nazis and Nazi sympathizers who were working on the George Bush election campaign.
Maikovskis’ participation in the 1972 Nixon re-election campaign was recently reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is believed to be the only convicted war criminal to have ever served on any presidential campaign.
CONVICTED OF MASS MURDER
During World War II, Maikovskis served as a police chief in the village of Audrini in Nazi occupied Latvia, where his subordinates participated in the murder of hundreds of civilians. The district where he served was so notorious it was mentioned in one of the Nuremberg trials.
Maikovskis has admitted wearing a German uniform. He has not, however, taken responsibility for what subsequently happened to those villagers whose mass arrest he engineered.
In 1965, he was convicted in absentia of mass murder by a Soviet court in Latvia. He was ordered deported from the United States in 1984, after admitting in court that his men rounded up the civilian population of Audrini, Latvia, and burned the town to the ground.
In June 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review his case, thereby clearing the way for this deportation.
But despite a full panoply of legal efforts to oust the Nazi war criminal from the United States, Maikovskis still resides in his home in the New York suburb of Mincola.
Journalist Christopher Simpson, in his book “Blowback,” which details America’s post war recruitment of former Nazis, writes that Maikovskis was on the payroll of Nazi dominated Baltic emigre groups financed by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Rosensaft said Sunday that Maikovskis “has been well rewarded for his services” to the Republicans.
TANTAMOUNT TO ASYLUM
“Instead of having to face punishment for his crimes, he has apparently been granted asylum by politicians who are more interested in votes than in justice,” he charged.
He called on Attorney General Richard Thornburgh “to put a stop to this perversion of justice and to immediately deport Maikovskis.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. Justice Department had no immediate comment Wednesday on Rosensaft’s charges.
Kathryn Murray, director of communications for the Republican National Committee, said Rosensaft “ought to check his facts. I never heard of this guy.” She called the Heritage Councils an “unofficial auxiliary” of the Republican Party that has “absolutely no influence.”
In May, Rosensaft was among representatives of II Jewish organizations who joined Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman in a letter urging then Attorney General Edwin Meese III to deport Maikovskis.
Holtzman said Tuesday that “since that time, there has been silence.”
She said she believes that “not designating a country to which he is to be deported is virtually the same as granting him asylum.”
Holtzman noted with disgust that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had initiated deportation proceedings against Maikovskis 12 years ago, in 1976.
As a member of Congress in 1978, Holtzman authored legislation to deport former Nazi war criminals. She has since asked that the procedures of denaturalization and deportation be streamlined.