|John Kalymon is accused of shooting Jews while serving in the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police Force. He denies the charges. (Paul Sancya/ Associated Press)|
Man faces deportation on Nazi-era charges
WASHINGTON - An 88-year-old Michigan man accused of helping the Nazis during World War II faces deportation after the Justice Department filed court papers against him.
US authorities say John Kalymon, once known as Iwan Kalymon, shot Jews while serving in the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police Force in what is now the city of Lviv, which until 1939 was part of Poland.
Crying on the front porch of his home in Troy, Mich., Kalymon said yesterday that he did not shoot anyone during World War II.
“I live in this country 60 years and four months. I love this country because it’s my country. I’m going to die here. They want to remove me, an old man. I never was arrested, pay my taxes. I don’t know anyone as honest as me,’’ he said.
The retired auto engineer has been under investigation for years, and has repeatedly denied the charges.
US officials have not yet said to which country they wish to send Kalymon, but Poland is investigating the role of Ukrainian police in the deaths of Jews.
Kalymon’s lawyer, Elias Xenos, has argued that Kalymon guarded coal from looters. The lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment on the government’s decision to seek deportation.
Kalymon came to the United States in 1949. He said he lied about his police work because he feared being sent to the Soviet Union. He became a naturalized citizen in 1955 and went on to work at Chrysler.
The US government became aware of Kalymon after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. World War II-era archives that had been inaccessible revealed people who may have concealed their Axis allegiance when they entered the United States decades ago.
In 2007, after a civil trial, a federal judge in Detroit stripped Kalymon of his citizenship, saying his two years in the Ukrainian police resulted in the persecution of civilians.