Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feodor Fedorenko

Feodor Fedorenko was born on the 17 September 1907 in Ukrainian village of Sivasch in 1907. He received three years of formal school, worked on the family farm until the Soviet collectivization drive of the early 1930s, and moved in 1933 to the Crimea, where he worked as a truck driver for a Soviet collective farm. He was married and had three children. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Fedorenko was mobilized into the Soviet Army and captured by the Germans shortly thereafter. During the winter of 1941-42 he passed through a number of POW camps in Zhitomir, Rowne, and Chelm, exposed there to the same terrible conditions imposed by the Germans on all Soviet prisoners.

One day at Chelm the Germans selected 200 to 300 Soviet prisoners from non-Russian nationalities - Ukrainians, Latvians, etc - who were then sent to Trawniki, a camp in Poland where the SS trained auxiliaries. Federenko was among them. After given elementary military training, he was posted to Lublin and stood guard over houses from which Jews had been forcibly removed. Shortly thereafter, he was transferred to Treblinka and served as a guard in approximately September 1942.

Treblinka was a Nazi death camp and served primarily for the murder of Jews. The number of victims killed in Treblinka has been estimated as 700,000 to 900,000 persons. During his trial, Fedorenko claimed that he was not involved in the operations of Treblinka. He only served as guard outside the camp, had no dealings with the prisoners, and never harmed anyone. But survivors of Treblinka testified that he had moved inside the camp, had participated in the process of dealing with arriving transports, had shot people in the Lazarett, and had been present at the gas chambers during the killings. After the uprising of Jews prisoners on August 1943, Treblinka was closed by Himmler’s order and Fedorenko left the camp, continuing to serve the Germans as a guard in various places.

By the end of the war, Fedorenko had made his way to Hamburg. He discarded his uniform and lost himself in the mass of East European refugees. Claiming displaced person status, he succeeded to emigrate to the United States in 1949. He lived in his new country in peace until 1978, when he was arrested after requests for extradition were received from the Soviet Union. Accused that he had willfully concealed and misrepresented his service as an SS auxiliary and that he lied about his activities and whereabouts during the war when he initially applied for a visa, Fedorenko was stripped from his U.S. citizenship. In December 1984, he became the first Nazi war criminal deported to the Soviet Union. He was sentenced to death by a court in the Crimea in the Soviet Ukraine in June, 1986, on charges of treason and taking part in mass executions at the Treblinka death camp in Poland. He was executed by shooting in July 1987.

Further Information
Nazi Criminals in the United States: Denaturalization after Fedorenko

No comments:

Post a Comment