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Special to the JTA N. Y. Resident Called One of the Top Five Alleged War Criminals in U.S.

May 29, 1980
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The daily press here has not yet run a story on a Howard Beach, Queens resident whom Israeli intelligence has called "one of the most important Nazi war criminals in our files," although local newspapers were informed of his background over two years ago.

Stasys Cenkus now a permanent resident alien (No. 8100124/601481.R), was Lithuanian Chief of the Secret Police, collaborating with the Nazi secret police in Lithuania, headed by gestapo chief Karl Jaeger. In copyrighted material from his forthcoming book on the subject, author-journalist Charles Allen, Jr. calls Cenkus one of the top five alleged Nazi war criminals living in America today.

In his collaborative role, Cenkus has been implicated in various Einsatzgruppen actions against Lithuanian Jews in 1941-43 including appropriation of Jewish money and property. Numerous witnesses and documents in the Soviet Union testify to his role in beatings, transports to death camps, and murders. His secret police unit was on a direct reporting line to Ampt IV of the gestapo. The Soviet Union has condemned him to death in absentia for his war crimes.

Before World War II, Cenkus was chief of the Lithuanian State Security Police in the Marijampole district of Lithuania. He fled to Germany in 1940, after being charged with subversive activity against the Lithuanian state, in Germany, he was trained by the gestapo and returned to Lithuania after the Nazi victory there, Allen said.

After the war, Cenkus hid out in American-occupied Germany and became involved with the International Refugee Organization, which functioned as an escape mechanism for some Nazis. Although the group knew of the charges against him, they gave him DP status and helped him get into the United States, according to Allen. From 1946 to 1948 be was a member of the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps, and he entered the U.S. in 1951. Allen testified before Congress in 1978 that Cenkus was employed by the FBI, and CIA.

Although Cenkus’ background and locale were reported in the former Chicago Daily News in the fall of 1977 by William Clements and Charles Nicodemus, and this information was given to New York daily newspapers by Allen, the story has never appeared in the press here. Allen said he believes the newspapers have omitted the story because Cenkus is the grandfather of Vitas Gerulaitis, third ranking pro tennis player in the world.

Although the New York dailies have claimed that the city resident’s Nazi background and his link with Gerulaitis are not a "local story," Allen, a foremost expert on Nazi war criminals in America, attributes the omission to "selective hypocrisy," to protect the money market of professional tennis.

Gerulaitis, himself, mode a virulently anti-Semitic remark this month, which was buried on the sports pages of The New York Times and The New York Post on May 10. In criticizing Jewish linesman Lee Gould, Gerulaitis said to news reporters: "That guy should be put into a crematorium and burned to death."

He made the remark on May 5, after his victory over John Sadri at the West Side Tennis Club in forest Hills made him eligible for the semi-finals of the $500,000 Tournament of Champions. Gerulaitis subsequently wan the championship and $100,000.

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