Judge Revokes Citizenship of Accused Nazi Who Fled U.S.
Menu JTA Search

Judge Revokes Citizenship of Accused Nazi Who Fled U.S.

Download PDF for this date

A federal judge has revoked the citizenship of a man who fled to Germany last year after learning that the U.S. government planned to act on his Nazi past, according to the Justice Department.

Wiatscheslaw “Chester” Rydlinskis, 71, of Bloomingdale, Ill., is a former armed SS guard and dog handler in Nazi concentration camps, the government said.

In 1966, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

U.S. District Court Judge William Hart in Chicago ordered the denaturalization July 20 after Rydlinskis, a retired draftsman, did not answer a December complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago and the Office of Special Investigations, the Justice Department’s Nazi-hunting unit.

The complaint alleged that Rydlinskis joined the Waffen SS in 1941, and served as an armed guard and dog handler in the SS Death’s Head Battalion from 1941 to 1945 at Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Laura, a Buchenwald subcamp.

At Laura, Rydlinskis allegedly guarded the inmates to prevent their escape as they were evacuated — in cattle cars and by forced marches — toward Dachau.

The U.S. government charges that Rydlinskis concealed his Nazi involvement one other time in addition to when he became a naturalized citizen. In 1956, he hid his past when he entered the United States under the Refugee Relief Act of 1953, the government said.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund