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Florida Judge Orders Deportation of Member of Wartime Killing Unit

August 11, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A federal judge in Florida has ordered the deportation to Lithuania of a resident of the St. Petersburg area who was a member of a Lithuanian mobile killing unit during World War II.

The U.S. Immigration Court in Miami entered the deportation order on Aug. 6 against Antanas Mineikis of South Pasadena, Fla., after he failed to respond to an order issued at the behest of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations.

Mineikis did not attend the court hearing.

The government charged Mineikis was involved in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while serving as a member of the 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Security Police Battalion, also known as the Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft, during World War II.

At the July 1991 hearing, the government presented evidence which included a confession by Mineikis that on several occasions he had transported Jews in Byelorussia to death pits that they had been forced to dig.

Mineikis said he had not shot the victims but had watched. “I drove a truck to about six shootings,” he said in a sworn statement.

He said that in June 1941, he was living near Vilna, Lithuania, when the Germans invaded. “I was taken into the German army,” but given a Lithuanian uniform, he said.

In 1941, he was sent to Minsk. “The Germans offered money to members of my unit to shoot people,” he said, but “I did not volunteer.”

“I was ordered to drive a truck to where the people were and transport them to the place where they were shot,” he testified. “I made several trips each time a shooting happened.”

He was captured by U.S. forces in September 1944, placed in a prisoner-of-war camp and later released. He entered the United States from England in June 1956 and became a citizen in March 1965.

Mineikis, who was denaturalized in January, is the 39th person the Justice Department has stripped of U.S. citizenship and the 19th ordered deported. The government had charged that he obtained his citizenship by lying about his war-time activities.

The order to deport Mineikis to Lithuania follows an agreement last week between the U.S. Justice Department and the government of Lithuania providing for mutual cooperation in cases relating to wartime crimes.

It is the first law-enforcement agreement between the independent Baltic state and the United States since before World War II. The agreement was reported in the Lithuanian press.

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