Returning and Redemption
Mikhail Dercacz, a 73-year-old Queens resident, had his citizenship revoked last Thursday by a federal judge who ruled Dercacz had concealed his role as a Ukrainian policeman who had assisted the Nazis in persecuting Jews when he applied for admission to the United States in 1949 and for citizenship in 1954. According to the Office of Special Investigations of the Department of Justice, Dercacz participated in beatings and executions of unarmed Jewish civilians in Lvov.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Edward Neaher ruled that Dercacz had made “a willful misrepresentation of his wartime service” when he successfully applied for immigration and citizenship. He found that the defendant had told federal officials in 1949 that he had been a farmer in Poland “from 1941 to 1944.”
Dercacz admitted in a 1980 interview that he had served in a police unit in the town of Novy Yarychev, Judge Neaher said in his ruling that during the time of Dercacz’s service, the town’s 2,000 Jews had been “rounded up and killed by German forces.” Michael Piznak, Dercacz’s attorney, said he had not read the judge’s decision, issued in Federal Court in Brooklyn, but he expected to appeal the ruling.
Unless Dercacz can overturn the ruling, he will be subject to deportation proceedings. The area in which he was born in 1909 and in which he was found to have helped the Nazis in their killings between 1941 and 1944 went from Polish to Soviet Jurisdiction in 1939.