Protests Against Nazi in NY

Monday marks 71st anniversary of Kristallnacht - and NY students will protest against a Nazi war criminal in New York who isn't being deported.

Hillel Fendel,

Monday, November 9, marks the 71st anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, which is widely considered the beginning of the Holocaust -- and high school in students in New York will mark the occasion by demanding the deportation of a Nazi war criminal.

On November 9-10, 1938, gangs of Nazi youth, with the unofficial but clear encouragement of Nazi leaders, committed pogroms in Jewish neighborhoods throughout Germany and Austria. They smashed Jewish storefronts and homes, destroyed over 250 synagogues, and vandalized over 7,500 Jewish stores and businesses. Close to 100 Jews were killed, and 26,000 were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

In Queens, New York, two high schools will commemorate the event by demanding the deportation of a known Nazi war criminal from the U.S. to Germany. The German government has refused to accept the deportation of Jakiw Palij, whose U.S. citizenship has been revoked. Female students will protest on Monday morning outside Palij’s home, followed later by a boys’ protest in front of the German Mission to the UN.

Rabbi Zev Friedman, of Rambam Mesivta High School in Queens, organizer of the rallies, says it is "unconscionable for a Nazi war criminal such as Palij to remain free in the U.S. despite all of the evidence against him. We are here to support Congressman Anthony Weiner's demand that Germany accept Palij, and live up to their moral responsibility.”

Palij was ordered deported in 2003, but no country has agreed to accept him. Congressman Weiner, a Democrat, sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel requesting that Germany accept Palij back.

The Polish-born Palij immigrated to the United States as a war refugee in 1949, and received U.S. citizenship in 1957. Only some four decades later was it learned that he had concealed his Nazi past – which included service at the SS-run Trawniki Training Camp. In November 1943, Trawniki guard units slaughtered the camp's entire inmate population of some 6,000 Jewish civilians.  A federal court found him guilty of taking part in the planned murder of Jews in the camp and of lying about his Nazi past when he moved to the U.S.

Palij also served during the Holocaust in the Deployment Company, a unit that “perpetrated numerous atrocities against Polish civilians and others," according to U.S. Federal Judge Allyne Ross.

The first protest rally will be held at 11 AM on Monday, with 50 students and staff members from the Shalhevet High School for Girls standing outside 33-18 89th street in Jackson Heights, where Palij resides, to express their outrage at Palij’s continued presence in the United States.  At 1 PM, 200 students and staff members of Rambam Mesivta High School will rally in front of the German Mission, at 871 1st Avenue/48th Street, and demand that Germany immediately accept Palij and try him for his complicity in the murder of thousands of people.





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