Assembly Member Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) applauded the U.S. Department of Justice after the Department committed to pursue every avenue to remove Nazi Jakiw Palij from the United States. The Department of Justice was responding to Hikind’s relentless effort to bring justice to Palij, a known Nazi War Criminal who continues to live comfortably in Queens, NY.
“I have been reaching out to high-level members of the Trump Administration,” said Hikind, the son of Holocaust survivors who insists that the President personally take up this issue. “The rights and freedoms we enjoy in America should not extend to those who facilitated the death of countless innocent people. Palij’s presence here mocks the memory of the millions who perished. There is no question of his guilt. It is imperative that someone responsible for Nazi atrocities be held accountable for his crimes, regardless of his age. I will never rest while a Nazi lives comfortably in our country.”
Stephen E. Boyd, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General, wrote to Hikind, “The Department agrees fully that Palij should not live out his last days in this country. The Department remains committed to ensuring that justice is done in this case and we will continue, in cooperation with our interagency partners, to pursuing every avenue for effectuating Palij’s removal.”
During World War II, Palij worked at the Trawniki training camp, where Nazi troops were trained to carry out the extermination of Polish Jews. Thousands of innocents were murdered there. Palij came to America claiming that he was a farmer and war refugee, concealing his work as a Nazi guard, and was granted citizenship in 1957. After his past became known, he was stripped of his U.S. citizenship. His deportation order was upheld by the courts in 2004 but as of today, Palij remains a resident of Queens.
In June, Hikind and his late colleague Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Queens) led 83 members of the New York State Assembly, including Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle, in urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to finally deport Palij. The next day, the World Jewish Congress echoed Hikind, calling on the State Department to do its job.
“Palij’s presence here mocks the memory of those who perished,” said Hikind. “It mocks the U.S. servicemen who fought and died to defeat the evil Nazi regime. It mocks the American justice system. I’m confident that our President wants to do the right thing and has the means to do so. It’s time for our President to show the world how murderous fiends should be regarded and disposed of. It’s time to take Jakiw Palij, this monster who is beneath contempt and unfit to breath American air, and kick him the hell out of here once and for all.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)