Menu JTA Search

Lithuanian Collaborator Dies Before the U.S. Can Deport Him

The wartime mayor of Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania, who had been stripped of his U.S. citizenship and was facing deportation for lying about his past, died last week in Florida.

Kacys Palciauskas died Jan. 7 of a stroke after being hospitalized for Alzheimer’s disease, shingles and diabetes.

Palciauskas was living near St. Petersburg, Fla., while the U.S. government pursued efforts to deport him to the Soviet Union.

Last August, the 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, in Tampa, granted him the right to a new deportation hearing. The court ruled that Palciauskas had not been given the opportunity to respond to charges he had collaborated in the deaths of 10,000 Jews in the Kovno Ghetto.

He was charged by the Justice Department with lying about his wartime past when he entered the United States in 1949.

There is no evidence that Palciauskas himself killed anyone. He became mayor of Kaunas in June 1941, before the Nazis entered Lithuania.

Government prosecutors charged he had helped in the creation of the Kovno Ghetto, that he knew what it was for and that he did nothing to stop the atrocities there, particularly the killing of 10,000 Jews in a single day.

NEXT STORY