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Man faces probe in WWII link to Nazis

AT age 88, John Kalymon is a man stuck in the past. He lost his United States citizenship two years ago after the government said he shot Jews while working in a Nazi-controlled police unit during World War II. Now, Poland is conducting a criminal investigation into what happened nearly 70 years ago in the city of Lviv.

The US Justice Department has agreed to help Poland by questioning Kalymon about murder, death camps and other atrocities against Jews that occurred there in 1942.

"I don't feel guilty," the retired auto engineer said during a brief visit on Monday to his suburban Detroit home in Troy, Michigan. "I've done nothing wrong."

His lawyer is resisting the investigation.

"He guarded a stack of coal from looters. He didn't expend any rounds of ammunition and didn't commit any atrocities," Elias Xenos said of his client's work for the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police when Kalymon was in his early 20s. "He's disappointed that one or more governments are still trying to pursue him based on flimsy evidence."

Axis allegiance

The US government became aware of Kalymon after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. World War II-era archives that had been inaccessible revealed people who may have concealed their Axis allegiance when they entered the US decades ago.

In 2007, after a civil trial, a federal judge in Detroit stripped Kalymon of his citizenship, saying his two years in the Ukrainian police resulted in the persecution of civilians.

The government produced a handwritten document in which "Iv Kalymun" reported firing four shots, killing one Jew and injuring another. Kalymon admits he spelled his last name both ways back then but says he did not go by "Kalymun" when he was a Ukrainian officer. He denied shooting Jews and claimed the record was a forgery.

Kalymon entered the US in 1949 after being classified as a "displaced person" following the war. He said he lied about his police work because he feared being sent to the Soviet Union.


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