Nazi accomplice loses US deportation appeal

By Jennifer Lipman, February 16, 2011

A Ukrainian man who during the Holocaust helped perpetrate “some of the most horrific acts against human decency ever known in history” is to be deported from the United States after a Chicago court denied his appeal.

During the Holocaust Osyp Firishchak was part of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, a group responsible for murdering more than 100.000 Jews in occupied Poland.

After the war Firishschak moved to the US and worked as a carpenter, gaining US citizenship in 1954.

However he was stripped of this in 2005 when a federal judge found he had lied about his Nazi past by claiming to have spent the war working on a Ukrainian co-operative during the war.

This week’s ruling upheld a 2007 order for Firishchak to be removed from the country.

Firishcah, who is now in his nineties, challenged that decision because he said he was not given “a full and fair opportunity” to defend his case.

But denying the appeal, the judge said: “The bookends of Osyp Firishchak’s life have involved deportation, on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean, on different sides of the process, and by profoundly different means.”

“When the government learned that Firishchak had been allowed to enjoy the benefits of American citizenship only as a result of a lie, our laws and justice system afforded him both the benefit of the doubt and a fair opportunity to be heard.”

Last updated: 11:38am, February 16 2011