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'Last-Known' Nazi Collaborator Living In U.S. Deported To Germany

Jakiw Palij in a 1949 visa photo

A man who thought to be the last World War II Nazi collaborator in the United States has been deported to Germany.

A plane carrying 95-year-old Jakiw Palij, who lived in New York City for almost 70 years after World War II, arrived in Dusseldorf, Germany, on August 21.

Justice Department officials say Palij served as an armed guard at the Trawniki death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Palij, who is ethnic Ukrainian, was born on former Polish territory in an area that is now located in Ukraine. He immigrated to the United States in 1949 and became a citizen in 1957. But he concealed his work for the Nazis at the Trawniki death camp.

The White House said on August 21 that President Donald Trump "prioritized" the removal of "this war criminal from United States soil."

"Through extensive negotiations, President Trump and his team secured Palij's deportation to Germany and advanced the United States' collaborative efforts with a key European ally," the White House said.

After his wartime history was uncovered in 2003, Palij was stripped of his citizenship and ordered deported by a U.S. judge in 2005. But the order was not carried out for years, in large part because neither Poland nor Ukraine agreed to take him.

Germany also did not immediately accept Palij, saying he had never been a German citizen.

It was not immediately clear whether Palij will face trial in Germany.

With reporting by dpa, AP, AFP, and ABC News
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