The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the deportation to Germany of Trawniki guard Jakiw Palij which marked the culmination of a lengthy effort to remove him from the United States.
Watch NBC Nightly News' Andrea Mitchell interiew with SWC Founder and Dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier about the significance of this case
In a statement issued by its chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center praised the perseverance and dedication of the American authorities.
According to Zuroff: "The United States officials involved in this case, and especially OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum, deserve enormous credit for their unflagging efforts to have Palij removed from the United States. A 14-year long campaign has finally been crowned with success. Trawniki guards do not deserve the privilege of living in the United States and that was finally achieved last night."
The Wiesenthal Center officials also commended US Ambassador Rick Grenell, who made the deportation of Palij a diplomatic priority, and Germany's Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas for making the decision to accept Palij. In doing so, Maas, who has said, "I went into politics because of Auschwitz" has clearly demonstrated a strong acceptance of Germany's responsibility for the genocide of Europe's Jews during World War II.
"No pity for Nazi camp guard who is being brought to justice. He lived in freedom and had a complete life unlike the men, women, and children who were massacred"
(Watch Deutsche Welle interview here)