Suspected Nazi guard disappears years after deportation order

Aug. 26, 2013 at 1:47 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. officials said they're not sure where an aging accused Nazi concentration camp guard is living after he was ordered deported more than 13 years ago.

Theodor Szehinskyj, 90, was last listed as living in a modest apartment complex in suburban Philadelphia but the Philadelphia Inquirer said neighbors haven't seen him at that address in more than four years. His lawyer during his deportation trial couldn't be reached to comment.

Szehinskyj remains under a "final order of removal," the Justice Department said Friday. Documents from the Nazi's Waffen-SS Death's Head Batallion identified Szehinskyj as a concentration camp guard in Germany, Poland and his native Ukraine. Szehinskyj denied the charges at his trial but was ordered out of the country.

The problem, officials said, is that no other country wants to take in a Nazi war criminal so often the deportation orders are of little practical use.

"He's a classic case of an individual [against whom] the U.S. has exhausted all legal options," said Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Israel office and coordinator of its research on Nazi war crimes.

"It's bad publicity" for his home country to take him back, Zuroff said. "If you take him back to Ukraine, it'll focus the public's attention on the fact that Ukrainians collaborated with Nazis. That's the last thing they want to do."

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