Why Deporting an (Actual) Nazi Feels Hollow in the Age of Charlottesville

Under the heading of “better late than never!” the last known Nazi war criminal, the 95 year old Jakiw Palij, has been arrested at his Queens home by ICE and deported to Germany.  It’s justice done, yet in this summer of fear and anger, it feels hollow to focus on the past without looking at the present.

According to a press release from the State Department, Palij served as an armed guard at the Trawniki slave-labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland during the second World War. He concealed his Nazi service when he immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1949. A federal court stripped Palij of his citizenship in 2003 and a U.S. immigration judge ordered him removed from the United States in 2004 based on his wartime activities and postwar immigration fraud. A careful reader will notice that that was 14 years ago. So, nu?

2 comments on “Why Deporting an (Actual) Nazi Feels Hollow in the Age of Charlottesville

  1. Bobby5000 on

    Silly post. A horrible Nazi who murdered people is belatedly deported. This administration has achieved the highest rate of Afro-American overall employment and teenage employment in the last 40 years. Remember liberals saying, jobs, we need jobs, jobs are the key, jobs determine everything, but it turns out they meant jobs are only important when we are talking about creation through governmental action. Comparing the administration to Nazis because they did not adequately condemn an apparently isolated incident of violence is strained.

    Trump has his problems and I’d love fair-minded, balanced assessment by media. I thought Bill Clinton was an outstanding president and conservatives haunted him for his personal peccadilloes.

    We should condemn the policy of separating children from parents. One way of effecting that is for critics of Trump to develop some credibility recognizing accomplishments and asking for change where needed, rather than adopting a biased position on every issue.

  2. SundaramRamchandran on

    I feel that in this case, the concerned govt has acted in an opportunistic and even somewhat heartless manner. What is the point of punishing a man who has already paid for his crimes in terms of humiliation / failure / rejection etc and that too at the end of his life ? The same govt didn’t hesitate to utilize the service of Top German Officials at the end of the war when it was expedient. This is similar in some respects to the treatment of Shah of Iran (and even Saddam Hussein) on his fall from grace.
    As they say, history is written by the victors. One should also take into account the factors that led to the Holocaust which were partially caused by the victorious allied govts of World War 1 which precipitated and collectively drove a community over the edge. In fact, we do not seem to learn from history (the current venezuelan Turkish Iranian crisis etc) and keep repeating it.

    Let us not forget the atrocities perpetrated by Colonial Govts. Can we condone the latter because they were perpetrated on other people (considered “inferior” ) while the holocaust was perpetrated on people who were “German” ? Could the difference in magnitude be due to the fact that the colonists , in large measure were successful in realizing their colonial objectives and hence could afford to be liberal while Germany , which was a late starter in the colonial race, was not.

    Also, let us not forget that very few people at the top of the Nazi echleons were the decision and policy makers. The rest were possibly just doing their jobs and slowly grew to identify with their jobs for lack of alternative opportunities.

    This is in no way, an attempt at overlooking or ignoring the atrocities suffered at the time of the holocaust. But now, more than 70 years later, we are still treating the symptoms and not the cause

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