2006-11-22 / Features

Weiner Joins Protest On Doorstep Of Nazi Guard

BY LIZ GOFF

Weiner joined hundreds of high school students at the protest who demanded that Palij open his door and face them. Weiner joined hundreds of high school students at the protest who demanded that Palij open his door and face them. C o n g r e s s m e m b e r Anthony Weiner (DQueens, Brooklyn) grabbed a sign and joined a neighborhood protest in Jackson Heights November 9 outside the home of a former Nazi SS death camp guard who was stripped of his United States citizenship in 2003.

Jakiw Palij, 84, has not been deported because U.S. immigration officials can't find a country to take him. He was stripped of his citizenship after officials discovered he lied when he applied for an immigrant visa in 1949.

Weiner joined hundreds of high school students at the protest who demanded that Palij open his door and face them.

"No one is going to hide among us," Weiner said. "This monster is responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands of people in the Nazi death camps. He is not paying for his crimes by living a peaceful life on 89th Street in Jackson Heights."

The protest marked the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the "night of broken glass" that sparked riots in Nazi Germany and marked the start of Nazi terror against Jews.

Palij has repeatedly denied taking part in any persecution of Jews, and has denied any association with the Nazi death camps.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Justice said there is no evidence linking Palij to the Nazi atrocities, but acknowledged his position as a guard at the camps "sealed the fates of thousands and thousands of innocent victims".

Several of Palij's neighbors called on protestors to "leave him alone", saying the protest was "just wrong".

The neighbors described Palij as a good neighbor, a frail and elderly man who should be left alone to live out his life in his home.

"What they're doing is just wrong," said Phyllis Stratton, 46. "He's an old man. Everybody has the right to live their life. Maybe it's time to forgive and forget."

Protestors shouted to Palij that he is a "Nazi criminal" and called on German government officials to accept Palij's deportation and try him for war crimes.

Weiner said the world can never forget the Holocaust and the slaughter of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Europe.

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