Former Nazi guard deported from New York worked at Trawniki labor camp, where thousands of Jews were massacred during WWII

A 95-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard recently deported to Germany after living in Queens for years served at a slave labor camp in Trawniki, where thousands of prisoners held in Poland were massacred during the second World War.

Jakiw Palij was carried out of his New York apartment Monday morning and removed from the country — more than a decade after he was stripped of his United States citizenship in 2003 for “participating in acts against Jewish civilians” while he served as an armed guard at the SS camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.

At the end of 1941, a former sugar plant in the village of Trawniki — located about 25 miles south of Lubin — was converted into a training facility and labor camp for Soviet and Polish prisoners of war. Most them died as a result of poor living conditions while others were murdered. Those that remained continued to train at the old sugar factory and would go on to serve in the SS, “undertaking such work as guarding the ghettos, transport duty or taking the Jews to the Death camps,” according to the Holocaust Research Project.

By the following spring, Trawniki had become a transit camp for local Jews. Several hundred incapable of working in the nearby town of Piaski, located about six miles away, were scheduled for deportation to the Belzec killing center. They were held in a barn-like structure beforehand, where as many as 500 people suffocated.

During February 1943, the German firm Schultz, a fur and brushes production business was relocated from the Warsaw ghetto to Trawniki, along with its Jewish workers. Initially, the SS encouraged those who worked at the firm to move voluntarily, but Schultz was only able to persuade less than half of his 1,500 workers to do so.

“Losing patience, the SS decided to liquidate the Warsaw ghetto. At 3:00 a.m. in the morning of April 19, 1943 SS and police units, including a battalion of 350 Trawniki-trained guards, sealed off the ghetto, sparking the Warsaw ghetto uprising,” according to the Holocaust Encyclopedia.

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