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Ohioans Accused of Working for the Nazis During World War II

Alex Constantine - July 23, 2015

These former Ohio residents were accused of working for the Nazis during World War II:

Jakob Frank Denzinger of Akron: A native of Yugoslavia, he fled the United States for Germany after prosecutors began pursuing him in the late 1980s. He was accused of working at Auschwitz and other concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Mauthausen camp in Nazi-occupied Austria. He entered the United States in 1956 and became a citizen in Akron in 1972.

Johann Dorth of Fairfield: A native of Yugoslavia, he was accused of participating in murders at Auschwitz. He concealed his work for the Germans when he entered the United States on a visa in 1951. He died in 1990, the year after prosecutors began deportation proceedings and before trial.

Johann Hahner of North Olmsted: A German citizen born in Yugoslavia, he worked as an Auschwitz guard. He concealed his past when he moved to the United States in 1958. After prosecutors brought their case, he admitted his wartime past rendered him deportable, and he left the United States for Germany in 1993. He died in 2001.

Alexander Lehmann of Cleveland: A native of Ukraine, he was accused of overseeing the deaths of more than 300 people in Ukraine during World War II. He later became a citizen of West Germany and came to the United States in 1957. He agreed to leave after prosecutors pushed to have him deported on the basis of his wartime service to the Nazis. He died in 1997.

Leonid Petkiewytsch of Cincinnati: He claimed he fled his native Poland to escape the advancing Soviet army and was forced to work as a guard at the Kiel-Hassee prison camp. Authorities ordered him deported to Poland, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the ruling in 1991, saying he did not engage in acts of persecution. He died in 2000.

Jakob Miling of Lyndhurst: Miling was accused in 2002 of serving at the Gross-Rosen camp in Nazi-occupied Poland and the Sachenhausen camp in Germany. A native of Yugoslavia, he was charged with lying about his wartime past when he obtained citizenship in 1972. He left the country for Serbia and Montenegro after the government notified him it would seek deportation.

Algimantas Dailide of Brecksville: A native of Lithuania, he served in Saugumas, the security police in Vilnius that aided the Germans. He worked as a clerk at a hard-labor prison and served as a police officer. He denied he ever harmed Jews, despite captured documents that show he arrested and questioned Jews. He entered the United States in 1955. In 1992, then-U.S. District Judge Paul Matia stripped his citizenship, and an immigration judge ordered him deported. He fled to Germany in about 2004.

Ildefonsas Bucmys of Dayton: A native of Lithuania, he admitted to serving at the Majdanek concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He was accused of lying about his wartime past. Bucmys also says he never harmed Jews. Under an agreement with the government, he surrendered his American citizenship in exchange for the government dropping its case. He remained in the country as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residency. He died in 2005.

Wasyl Krysa of Brooklyn: He was accused of serving at the Trawniki guard camp and a slave-labor camp at Poniatowa, as well as at a camp in Austria. He claims he was forced into service and had no choice but to follow orders. He became a citizen in Cleveland in 1958. U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan stripped him of his citizenship in 2001. He died in 2004 when his case was on appeal.

John Demjanjuk of Seven Hills: A native of Ukraine, Demjanjuk first was accused of aiding the Nazis in the 1970s. He was convicted in Israel of being the notorious guard "Ivan the Terrible" who patrolled the Treblinka death camp. The Israeli Supreme Court overturned the conviction, and Demjanjuk returned to Seven Hills. Years later, U.S. prosecutors accused him of working at three camps, including the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Matia stripped Demjanjuk of his citizenship, and the former autoworker was later deported to Germany. He stood trial and was convicted in May 2011. His conviction was under appeal when he died in March 2012.

George Lindert of Canfield: A native of Romania, Lindert admitted he worked at two concentration camps in Austria during the war. Then-U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich refused to strip his citizenship, saying the government failed to show Lindert lacked "good moral character" or lied to become a citizen. He died in 2004.

Source: Federal court records, Plain Dealer archives, interviews, public records, published reports

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