Nazi Expelled by U.S. Executed : Fyodor Fedorenko Dies by Soviet Firing Squad
Fyodor Fedorenko, the first suspected Nazi war criminal deported to the Soviet Union by the United States, has been executed, the official press agency Tass announced today.
Fedorenko, 80, was found guilty in June, 1986, of treason, voluntarily joining the Nazi side in World War II and participating in the mass murder of foreign citizens at the Treblinka death camp in Poland, where he was a guard in 1942 and 1943.
“The death sentence passed in June, 1986, by the Crimean Regional Court on the Nazi war criminal, SS-man Fyodor Fedorenko, who was deported to the U.S.S.R. from the United States in 1984, has been carried out,” Tass said.
Death by Firing Squad
Tass did not say when Fedorenko had been executed. Execution in the Soviet Union is by firing squad.
Witnesses at his trial said they had seen Fedorenko beating Jews on their way to a gas chamber housed in a railway station.
They said the station was decorated to make the prisoners think they were en route to Palestine. Another witness testified that he had seen Fedorenko shoot other prisoners.
Fedorenko was deported from the United States to the Soviet Union in December, 1984, after losing a seven-year battle to remain in the United States.
He emigrated to the United States in 1949 from Hamburg, West Germany, and worked for many years in a factory in Waterbury, Conn. He retired to Miami Beach, Fla., and later moved to Pennsylvania.
Citizenship Taken Away
U.S. officials stripped him of his citizenship in 1981 after finding he had illegally obtained citizenship by omitting references to his Nazi service. He was deported three years later.
At his trial, Fedorenko did not deny he had worked at Treblinka, but said he did not participate in any killings.
“I have never struck a person in my life,” he told the court. “Jews were among my best friends, both in the Soviet Union and later.”
The Soviet Union said Fedorenko went over to the Nazis within two weeks of the start of their assault on the Soviet Union in June, 1941, and that he received special training to become a guard at Treblinka.
He received two promotions while he served at Treblinka, and the Soviet judge at his trial said he took that to mean that he had willingly served the Nazis.
In the past eight years Soviet courts have handed down at least 19 death sentences to former war criminals but there has never been any confirmation that any of those executions was carried out.
Karl Linnas, another former Nazi war criminal who was deported from the United States to the Soviet Union, cheated a firing squad when he died in a Leningrad hospital July 2.