New York - A Nazi war criminal who was recently booted from his home in Queens and deported to Germany has died.
Jakiw Palij, 95, worked as a guard at the Nazi German Trawniki SS camp in occupied Poland. When he arrived in the United States in 1949 he claimed he worked on his father's farm in Poland and at a factory in Germany during the war.
In 2002, the Department of Justice moved to deport him. After a two-year legal battle, a federal judge stripped Palij of his US citizenship. An immigration judge later ordered he be sent to Germany, Poland or Ukraine.
But those countries for years refused to take in the concentration camp guard.
A group of yeshiva students from the Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence, Long Island, would rally each year outside his home on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the 1938 "Night of Broken Glass," a run-up to the Holocaust when Jewish synagogues and stores in Germany were torched by roving Nazis.
Last year, the students also rallied in front of the German consulate by the United Nations.
He was finally deported in August by federal immigration agents. The move was driven by the Trump administration and hailed by Jewish groups and local elected officials.
"It's the closure survivors of the Holocaust needed," said former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
"It also goes to show that our efforts in seeking justice were not in vain, and reinforces our commitment to ridding the world of any last vestige of Nazism regardless of where it may exist. He certainly did not deserve to die on blessed American soil, but rather in a country closer to where he committed his abhorrent crimes."