MOSCOW -- The Soviet Union said Monday it executed Nazi war criminal Feodor Fedorenko, a former death camp guard stripped of his citizenship by a U.S. court and deported to the Soviet Union in 1984.
Fedorenko, 79, a former brass foundry worker who lived in the United States for 35 years after the war, was sentenced to death by a court in the Soviet Ukraine in June 1986 for war crimes including the execution of Polish Jews at the Treblinka death camp and the Stutthof death camp in what is now the Soviet Baltic coast.
'The sentence which was passed in June 1986 by the Crimean Regional Court (the Soviet Ukraine) to the Nazi war criminal SS man Feodor Fedorenko who was deported to the USSR from the USA in 1984 was carried out,' the brief announcement carried by the official Tass news agency said. The exact date of the execution by firing squad was not given.
Unlike Karl Linnas, another Nazi war criminal who was stripped of his U.S. citizenship and deported against his will to the Soviet Union last April, Fedorenko, who was born in the Ukraine, returned willingly after his lawyers failed to find a third country that would take him.
Fedorenko had no known living relatives in the United States at the time of his deportation and the Ukrainian wife and two children he left behind disowned him when he returned.
Both Fedorenko and Linnas were in the Soviet army before defecting to the German side which occupied large tracts of Soviet territory during World War II. Fedorenko also served in the Nazi SS forces that occupied Warsaw, the Polish capital where he was responsible for weeding out and deporting Polish Jews to death camps.
Linnas, known as the Butcher of Tartu, died in a Leningrad hospital from heart and kidney failure July 2, the Soviets said.
Fedorenko was the first Nazi war criminal to be executed after being deported from the United States to a foreign country.
Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, refused to halt Fedorenko's deportation a few days before Christmas in 1980 ending an eight-year battle. The Nazi's lawyer, Andrew Fylypovych, said at the time that Fedorenko was 'very upset about the fact that he has to go to the Soviet Union. He doesn't understand why he can't stay here'.
He was described as being near senile and in poor health.
The last confirmed execution of a Soviet war criminal was in August 1983, when a military firing squad shot Alexander Korol, a former Soviet citizen who deserted to join the Nazi army and was convicted of shooting 140 women and children on Soviet territory. Korol's execution was reported by the Tass news agency.
The last Nazi war criminal to be executed outside the Soviet Union was Adolf Eichmann, hanged in 1962 after conviction of war time atrocities by an Israeli court.
Fedorenko entered the United States in 1949 claiming on his immigration form that he had been an inmate at Treblinka and hiding the fact that he had been a Nazi guard.
The last official mention of Fedorenko's case was on April 30, 1987 when Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov said a final appeal against his death sentence was still pending before the Supreme Soviet, the country's parliament.
The failure of the appeal was never made public until Monday's notification that Fedorenko had been shot.