Man lost citizenship for nazi activities
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Posted on Sat, Apr. 19, 2003
W. Chester man ordered deported for Nazi activities
Prosecutors say that Theodor Szehinskyj was a concentration-camp guard during World War II.
By David B. Caruso
A federal immigration judge yesterday ordered the deportation of a West Chester man accused of being a Nazi concentration-camp guard during World War II.
Prosecutors said Theodor Szehinskyj, 79, served in a Waffen-SS Death's Head unit during the war and helped guard prisoners at the Gross-Rosen, Sachsenhausen and Warsaw concentration camps from 1943 to 1945.
Tens of thousands of Jews were put to death in the camps.
Szehinskyj, a retired machinist who formerly lived in Drexel Hill, has denied that he was a guard. He told investigators he was a farmhand for the war's duration and had nothing to do with the Nazis.
Szehinskyj has lived in the United States since 1950, but a federal judge in Philadelphia revoked his citizenship in 2000 after finding that he had participated in "the Third Reich's closed culture of murder."
Justice Department lawyers have been trying to deport Szehinskyj since September. Yesterday's order was issued in Philadelphia by U.S. Immigration Judge Charles M. Honeyman.
Szehinskyj's attorney, Andre Michniak, did not immediately return a phone call yesterday.
If the deportation order is not appealed, it is unclear how soon Szehinskyj would be forced to leave or where he might go.
The government said Szehinskyj is a native of a town in prewar Poland that is now part of Ukraine. The deportation order would send him to Ukraine, or alternatively to Poland or Germany.
The Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which handled Szehinskyj's case, has stripped 71 former Nazis of their citizenship since 1979 and deported 57 of them, the department said.