John Kalymon of Troy, Mich., died June 29. He was 93. The Associated Press reports that he had pneumonia, prostate cancer and dementia. But during World War II, Kalymon served in a Nazi-allied police force, and for that he’d been ordered deported by a U.S. court.
Kalymon had always denied the claims against him.
“The last two years he had no idea about anything about his life,” his son Alex Kalymon told the AP. “He was just struggling to live and his mind wasn’t there.”
The AP has background on Kalymon’s wartime service: “There is no dispute that Kalymon served in the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police in Lviv, which was part of Poland at the time. He said he did nothing more than light guard duty and never shot Jews.”
He immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1949 and became a citizen in 1955. In 2007, a federal judge stripped Kalymon of his U.S. citizenship, and he was ordered deported in 2011. A Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed that decision. Here’s some background from the board’s decision in 2011:
“Kalymon had participated in the rounding up and shooting of Jews during his voluntary 1941-44 service in the UAP. The judge further found that Kalymon concealed his UAP service when applying for his U.S. immigrant visa. The evidence included a seized Aug. 14, 1942, report, handwritten by Kalymon, in which he informed his UAP superiors that he had personally shot to death one Jew and had wounded another ‘during the Jewish operation’ that day. The evidence also included other reports from Kalymon’s commander that Kalymon had fired his weapon during forcible round-ups of Jews, in the course of which Jews were killed and wounded. Judge Hacker ordered Kalymon deported to Germany, Ukraine, Poland or any other country that will admit him.”
But no country would accept him — or the at least nine other people suspected of committing Nazi war crimes who were never deported from the U.S. despite losing their American citizenship.
The AP adds: “In Munich, Germany, prosecutors this year filed an arrest warrant against him for being an accessory in war crimes. They planned to send a doctor to the U.S. to determine if Kalymon was fit to face trial, but his attorney objected and the exam never happened.”
“I love this country because it’s my country. I’m going to die here,” Kalymon told the AP in a 2009 interview. “They want to remove me, an old man. I never was arrested, pay my taxes. I don’t know anyone as honest as me.”