MacQueen had already traveled to Lithuania
three times. A scholar of East European history, he had sifted through
hundreds of files, meticulously entering notes into his Tandy 486
laptop. He knew that Lileikis had been head of the Lithuanian Security
Police for Vilnius province under the Nazi occupation from August 1941
to July 1944, and there were hints that Lileikis had collaborated
extensively with the Nazis. But in more than 10 years of sifting through
documents, no one had been able to find direct evidence implicating the
police chief in the killing of Lithuanian Jews.
On this fourth trip, in September 1993,
MacQueen was poring over files from Lukiskes prison, in Vilnius, the
last stop for many Jews before their execution. He opened the red folder
of a 21-year-old Jew named Rachmiel Alperovicius and read a physical
description: strong body, broad shoulders, dark hazel eyes, thick
dark-blond eyebrows, big flattened ears, small teeth. Alperovicius had
been arrested by the Lithuanian security police on September 4, 1941,
according to the documents, and had been executed two weeks later.
MacQueen saw immediately that these records
were different in one crucial way from others he had studied over the
years: They were signed in heavy black ink by Lileikis.
Here, finally, was proof that not only was
Lileikis aware of the Alperovicius execution but that he had played a
role in it. MacQueen opened another file, and there again on the aging
papers, Lileikis had scrawled his name, linking himself to the murder of
a second Jew. So it went, through the morning and the afternoon.
Skipping lunch, MacQueen read file after
file, feeling the years of frustration give way to a grim satisfaction.
Here, at last, was documentary proof that Lileikis had rounded up Jews
and dispatched them to Paneriai, a hamlet six miles from Vilnius, where
they were stripped, herded into large sandy pits, and shot to death.
From his hotel that evening, MacQueen phoned
Eli Rosenbaum, who was then the deputy director of the Office of Special
Investigations, in Washington. Rosenbaum had come to the office from
Harvard Law School in 1980 and had been leading the Lileikis
investigation since 1982. Intense and wiry, he had been the office's
first intern when the unit opened in 1979 and would take over as
director in 1995, overseeing several hundred active cases and a "watch
list" of more than 60,000.
To Rosenbaum, the case was among the most
important under investigation, because Lileikis was not a lowly killer
in the trenches but a top commander, ordering the deaths of probably
thousands of Jews. That night on the telephone, MacQueen finally felt
confident enough to utter the words that both he and Rosenbaum had
waited years to hear: We got the bastard.
But despite the euphoria the investigators
felt that night, it would still take years to bring the case before US
courts. And even then, their ultimate goal - seeing Lileikis punished
for his crimes - would remain frustratingly elusive. For Rosenbaum, the
chase had begun 11 years earlier, when he was a 27-year-old trial
attorney in the Office of Special Investigations. In October 1982, a
cable had come across his desk from one of the office's historians in
Germany, identifying immigrants in the United States who had links to
Einsatzkommando 3, an SS unit that had slaughtered at least 150,000
Lithuanian Jews and civilians.
One of those immigrants was Aleksandras
Lileikis, described in the cable as the former head of the Lithuanian
security police, possibly living in Massachusetts. To Rosenbaum,
Lileikis suddenly became a top priority. "Einsatzkommando is probably
the most sinister word in Nazi parlance," Rosenbaum says. "These were
the most infamous killing units in history."
He immediately ordered a search of US
immigration records, which turned up an address for Lileikis, in
Norwood. Lileikis apparently had slipped past US immigration officials
in 1955 and had lived in Worcester, South Boston, and Norwood, working
as a manager of a Lithuanian press in Boston.
Searching for clues to Lileikis's wartime
activities, Rosenbaum studied a volume of Nazi records compiled by the
Soviets and published in Lithuanian. His eye fell on a chilling
document: a list of 52 Jews sent from Lukiskes prison to the execution
squad at Paneriai. The order had been issued by the chief of the
Lithuanian security police, or Saugumas. At the bottom was typed the
name A. Lileikis.
In June 1983, armed with this list of 52 Jews
and little else, Rosenbaum and office investigator Edward Bourguignon
Jr. made their first contact with Lileikis. They dropped in unannounced
at his modest yellow house on Sumner Street in Norwood, waiting until
the respectable hour of 10 a.m. to knock at the door. A housekeeper
answered. The men presented their Department of Justice credentials,
asked if Lileikis was at home, and were escorted inside.
Then 76 years old, Lileikis was a proud,
sharp-featured man, intellectually agile. The investigators again
displayed their IDs, which Lileikis studied with a coolness and
deliberation that Rosenbaum found eerie. "I was accustomed to seeing
people get nervous at that point," he recalls. "But this guy was very
calm." Over the next two hours, Rosenbaum questioned Lileikis about his
"You were the security police chief in
Vilnius during the German occupation, Mr. Lileikis. That's correct,
isn't it?" Rosenbaum asked, with the housekeeper translating.
Rosenbaum asked about Lileikis's duties, the
number of his subordinates, and other details of his command. "The
Germans had you involved in anti-Jewish activities, isn't that right?"
"No," Lileikis said flatly.
"But you were aware of the killing of Jews,
"Rumors, just rumors," Lileikis replied, his
hostility surfacing. "How could I know? I was in the office."
"You knew of the existence of the Ypatingas
Burys" - the Lithuanian special detachment responsible for executing
Jews - "didn't you, Mr. Lileikis?" Rosenbaum asked.
Rosenbaum handed him a roster of the special
detachment executioners, and Lileikis examined it slowly, name by name.
"I don't recognize any of them," he said. "A
German was in charge of the Jews."
"What was his name?"
"I don't remember."
"I'd like to show you something," Rosenbaum
said. He produced the document, bearing Lileikis's name, that dispatched
52 Jews to death before the firing squad. "Perhaps you can explain
Lileikis carefully inspected the document,
his hand steady. "The guy is a pro," Rosenbaum thought as he watched.
At last, Lileikis said, "No. I have never
seen this before."
"Are you saying it's a forgery?" Rosenbaum
"Maybe it's real, maybe not," Lileikis said.
"I'm not saying it's not real. It's possible my men did things without
Then he uttered the challenge that would
haunt Rosenbaum for years:
"Show me something I signed."
Without a signed document, the Office of
Special Investigations had no case. The allegations against Lileikis
needed far more documentation than a single, unsigned order from a
Soviet archive. What's more, many questions were still unanswered: Was
Lileikis aware that Jews were being killed at Paneriai? Did he knowingly
send Jews to their death? Did he willing ly collaborate with the Nazis
in the extermination of the Jews? The investigators were no closer to
the truth after questioning Lileikis; the old man had trumped them. A
frustrated Eli Rosenbaum remembers thinking, "He got us. We lose."
Lileikis's intransigence wasn't the only obstacle investigators faced at
the outset. The documents that might link Lileikis to the execution of
Lithuanian Jews remained out of reach for most of the 1980s. The Soviets
still controlled Eastern Europe and denied American investigators access
to the wartime archives of its satellites. Nor did the Soviets root out
and turn over anything of much value on their own, despite constant
requests from the Office of Special Investigations.
The investigation stalled further when
Rosenbaum left the unit in 1984 for a brief stint as a corporate lawyer.
He then moved to the World Jewish Congress, where he rocked the
international political establishment when he led an investigation that
revealed that former United Nations secretary general and Austrian
president Kurt Waldheim had had a hand in Nazi war atrocities. His
findings helped ban Waldheim from entering the United States.
In 1988, Rosenbaum returned to the Office of
Special Investigations, as deputy director. He was surprised to find
Lileikis still alive at 81, his case still open. He resurrected the hunt
for documents, but the Cold War continued to hobble progress. The
investigation did get a boost that year, however, when MacQueen joined
the unit. A doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, MacQueen
was writing his thesis on the Polish-Lithuanian conflict in World War
II. His love of travel and of dusty archives prompted him to set aside
his scholarly work to help chase down Lileikis. MacQueen arrived in
Vilnius for his first inspection of the Lithuanian archives in November
1990. It was just eight months after Lithuania had declared independence
from the crumbling Soviet Union, and MacQueen stepped into a fierce
political tug of war. The Soviets were not yet ready to cede Lithuania,
and the Lithuanians were struggling to free themselves from Moscow's
control. Tensions clouded his visit. In the northern section of Vilnius,
the Soviets shot and wounded five people protesting the USSR's continued
presence in Lithuania. All night, from the dank Hotel Lietuva, MacQueen
listened to the drone of Soviet Antonov biplanes circling in the fog as
a show of power.
The Soviet presence was indeed hard to miss.
The building that housed the archives was a shabby monstrosity, six
stories of precast concrete slab, situated amid peasant huts on the
outskirts of Vilnius. And throughout his two-week stay, MacQueen was
tailed by the Soviet secret police. But despite the obstacles, he
managed to survey the surviving records of the Lithuanian and German
security police forces and to lay the groundwork for future visits.
"There was no published guide," he says. "Under the Soviets, the
archives were meant to hold secrets - not service the requirements of
MacQueen's next trip, the second of 16
research visits, was delayed until October 1991. The United States had
recognized Lithuanian independence the month before and now had an
embassy in place to assist MacQueen. For three weeks, MacQueen sat at a
desk in the unheated reading room, bundled in a sweater and jacket,
studying the records of the Lithuanian and German security police
forces. Proficient in German (as well as Polish, Russian, and
Ukrainian), MacQueen breezed through the Nazi documents. To read the
Lithuanian reports, he taught himself the language as he worked.
Though he turned up nothing on this trip that
directly tied Lileikis to any crimes, he did find records that showed
Lileikis's officers tracking down and arresting Jews who had escaped
from the ghettos.
On his next visit, in 1992, MacQueen built
upon the evidence against Lileikis's security police. He discovered
documents detailing a sting operation against Jews. For a fee, a truck
driver named Raicevicius promised to smuggle Jews out of Vilnius. After
arranging a secret pickup, Raicevicius then notified Lileikis's security
police. At a designated site outside the city, the police flagged down
the truck with the escapees huddled inside. The Jews were hauled off,
and their valuables - cash, foreign currency, gold, silver, jewelry -
were seized. Instead of heading to freedom, the Jews were sent to prison
and then to the execution pits. MacQueen wasn't able to unearth any
evidence directly implicating Lileikis in the operation. But he felt he
was on the chief's trail. ufdropp,2As Lileikis himself had declared a
decade earlier, the case rested on coming up with his signature on
incriminating documents. But how? On his fourth visit, in September
1993, MacQueen had a brainstorm. Until then, he had taken a top-down
approach, combing police documents for details of Lileikis's activities.
What if he were to turn the investigation on its head and hunt from the
bottom up? MacQueen decided to shift his focus to the files of
individual Jews in search of evidence linking their fate to the man at
He launched a systematic inspection of the
records of Lukiskes prison, which included hundreds of files on
individual prisoners held there during the war. The files brimmed with
details of the last days of many Jews. Here were their arrest records,
as well as their orders for transfer to the German security police. And
it was here, finally, that MacQueen found Lileikis's signature. Not just
once, but again and again.
Lileikis had scratched his name on the papers
of hundreds of executed Jews. There was Chaja Lapyda, identified only as
the daughter of Moizes, who was arrested and sent to Lukiskes prison on
November 21, 1941. Another Lileikis order turned her over to the German
security police. There was Dovydas Aranavichius, who was arrested on
November 2, 1941, and turned over on Lileikis's signed order to the
German security police on November 16. There was Zelmanas Alerpovicius,
delivered to the German security police on October 28, 1941; and Beila
Levinson, sent on December 11, 1941; and Danielius-Antanas Konas and his
son Henrikas-Hermanas, transferred on December 13, 1941. And there was
also a little girl named Fruma Kaplan, age 6. Lileikis signed the orders
sending her to prison with her mother on November 28, 1941, and from
there to the German security police.
In his phone call to Rosenbaum, MacQueen
said: "Remember that problem we had, with no signature?"
"Yeah," Rosenbaum replied.
"How many signed documents would you like?"
"I'll settle for one," Rosenbaum said.
When he heard the full extent of MacQueen's
discovery, Rosenbaum allowed himself a muted cheer of satisfaction. "It
was perhaps the best investigative news I had ever received in this
work." Despite their renewed confidence, the investigators still faced
the task of mounting a strong legal case against Lileikis. The documents
they had so painstakingly researched showed only that Lileikis had
signed orders handing Jews over to the German security police. But did
such an order mean certain execution?
In Washington, MacQueen walked into
Rosenbaum's office with what he hoped would be the answer.
"Guess who survived the war?" he asked.
The question - out of the blue - meant
"Who?" Rosenbaum replied.
Rosenbaum recognized the name as that of one
of the many Jews who had passed through Lileikis's hands on the way to
the killing pits at Paneriai. The documents had told Blazer's story: He
had been arrested on November 13, 1941, and taken to Lukiskes prison. On
November 15, Lileikis signed an order turning him over to the German
security police. Blazer's last trace was his execution card, dated
December 5. The card might have been enough to prove a clear link
between Lileikis's orders and death by firing squad.
But Blazer left one other document that
astonished investigators. Nearly three years after he was supposedly
shot in the killing pit, Blazer surfaced in Vilnius. In the papers
MacQueen dug up, Blazer told his story to Russian interrogators on
August 28, 1944, a month after the Soviets had reclaimed Lithuania.
Federal investigators searched endlessly for Blazer but were unable to
locate him. His testimony to the Russians ultimately sufficed. In it,
Blazer explained that he had been arrested three times during the German
occupation, surviving each time. He described facing the execution squad
in 1941 after Lileikis had ordered him to Paneriai.
"I was brought to the shooting site, where we
were stripped naked down to our underpants," he told the Russians. "We
were placed in the pit in groups of six people and shot there. During
the shooting, I fell over with the others who had been shot, although I
had not been hit by a bullet. I pretended to be dead and lay under these
corpses until it turned dark."
At nightfall, Blazer crawled out and ran. He
was taken in by a sympathetic Pole, given clothing, and in the morning
he returned to the Jewish ghetto to resume life with his family.
Arrested again in 1943 under an assumed name,
he was taken back to Paneriai and worked digging up corpses in the pits
and burning them. He escaped by digging a hole through his bunker. A
year later, during his Russian interrogation, he was asked: Who was in
charge of burning the Jewish bodies? Blazer replied: "The work of
burning corpses was led by officers of the [German] security service and
Blazer's story was an eyewitness confirmation
that the German security police commanded the extermination efforts at
Paneriai. The Lithuanian execution squad was under direct control of the
Germans. By signing orders sending Jews to the German security police,
Lileikis was sentencing them to death. Records show that Blazer was far
from alone in facing the firing squad at Lileikis's bidding.
Among the many others was the 6-year-old
Fruma Kaplan. Her execution card was typed in German on graying white
paper, her full name at the top followed by the word Juedin, for Jew. It
noted her birth year of 1935 and her mother's name, Gita. A single
sentence reported that the child was arrested on November 28, 1941, and
executed on December 22. The phrase describing the execution was a Nazi
favorite: befehlsgemaess behandelt, meaning "dealt with according to
orders." A backhand slash of red ink ran up the card from bottom to top,
a brusque notation affirming that, indeed, this one was dealt with
according to orders. But what about the authenticity of Lileikis's
signature? He could make a case that the handwriting on the documents
simply wasn't his. Signatures change over time; Lileikis's own US
immigration papers, filed a decade after the war ended, offered
The answer lay in the Berlin Document Center,
the Nazis' principal war-file repository. The archives were captured by
American troops in the last days of the war and remained under US
control for many years. The Office of Special Investigations routinely
checks the document center when probing a suspect's past. Often, the
center yields a treasure trove of information on German war criminals,
because it contains SS personnel files and assignments. It's a less
promising resource on non-Germans like Lileikis. But this time
investigators were lucky.
Squirreled away in the archives was a request
by Lileikis from 1941 for German citizenship. A forensic document expert
confirmed what investigators suspected: Lileikis's signature on those
papers was a duplicate of the one that appears again and again on his
orders dispatching Jews to the German security police. Investigators
also brought in specialists to verify that none of the documents bearing
Lileikis's signature had been altered or falsely dated and that the
typewriter used was indeed of 1941 vintage. tered or falsely dated and
that the typewriter used was indeed of 1941 vintage. By the fall of
1994, investigators had pieced together a convincing picture of
Lileikis's crimes. Because the archival records were so fragmentary, it
was difficult to calculate precisely the extent of Lileikis's guilt in
the killing of Jews. So investigators turned to the Nazis' own
meticulous record keeping for an accounting. One German document tallied
Jewish deaths in Vilnius between August and November 1941, while
Lileikis was head of the security force. The report put that number at
21,105. Since Lileikis served until the Soviets recaptured Vilnius in
July 1944, the total figure linked to him is believed to be far higher.
Though virtually unknown, Lileikis was a killer far more systematic than
Klaus Barbie, the so-called Butcher of Lyons convicted in the deaths of
842 French Jews.
The slaughter under Lileikis's command deeply
scarred the Jewish community of Vilnius. Before the war, 60,000 Jews had
helped make Vilnius into a cultural and intellectual capital of Europe,
with theaters, symphonies, choirs, and a half-dozen newspapers. After
the war, 5,000 Jews survived in a community in ruins.
Evidence in hand, Rosenbaum was eager to take
Lileikis to court and deport him.
Lithuanian courts would then decide whether
to prosecute him for murder. Rosenbaum was aware of the office's
missteps in the John Demjanjuk case, an investigation conducted before
Rosenbaum had arrived at the unit. In 1981, the United States had
stripped Demjanjuk, a Cleveland auto worker, of his citizenship after
accusing him of being the notorious killer "Ivan the Terrible" at the
Treblinka death camp, in Poland. Demjanjuk was extradited to Israel to
face trial in 1986. The Israeli Supreme Court ultimately ruled that
there was reasonable doubt about whether Demjanjuk served at Treblinka,
though it did confirm that he had worked as a guard at other Nazi camps.
The Demjanjuk debacle made it all the more important that the charges
against Lileikis were irrefutable.
Rosenbaum never harbored any doubts about
prosecuting Lileikis. The scale of his atrocities was too great to
overlook. But Lileikis's age was a factor. Rosenbaum feared that
American prosecutors might balk at the thought of going after an elderly
man whose crimes had taken place more than 50 years earlier. To convince
Justice Department officials, who had to approve any prosecution, he
compiled a "geezer file" - examples of elderly people prosecuted in the
United States for crimes far less heinous than Lileikis's.
After getting the go-ahead from the Justice
Department, Rosenbaum moved swiftly into the courts. Because Lileikis
lived in Norwood, Rosenbaum also needed the cooperation of Justice's top
local official: Donald K. Stern, the US attorney for Massachusetts.
Stern offered his full support.
On September 21, 1994, Assistant US Attorney
David Mackey and attorney William Kenety, of the Office of Special
Investigations, filed the complaint against Lileikis in Boston's old
federal courthouse at One Post Office Square. Mackey and Kenety alleged
that Lileikis had lied about his wartime activities to illegally gain US
citizenship, had persecuted people on the basis of their religion, and
lacked a good moral character. The complaint asked that Lileikis be
stripped of his citizenship.
A federal marshal was ordered to hand-deliver
the complaint to Lileikis in Norwood. In Washington, Rosenbaum strolled
a few blocks in the sunshine to the Justice Department to brief the
press. He felt relieved that the case had finally reached the courts and
that Lileikis had lived to see the day. But his thoughts were mostly
with 6-year-old Fruma Kaplan and her mother, Gita, executed at Paneriai.
"The contrast between my image of them, shivering naked in the woods,
about to be shot, and this beautiful sunny day in Washington was
overwhelming," Rosenbaum recalls. In his prepared statement, he
recounted a lullaby sung during the war to children in the Jewish ghetto
in Vilnius: "All roads lead to Paneriai, but no roads lead back."
Lileikis's lawyer answered the complaint two months later. In response
to every allegation of rounding up Jews, imprisoning them, and sending
them to their deaths, Lileikis asserted his Fifth Amendment right to
silence and declined to answer. Mackey and Kenety were outraged, but the
defendant had some legal precedent on his side. In some cases, a
defendant had been granted a Fifth Amendment right if his answers could
result in criminal prosecution in a foreign country. Mackey and Kenety
planned to conduct a deposition of Lileikis, to fill out the picture of
his wartime activities. They filed a succession of motions to compel him
to answer the complaint and to stop him from clinging to the Fifth
On January 9, 1996, US District Judge Richard
Stearns ruled that Lileikis's claim to Fifth Amendment protection was
invalid and that each refusal to answer amounted to an admission of
guilt. Alittle more than a week later, the opposing parties gathered in
a third-floor conference room in the federal courthouse for the first of
two unpublicized Lileikis depositions. Since September, the media had
splashed Lileikis across front pages and television screens. Norwood had
been coping with a crush of reporters and gawkers. Students from a
yeshiva in the Bronx had protested outside Lileikis's house, and a
member of the Jewish Defense League pounded on the old man's door. Aware
of the emotions that Lileikis inspired, the court posted a marshal
outside the conference-room door during the deposition.
Inside, Mackey and Kenety were joined at a
long table by Lileikis; his attorney, Thomas Butters; and his pastor,
the Rev. William Wolkovich, of St. George's Lithuanian Catholic Church
in Norwood. A translator, stenographer, and video-camera operator also
Kenety, a former federal narcotics
prosecutor, began the questioning. Lileikis sat upright, a handsome man
with white hair and sharp eyes. He bristled as Kenety explored the
details of his life before 1941, lecturing and scolding prosecutors
about life and history.
Mackey addressed Lileikis's actions during
the period of heavy killing in 1941. He showed the defendant document
after incriminating document, and asked if they were his orders. When he
came to the papers dispatching Fruma and Gita Kaplan to death, Mackey
asked: "Did anyone order you to turn Gita and Fruma Kaplan over to the
German security police?"
"Fifth Amendment," Lileikis answered, despite
the court order barring the response.
"What ultimately happened to Gita and Fruma
Kaplan?" Mackey continued.
"Fifth Amendment," Lileikis said quietly,
"You knew," Mackey charged, "did you not,
that most or all of the people who you turned over to the German
security police would be killed?"
And so it went for three hours.
Lileikis's defiant use of the Fifth Amendment
only weakened his case in the eyes of the law. Under the court's ruling,
all the allegations answered by invoking the Fifth were deemed true. On
February 2, 1996, the Office of Special Investigations took the
preemptive step of seeking a summary judgment. The government asked that
Stearns avoid a trial and, based on the evidence, simply order that
Lileikis's citizenship be revoked. There was ample reason to risk a
quick judgment. "The evidence was so clear, so compelling, so
convincing," Mackey says, "that we really did believe there was not a
serious dispute about the facts implicating Lileikis in these war
But the lawyers also knew the strategy was
anything but a sure bet. Legal precedent had set a stringent burden of
proof in denaturalization cases. "I thought it possible we could lose on
summary judgment," Kenety says. "Since it's a pretty serious matter to
lose one's citizenship, the judge could say that he ought to do
everything to allow Lileikis to present his case."
In his defense, Lileikis contended that he
had no direct hand in any killings but was merely a "disembodied signer
of orders." David Mackey countered by arguing that Lileikis was
attempting to turn on its head the classic defense that suspected war
criminals offered at the Nuremberg trials. At Nuremberg, those who
pulled triggers claimed they were just following orders. As a commanding
officer, Lileikis now asserted that he was just issuing orders.
On May 24, Kenety answered his desk phone.
"We have an opinion coming," Mackey told his
co-counsel. "Call you back in five minutes."
Mackey hurried downstairs to pick up
Stearns's ruling. In Washington, Kenety sat nervously at his desk,
pondering the work of the previous few years. He pictured himself
questioning Lileikis at the deposition and felt as though he had
confronted the forces of evil in person.
The phone rang again.
"Bill, I've got it," Mackey began.
"Yes, Dave, what have you got?"
The two men were toying with each other. They
had developed such a good-natured rapport that even in times of stress
they could still joke.
"I've got the opinion," Mackey continued
"And what did Judge Stearns rule?" Kenety
asked, playing along.
"We won, Bill!"
"Yes!" Both men cried out in relief and
Stearns's ruling was blunt. The judge had
rejected Lileikis's "issuer of orders" defense. He wrote that the
"undisputed facts" showed that as chief of the Lithuanian security
police for Vilnius, Lileikis ordered the arrest of Jews for nothing
other than being Jews and then sent them for extermination. "While it is
true that there is no documented instance of Lileikis personally
executing a Jew," Stearns concluded, "it is inconceivable that in
enacting the Refugee Relief Act, Congress intended to exclude from the
United States the triggermen of genocide while opening the door to their
commanding officers." In June 1996, Aleksandras Lileikis fled the
country voluntarily rather than face deportation. In Lithuania, he was
ordered to face criminal trial on charges of genocide, but it is unclear
when - or even if - the trial will take place. It has been postponed
repeatedly on grounds of Lileikis's ill health. Rosenbaum has long
contended that Lileikis's health claims are questionable; the medical
and legal machinations, he says, indicate Lithuania's reluctance to
revisit this ugly period of its past. Last month, a court-appointed
panel of doctors ruled that the 91-year-old defendant was healthy enough
to testify. The trial was scheduled to begin last Thursday. The
investigative team can only wait and take comfort in its accomplishment.
"With all the frustration," Rosenbaum says, "there is some fulfillment
knowing we exposed Lileikis and proved his crimes in an American court
of law and removed him forever from this country."