A former Nazi concentration guard that was recently deported from the United States died on Thursday at the age of 95.
Jakiw Palij immigrated to the United States in 1949 after receiving a visa intended for people left homeless by World War II, according to The New York Times. He became a U.S. citizen in 1957.
Palij concealed his Nazi service by lying to U.S. immigration officials. He told them he spent the war years working until 1944 on his father’s farm.
In all actuality, Palij volunteered to serve in Hitler’s Schutzstaffel, or SS, in Feb. 1943. (RELATED: Watch The Moment ICE Agents Arrest The Last Known Nazi In The U.S.)
In 2003, a federal judge revoked his citizenship after the Justice Department proved he lied on his visa application.
Palij was ordered to be deported from the United States in 2004 but his case has been particularly difficult to U.S. authorities over the years because he was born in the village of Piadyki, which was a part of Poland at the time, but is now Ukrainian territory. He was never a German citizen. All three countries refused to accept Palij since he was stripped of his U.S. citizenship.
The Trump administration was finally able to get Germany to accept Palij last August. Trump tasked U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell with getting Germany to accept Palij.
Following the death of Palij, Grenell tweeted, “Former Nazi prison guard Jakiw Palij has died in Germany. I am so thankful to
@realDonaldTrump for making the case a priority. Removing the former Nazi prison guard from the United States was something multiple Presidents just talked about — but President Trump made it happen.”
At the time of his deportation, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement, “Through extensive negotiations, President Trump and his team secured Palij’s deportation to Germany and advanced the United States’ collaborative efforts with a key European ally.”