London: A 90-year-old man has been exposed as a former guard at a Nazi slave-labour camp during the Second World War.
Alexander Huryn, who lives in a retirement bungalow in Hampshire, kept his past secret when he left war-ravaged Europe and settled in Britain 60 years ago, the Daily Mail reports.
The retired carpenter was a guard at the Trawniki labour camp in occupied Poland where thousands of Jewish prisoners died.
As a former member of the German armed forces, Huryn still receives a German Army pension that is paid into his bank account each month, according to his family.
His wartime activities might have remained hidden had it not been for the opening up of Soviet-era archives in recent years.
Documents obtained by a researcher show that Huryn served at Trawniki. They also appear to prove he joined an SS battalion that committed atrocities against Polish civilians in 1944 and 1945.
Officers from Scotland Yard’s War Crimes Unit have questioned Huryn, who lives with his English-born wife Diana, also 90, in Fareham. He has not been charged with any offence.
Conservative MP Matthew Offord believes Huryn may have concealed information from immigration officials when he arrived in Britain.
Ukrainian-born Huryn grew up in the village of Wola Uhruska, which is now in eastern Poland.
When the Nazis occupied the region, local men were taken on as auxiliaries to serve with the German forces.
It is not clear if Huryn, then 23, volunteered or was conscripted. But he was soon posted to Trawniki, where recruits trained as concentration camp guards.
It is not known exactly when Huryn entered the UK but his first job here is thought to have been as a farm labourer in Scotland. He later moved to London before settling in Fareham and working as a carpenter.
He married Diana in 1954 and the couple have a daughter, Sophie, who also lives in Fareham. He was granted British citizenship in 1965.
Sophie Huryn said: ‘My dad never talked much about the war. But I remember him saying that his family had told him it would be better for them if he joined the Germans. They were an occupying force.’
Huryn is too frail to leave his home and declined to speak to The Mail on Sunday.
But he said through his daughter that he could no longer remember what he did in the war.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “The UK is not a refuge for war criminals. Citizenship can be deprived if obtained fraudulently or where it is in the public interest to do so. This includes suspected war criminals.”