A Florida resident who admitted to serving in a Nazi-sponsored battalion during World War II moved last week to Vilnius, Lithuania.
In an agreement reached with the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, Juozas Budreika, 79, admitted that he willfully misrepresented and concealed his service in the Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft (Protective Detachment) when he applied for U.S. citizenship in 1967 and earlier when he immigrated in 1958.
Under the terms of the agreement, Budreika, a retired cook, consented to the revocation of his U.S. citizenship and to leave the United States permanently. He arrived in Vilnius May 15.
“Juozas Budreika’s removal from this country is a vindication of the principle that the Unites States, which is the adopted homeland of so many victims of Nazi persecution, will not offer sanctuary to their former tormentors,” said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum.
Nazi Germany armed, sponsored and controlled the 2nd/12th Lithuanian Battalion, in which Budreika served. In 1941 and 1942, the battalion murdered thousands of unarmed Jews and other civilians in Lithuania and Byelorussia – now Belarus – because of race, religion, political beliefs or national origin.
Last week’s agreement settled the denaturalization action filed by the OSI in September 1994.