Justice Department Seeks Removal of Detroit-Area Man Who Shot Jews While Serving as Nazi Policeman

The Department of Justice has initiated removal proceedings against a Troy, Mich., resident based on his participation in violent acts of persecution while serving as an armed member of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) in occupied L’viv, Ukraine, during World War II.

The charging document, filed Aug. 27, 2009, in U.S. Immigration Court in Detroit, alleges that John (originally Iwan) Kalymon served as a member of the UAP from at least May 1942 to March 1944; that he personally shot Jews while serving, killing at least one; and that he participated in violent anti-Jewish operations in which Jews were forcibly deported to be murdered in gas chambers and to serve as slave laborers.

"These charges once again demonstrate the resolve of the Department of Justice to deny safe haven in this country to human rights violators, no matter how long ago they committed their heinous acts," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. "The ultimate removal of John Kalymon will close a very painful chapter and provide a measure of justice to his victims and their families."

As the government established in prior federal court litigation that resulted in a court order revoking Kalymon’s naturalized U.S. citizenship, during the German occupation of L’viv, which had been part of Poland before the war, Nazi German forces assisted by the UAP confined more than 100,000 Jews to a ghetto in the city and carried out periodic operations to reduce the ghetto’s population. In these violent operations, German forces and the UAP rounded up Jews, beating and shooting those who showed any sign of resistance, and sent most of them to be murdered in the gas chambers at the Belzec extermination center. Some were shot or selected to be worked to death in forced labor camps.

Kalymon, 88, admitted in court proceedings that he fled with retreating German forces in 1944. He immigrated to the United States from Germany in May 1949, concealing his UAP service from U.S. immigration officials and obtained U.S. citizenship in Detroit in October 1955. A federal judge in Detroit revoked his citizenship in March 2007, concluding that Kalymon assisted in the wartime persecution of Jews by, "taking part in sweeps of the ghetto during periodic reduction actions; manning cordon posts around the city to prevent Jews from escaping before and during such actions; and hunting for Jews who attempted to hide or flee." The court noted that World War II-era documents, including a handwritten Aug. 14, 1942, report prepared by Kalymon in which he accounted to his UAP superiors for ammunition he had expended that day in shooting Jews, proved that Kalymon personally killed at least one Jew and wounded at least one other. The actions were part of the so-called "Great Operation," which resulted in the removal of 40,000 Jews from the L’viv Ghetto in August 1942.

"With the active assistance of collaborators like John Kalymon, the Nazis annihilated some 100,000 innocent Jewish men, women and children in L’viv," noted Eli M. Rosenbaum, Director of the Criminal Division’s Office of Special Operations (OSI). "Participants in such crimes have forfeited any right to enjoy the precious privilege of U.S. citizenship or to continue residing in the United States."

The proceedings to denaturalize Kalymon were initiated in 2004 by OSI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit. The case is a result of OSI’s ongoing efforts to identify, investigate and take legal action against former participants in Nazi crimes of persecution who reside in the United States. Since OSI began operations in 1979, it has won cases against 107 individuals who participated in Nazi-sponsored persecution. In addition, more than 180 suspected participants in Nazi crimes who sought to enter the United States in recent years have been blocked from doing so as a result of OSI’s "Watchlist" program, which is enforced in cooperation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

The removal case against Kalymon is being litigated by OSI Senior Trial Attorney William H. Kenety. The Detroit office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has provided assistance. Members of the public are reminded that the charging document contains only allegations and that the government will be required to prove its case before an immigration judge.