A former Nazi concentration camp guard, who had been living a secret life in the United States for decades, has been deported to Germany from his New York City home.
The deportation of Jakiw Palij, 95, comes 25 years after a judge first ordered his expulsion from the US for his World War II past.
Palij, who worked as a guard at the Trawniki Labor Camp in what was then German-occupied Poland, had been secretly living out his post-war years in Queens, New York.
The former Nazi, who immigrated to the US in 1949, became a citizen in 1957 and lied to US immigration officials about his role in World War II, saying he worked on a farm and in a factory, the White House said in a statement.
Palij told Justice Department investigators who showed up at his door in 1993: “I would never have received my visa if I told the truth. Everyone lied.”
In 2001, he admitted his deceit to US Department of Justice officials that he had trained and worked at the labour camp in 1943 – the same year roughly 6000 Jewish prisoners were shot dead in single day in one of the single largest massacres of the Holocaust, the White House said.
He admitted serving in Trawniki, but denied any involvement in war crimes.
In 2003, Palij’s US citizenship was revoked for “participation in acts against Jewish civilians” and was ordered to leave the country to following year, but no European country would take him.
Palij remained in limbo in his two-storey home as Germany, Poland, Ukraine and other countries refused him entry.
He remained living comfortably until last September, when all 29 members of New York’s congressional delegation signed a letter urging the US State Department to follow through on his deportation.
.@ABC EXCLUSIVE: The last Nazi collaborator deported — ABC News was there as ICE agents wheeled 95 year old Jakiw Palij from his New York home: https://t.co/OmHJYmyw5V@tarapalmeri reports. pic.twitter.com/2SDW3tzgvY
— Good Morning America (@GMA) August 21, 2018
Video showed federal agents carrying Palij out of his Queens apartment on a stretcher on Tuesday (AEST).
The white-haired Palij was seen wrapped in a sheet and carried down the brick stairway in front of his home.
After weeks of diplomatic negotiations, Palij landed in the western German city of Dusseldorf, where he will be taken to a care facility.