Americans around the country were celebrating the deportation of 95-year-old Nazi war criminal, Jakiw Palij, but for some Holocaust survivors, the moment was extra sweet.
Palij was a guard at a Nazi labor camp in Poland. He worked at the sight of one of the largest massacres of Jewish people, Trawniki Labor Camp. Around 6,000 Jewish men were shot on the same day, November 3, 1943.
The Nazi was supposed to be deported in 2004, but it took until 2018 for it to happen.
A group of Holocaust survivors were joined by New York Assemblyman, Dov Hikind, to celebrate the arrest made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The group wanted to thank President Donald Trump for “ridding America of its last Nazi.”
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) August 22, 2018
I’m here with my favorite people in the world — I always tell you guys that, right — with people who are very very special. People who went through the kind of things we don’t wish on anyone. [They’re people] who went through the Holocaust, who went through losing family. Survivors. Special, super special people.
And we had a Nazi living in Queens up until about 36 hours ago. In Queens, New York in America! And everybody talked about it, the different presidents, ‘We care. We’re going to do it.’ But nobody did anything. It was talk. Cheap. Talk is cheap. Action is what counts. And, finally, we want to thank you, Mr. President.
The group of survivors joined together to say, “Thank you, Mr. President.”
Trump told U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, it was a top priority of his to get Palij out of this country. Grenell stated that the German government had a “moral obligation” to take Palij. The Germans accepted that responsibility.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “Germany, in whose name the worst injustice was perpetrated under the Nazis, is confronting its moral obligations.”