Posted on August 21, 2018
Palij is accused of having lied to gain entry to the United States almost 70 years ago, claiming he was a Polish farmer. Almost 20 years ago the US authorities determined that he had been a member of the SS, the elite corps of the Nazi party, and had worked at the Trawniki concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. The camp trained soldiers to round up Jews for extermination. His US citizenship, which he had been granted in 1957, was revoked in 2003. In 2005 a judge ordered his expulsion. But German authorities resisted taking him, saying that the crimes he is alleged to have carried out as a member of the Nazi killing machine took place on foreign soil. The US was unable to prosecute him for the same reason. Both Poland, and Ukraine, in which the part of Poland where Trawniki was located now lies, refused to take Palij, claiming it was Germany’s responsibility. For years, US diplomats have been leaning on the German government, claiming it had a moral responsibility to receive him.