CRM (202) 514-2007 TDD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Department of Justice announced today that it has initiated deportation proceedings in Chicago against a Cicero, Illinois man accused of participation in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution while serving in the infamous 12th Lithuanian Schutzmannschaft (Protective Detachment) Battalion during World War II. The order to show cause, filed today in U.S. Immigration Court in Chicago by the Criminal Division's Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and the Chicago District Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, alleges that Juozas (Joe) Naujalis, 74, was a member of the 12th Battalion from August 1941 to November 1943, and that, while serving in the battalion, he participated in Nazi-sponsored acts of persecution. The order also charges that Naujalis gave false testimony and willfully concealed his wartime service on behalf of the Nazis when applying to immigrate to the United States in 1949. The 12th Battalion was armed, sponsored and controlled by Nazi Germany. During 1941 and 1942, it shot to death thousands of unarmed Jews and other civilians in Lithuania and Byelorussia (now Belarus) because of their race, religion, political beliefs, or national origin. Major Franz Lechthaler, under whose command the battalion conducted the mass killing operation in Belarus, was convicted in West Germany on multiple murder charges in 1962 and has since died. The order specifically states that in September 1941, Naujalis participated in a "murderous sweep" through three towns near Kaunas, Lithuania, that resulted in the deaths of "1,522 Jewish men, women and children." It also alleges that during the fall of 1941, the 12th Battalion conducted killing actions in Minsk and surrounding areas of Byelorussia that resulted "in the brutal massacres of more than 19,000 Byelorussian Jews and other civilians--including children and the elderly--and an unknown number of Allied prisoners of war." A captured German document placed in evidence at the postwar Nuremberg trials shows a shocked Nazi administrator complaining about the "indescribable brutality" with which the battalion carried out one of these operations, the execution by gunfire of at least 3,000 Jews near Slutsk, Belarus, in October 27-28, 1941. The order alleges that Naujalis, a retired machinist, procured his immigration visa illegally and by concealing and misrepresenting his wartime activities. OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum said that Naujalis' unit "left

an almost unimaginably horrific trail of death and destruction, sparing neither infant nor invalid." He noted that the initiation of proceedings to deport Naujalis is a result of OSI's ongoing efforts to identify and take legal action against former participants in Nazi persecution residing in this country. Since OSI began operations in 1979, 52 Nazi persecutors have been stripped of U.S. citizenship and 44 persons have been removed from the United States . More than 300 persons remain under investigation, Rosenbaum said. ### 95-538