A noted expert on Nazi war criminals said here today that the federal government “has an open and shut denaturalization-deportation case” against an alleged Nazi war criminal who has been identified by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) as Vladimir Sokolov but whose real name, according to Charles Allen, Jr., is Vladimir D. Samarin.
Allen, who for some 20 years has been investigating war criminals living in the United States, said that the press reported a week ago that the Justice Department had filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn, against a former Yale University faculty member named Vladimir Sokolov.
But while the man, Allen told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “entered the United States in 1951 under the name Sokolov, his wife’s name his birth-date registry at Oriel in the USSR shows D. Samarin as his father.” The Justice Department filed technically under the name he used to enter the U.S. — Sokolov.
BACKGROUND OF THE RESEARCH
In research for the first American in depth article on Samarin, which appeared in the progressive monthly magazine, “Jewish Currents,” in November, 1976, Allen discovered that Samarin listed his name in the Yale University Directory as Sokolov-Samarin, and used various combinations of those two names for other public listings.
Samarin’s name and alleged Nazi past were first mentioned in a February. 1976 official Soviet Communist Youth Journal, then in the April, 1976 Moscow Yiddish monthly, “Sovietish Heimland,” Allen said. In May, 1976, the New York-based leftwing Yiddish “Morning Freiheit” carried an article on Samarin.
In some press reports January 28, Samarin (Sokolov) was described as a former “instructor” of Russian at Yale from 1959 to 1966, and quoted Yale officials that “they did not know the circumstances under which he left.” These officials “must have very short memories,” Allen told the JTA.
“Samarin was, in fact, a Yale lector and senior lector in Slavic languages and literature from 1949 to 1976. He was allowed to elect early retirement in 1976 at the age of 63, when his Nazi past was exposed. He was then given what was in effect 18 months of paid leave, through 1978.”
Allen said “Yale has never publicly faced up to the issue, nor fired nor dismissed him, despite media exposure in 1976. I even gave an extremely well-attended lecture about Samarin at Yale that year.”
According to some press reports last month the government charged Samarin (Sokolov) with being a Nazi propagandist, writer and editor from December. 1942 to August, 1944. These reports, including one in the JTA Daily News Bulletin January 29, referred to the Justice Department’s charges that Samarin (Sokolov) “advocated the annihilation of all Jews and called for the conquest of the United States and imposition of Nazi rule throughout the world.”
Allen fleshed out these charges as follows: “Samarin was a Nazi propagandist and collaborator as deputy editor-in-chief of the Nazi publication “Rech” — Russian for ‘word’ — (not Reich, as was erroneously reported) in the city of Oriel, Russia. During the Nazi occupation of that city, he wrote signed articles and editorials under his real name, Vladimir D. Samarin, calling for genocidal murder of the city’s Jews.
“But his editorship was not his only task. He also made frequent trips to Germany, as the guest of Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda, and returned to Oriel to sing the praises of Hitler’s ‘paradise.’ He insisted that the youth of the Soviet Union ‘volunteer’ for ‘work’ in greater Germany — actually a campaign to dragoon them into slave labor contingents. For his service to the Third Reich, he was awarded gold and silver medals, as well as commemorations personally inscribed by Hitler.”
Continuing, Allen said: “Samarin also voluntarily joined the so-called All-Union Anti-Bolshevik League. On his application for membership, he swore under oath that no one in his family was of Jewish origin, and that he believed in racial purity.”
The Justice Department’s complaint was a move to revoke Samarin’s (Sokolov) citizenship because of his alleged Nazi past and because he withheld his Nazi background from American authorities when he entered the U.S. in 1951 and when he obtained his citizenship in 1957. “It will be interesting to see whether the government honors our commitment to the Nuremberg war trials processes, and sends Samarin back to stand trial in Oriel where he committed his crimes,” Allen said.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.