By Matthew Kalman
A Lithuanian convicted of collaborating with the Nazis in the mass murder of Jews during World War II is living peacefully in a small town in Germany, it was revealed today.
Algimantas Dailide, 87, was stripped of his US citizenship and fled the country in 2004 after lying about his wartime activities.
He was an officer in the collaborationist Lithuanian Security Police and handed over innocent Jews from the Vilna Ghetto to the Nazis to be slaughtered.
Dailide, who is the ninth most wanted man on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's list of Nazi war criminals, settled in Kirchberg, Saxony, where he has been living with his wife ever since.
'The Lithuanians have managed to make a farce out of the entire judicial process.'
A court in Vilnius convicted him of war crimes in March 2006, but did not impose a custodial sentence.
In July, a high court in Lithuania ruled that he would not go to prison, partly because of his frail health, but he has never been given a health examination by the Lithuanian authorities and he was spotted last week by the Israeli reporter out shopping for groceries near his home.
He declared he was 'innocent' of the war crimes charges for which he was convicted.
Dailide and his wife live with his wife in a modest apartment on Torstrasse, opposite the local town hall. Even though he is a convicted war criminal, he has made no attempt to hide his identity. His name appears on the mailbox and the intercom at the entrance to the apartment block.
Dailide's German-born wife, whom he met in 1945 after escaping Lithuania, has relatives in Kirchberg, a town of 7,000 in what was formerly East Germany.
Haaretz said the couple live on his wife's German pension of £200 a month, and the remaining profits from the sale of their house in the US.
Efraim Zuroff, Israel director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and its chief Nazi-hunter, said he had spent many years persuading the Lithuanian authorities to bring Dailide to trial.
'It is absolutely outrageous that he is free today,' said Zuroff. 'The Lithuanians have managed to make a farce out of the entire judicial process.'
'Dailide was actually convicted and sentenced but they didn't have the courage or fortitude to implement the sentence,' he said, adding that no Lithuanian collaborators had ever gone to jail.
'A lack of political willingness to contend with the crimes of the past, along with extenuating circumstances stemming from advanced age, are letting Nazi criminals off the hook,' he said.
Zuroff said the German authorities were unlikely to arrest him, because he was not convicted directly of murder or of being an accessory to murder with cruelty.
He called on the Lithuanian courts to implement their own judgment against Dailide.