NEW YORK (Sep. 15)
The U.S. Justice Department of Justice has filed a court motion to deport a man alleged to have participated in World War II atrocities against Jews.
According to the motion, Vincas Valkavickas, 78, lied about participating in a 1941 massacre of at least 3,700 Jews in Lithuania when he applied to immigrate to the United States.
Valkavickas is accused of guarding Jews who were shot to death during a two-day massacre near the Nazi-occupied town of Sviencionys in late September 1941.
Valkavickas allegedly served in the Saugamus, Lithuania’s secret police, between 1941 and 1944.
Valkavickas “played an essential role in a Nazi-ordered massacre of thousands of innocent civilians,” said Eli Rosenbaum, the director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which filed the motion Monday in U.S. Immigration Court in Chicago.
During the Nazi occupation of Lithuania from 1941 to 1944, approximately 94 percent of Lithuania’s prewar Jewish community of 240,000 died in the Holocaust. Historians say the scale of the tragedy could have been smaller had ordinary Lithuanians not helped with the killings.
Valkavickas entered the United States in 1950 and applied for citizenship in 1994.
Sixty Nazi persecutors have been stripped of their U.S. citizenship since OSI began its operations in 1979, and 48 individuals have been removed form the United States.