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August 13, 1982 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-08-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

42 Friday, August 13, 1982

Agent Says U.S. Harbored Byelorussian Nazi Aides

JO °

PHILADELPHIA (JTA)
— The former Justice De-
partment investigator who
recently revealed on na-
tional television that the
government has harbored
hundreds of Nazi col-
laborators urged a crowd of
250 here to ask their Con-

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gressmen to open an inquiry
into his findings.
Speaking to members of
Brith Sholom and the Coor-
dinating Committee on
Vital Jewish Issues, John
Loftus said, "It's time that
the American people have
the truth put before them."
While working for the
Justice Department's Office
of Special Investigations,
Loftus uncovered a covert
operation, conducted by the
State Department's Office
of Policy Coordination, in
which hundreds of
Byelorussian Nazi col-
laborators had been re-
cruited for counterintelli-
gence work in the Soviet
Union after World War II.

Many of the Byelorus-
sians were later smug-
gled into the United
States and given clear-
ance to obtain U.S. citi-
zenship. Loftus believes
that there are currently
more than 300 Byelorus-
sian Nazi collaborators
living in this country, a
figure he considers "a
very conservative esti-
mate."

And that may be only the
tip of the iceberg. "I person-
ally believe that the prob-
lem is not limited to
Byelorussians, that there

. pkg.

are other ethnic groups re-
cruited in a similar fash-
ion," said Loftus. He is also
concerned that such opera-
tions continue to this day.
"I was given permission
by the CIA to say this much:
that the leader of a modern
group of war criminals was
recently given sanctuary in
the U.S.," he said.
Loftus said he believes
that war criminals living in
the United States today
should be prosecuted and
stripped of their citizenship.

According to Loftus,
there are currently 27
cases against ex-Nazis
pending in federal court
as a result of the Justice
Department's investiga-
tions. But he cautioned
that such litigation is
"enormously complex,"
and would not necessar-
ily produce convictions.

That process first in-
volves suing in federal court
to strip a Nazi collaborator
of his American citizenship,
a process Loftus described
as tantamount to conduct-
ing a murder trial 30 years
after the crime. The prob-
lem is that many of the wit-
nesses are either dead or
living in the Soviet Union.
And the Soviets have fur-
nished eyewitness tes-

timony for the atrocities in
every country except
Byelorussia, Loftus noted.
Once war criminals have
been exposed and stripped
of their citizenship, depor-
tation proceedings can be-
gin. But the process rarely
gets that far.

Loftus had worked over a
year on a case against
Stanislau Stankevitch, a
Nazi collaborator who di-
rected the brutal massacre
of 6,500 Jews in a Byelorus-
sian town in October 1941
and had later been smug-
gled into the United States
by military intelligence.

"We had prepared P-
case against Stankevitt
containing his confes-- -
sions, his admissions of
Nazi background, and
were ready to prose-
cute," then discovered
"that Stanislau Stan-
kevitch had just died,"
Loftus told CBS-TV's
Mike Wallace on the May
16 edition of "60 Min-
utes."

--

It was that setback, and a
desire to return to his law
practice, that prompted Lof-
tus to leave the office of Spe-
cial Investigations last
summer. But his interest in
the project continues.

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