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Accused Nazi dies before denaturalization trial

JTA

February 1, 2011 | 12:05 pm

A retiree living near Seattle, Wash., accused of committing genocide and other crimes as a Nazi officer during World War II died a month before his denaturalization trial.

Peter Egner, 88, died last week in an assisted-living community in Bellevue, Reuters reported Monday, citing a facility representative who did not give her name.

Egner, a Yugoslavia native, is accused of joining in April 1941 the Nazi-controlled Security Police and Security Service in German-occupied Belgrade, a Nazi mobile killing unit that participated in the mass murder of more than 17,000 Serbian civilians during World War II.

Egner came to the United States in 1960 and became a citizen six years later.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit in 2008 attempting to strip Egner of his citizenship, saying he lied about his Nazi past on his citizenship application.

Egner has admitted volunteering to serve in the Security Police and Security Service as well as guarding prisoners as they were being transferred to concentration camps. He also admitted serving as an interpreter during interrogations of political prisoners that sometimes involved severe torture. Prisoners often were executed following their interrogations.

Serbia’s justice minister on Nov. 26 formally requested Egner’s extradition to stand trial in Serbia.

Meanwhile, on Monday, an immigration judge in Detroit ordered the deportation of John Kalymon of Troy, Mich., who is accused of committing violent acts against Jews during World War II as a member of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police in Nazi-occupied Lvov.

Kalymon, who became a U.S. citizen in 1955 after emigrating from Germany six years earlier, had his citizenship revoked in March 2007. A federal judge concluded that Kalymon took part in wartime violence against Jews and lied about it to immigration authorities.

Kalymon, whose former first name was Iwan, denies the accusations.

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