The Justice Department yesterday filed suit to revoke the citzenship of a 66-year-old California real estate developer who the department says was commandant of a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.
The suit was brought in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Talivaldis Karklins of Monterey Park, who emigrated from Germany in 1956. The suit said Karklins lied to the U.S. Consul general in Frankfurt when he filled ut his immigration application, saying he was a storekeeper and a clerk in a police station in Latvia during the war.
The department's complaint said Karklins served from July to September 1941 as a member of a vigilante police force under Nazi direction that persecuted and murdered unarmed Latvian Jews. Justice also said that from September 1941 until the fall of 1942 Karklins was commandant of the Madona concentration camp where Latvian Jews were interned, starved, beaten and killed.
The complaint does not state how the department discovered Karklins' background. Traditionally, Justice keeps secret the details of how it has caught former Nazis who became U.S. citizens illegally.
The complaint suggests that Karklins fled Latvia before the Soviet army took it from the germans, arriving in what is now West Germany after the war. The complaint says that in 1956 Karklins applied for a permit to come to the United States.
The defendant stated that from November 1941 to January 1943 he was employed as a secretary at the police office in Madona in Latvia," the complaint said, "thus concealing and misrepresenting his employment as commandant of the Madona concentration camp."