NEW YORK (Jan. 27)
A Florida man who allegedly was a member of a Lithuanian mobile killing unit during World War II has been stripped of his U.S. citizenship.
The U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla., on Jan. 22 entered a judgment by default against Antanas Mineikis, after he failed to respond to a complaint by the U.S. Justice Department and did not comply with a court order issued Jan. 9 to answer the complaint.
The complaint alleged that Mineikis participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while a member of the 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Security Police Battalion, or Schutzmannschaft.
The Schutzmannschaft were armed battalions controlled and aided by the Nazis that engaged in mass killings between 1941 and 1942, in which thousands of Jews, Soviet prisoners of war and others were killed in Lithuania and Byelorussia.
The battalions were formed even before June 1941, when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in what they called Operation Barbarossa. From the invasion’s inception, the Nazis and their collaborators strove for the complete destruction of Jewish communities throughout eastern Poland, the Baltic states, Ukraine, Byelorussia and western parts of Russia.
The collaborators had been organized in preparation for the onslaught. The killings were particularly brutal.
The Justice Department complaint charged that Mineikis was ineligible to immigrate to the United States and obtain citizenship because he had assisted in the persecution of civilians on the basis of their race, religion or national origin.
It further charged that he had failed to disclose these wartime activities on his visa and citizenship applications.
“There is clearly evidence of (Mineikis’) personal involvement in the activities cited,” said Neal Sher, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations.
Sher said that “other people who served in the same unit and live in the United States are also under investigation.”
Mineikis is the 39th former Nazi or collaborator to be stripped of his U.S. citizenship since OSI was formed in 1979.