FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1997

CRM (202) 514-2008 TDD (202) 514-1888

JUDGE ORDERS DEPORTATION OF FORMER MEMBER OF NAZI MOBILE KILLING UNIT WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice today won an order of deportation against Juozas Naujalis, a Chicago man who served during World War II as an armed member of a Nazi-sponsored mobile killing unit that murdered thousands of Jews and others in German-occupied Byelorussia (now Belarus) and Lithuania. Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations (OSI), noted that the Naujalis decision, which was made available this morning by the U.S. Immigration Court in Chicago, is a result of OSI's ongoing investigation of Nazi persecutors residing illegally in the United States. "This decision is an important victory," said Rosenbaum. "It provides further proof that Hitler's henchmen can still be brought to justice despite the many years that have passed since the Third Reich's reign of terror was brought to an end by Allied armed forces." Immigration Judge O. John Brahos found that Naujalis, 77, a former machinist, assisted in the Nazi-sponsored persecution of civilians while serving as a member of the infamous 2nd Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft Battalion. The court concluded that members of the 2nd Battalion committed atrocities in Byelorussia, killing thousands of civilians, predominantly Jews. Naujalis immigrated to this country from Germany in 1949; he never applied for U.S. citizenship. The 2nd Battalion was a mobile killing group recruited in Lithuania that perpetrated numerous mass shootings of Jewish men, women and children, as well as Soviet POWs and suspected communists and their families, in both Lithuania and Byelorussia. During the month of October 1941 alone, battalion members participated in massacres that claimed the lives of over 10,000 innocent civilians in Byelorussia. During hearings in this case held in April and August of this year, the Government proved that the Battalion was ordered to Byelorussia from its base in Kaunas, Lithuania in October 1941. Federal prosecutors introduced copious wartime documentation as well as evidence from Jewish survivors and former members of the Battalion. The former Battalion members recounted in chilling detail how their unit, along with German personnel, surrounded villages, forcibly assembled the victims,

and then drove them en masse to wooded areas where they were murdered by gunfire. In 1962, Major Franz Lechthaler, the German officer under whose command the battalion conducted the killing operations in Byelorussia, was convicted in Germany on multiple murder charges. He has since died. Members of the 2nd Battalion assisted in rounding up doomed Jews and others and bringing them to pits where they were to be executed. Judge Brahos termed these acts "atrocious." The court further ruled than Naujalis should not have been given a visa to enter the United States in 1949 because of his voluntary service in an organization under German command and because he served in an organization that was hostile to the United States. OSI was created in 1979 to investigate and take legal action against Axis persecutors living in the United States. To date, 60 participants in Nazi-sponsored persecution have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 48 such persons have been removed from this country. Some 300 persons remain under investigation. Rosenbaum stated that his Office "will seek to have Juozas Naujalis removed from this country as expeditiously as possible." In June, Judge James Moody of the U.S. District Court in Hammond, Indiana revoked the U.S. citizenship of Kazys iurinskas, an Indiana man who had been a member of the same 2nd Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft Battalion. ### 97-387