Was my dad a secret Nazi hunter? Dark mystery haunts our family after chilling string of creepy deaths and ‘suicides’

Was my dad a secret Nazi hunter? Dark mystery haunts our family after chilling string of creepy deaths and ‘suicides’

WHEN the body of Sergejus Sidabras was found on a railway line in Parramatta, Sydney, in the mid 1950s, it was assumed he had taken his own life or died in an accident.

But seven decades on, Jack Green was stunned to discover his gentle, loving father Boris may have been behind the murder of Sidabras, an alleged Nazi collaborator.

Boris, pictured with oldest sons Jon and Sam, moved to Melbourne after the warBBC

YouTubeJack wanted to uncover the truth[/caption]

Jack, from Melbourne, found out about his dad’s potential role after his two older brothers shared a family secret with him – and was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. 

He said: “My brothers Jon and Sam started referring to this story I’d never heard before.

“They believed dad was responsible for taking out a Nazi fugitive living in Australia. And I was like ‘what?’

“They had heard in the 50s many Yiddish conversations with my dad referring to a Nazi living in Sydney that something needs to be done about him.”

Jack, who is much younger than brothers Jon and Sam, was born when Boris was 53, and was doted on by his family-loving father.

But the dark secrets of his past were kept from the youngest lad, even though Jon and Sam remember overhearing telling conversations.

Jon has a vague memory of their dad being involved in the murder of a man found in the Parramatta river.

“I always had this idea that dad killed some Nazi but I was never told that. They didn’t talk about this stuff,” says Jon.

YouTubeThe brothers fought in occupied Belarus[/caption]

YouTubeBoris was a family man who may have been on a deadly mission[/caption]

“I wanted to find out about it but I didn’t come up with anything specific so I moved on. Until Jack started bringing up the subject again.”

Resistance fighters

Boris Greineman and his brother Fima were born in Dizsna, in a part of Poland which became Belarus when the area was divided between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union at the start of the Second World War.

When the Nazis then occupied Belarus, the brothers helped form the Jewish partisan group Nekoma, to fight back.

The unit was named after the Yiddish word for revenge and the brothers waged war behind enemy lines, blowing up bridges and attacking German garrisons.  

But, when Belarus was liberated from the Germans in 1944, the brothers discovered their whole family had died in the Holocaust in Lithuania.

A new BBC Four Storyville documentary called Revenge: Our Dad the Nazi Killer, which airs on Tuesday, follows Jack’s quest to find out whether his father kept up his war against the Nazis after moving to Australia.

Boris during wartime service

YouTubeResistance fighters behind enemy lines[/caption]

Private detective John Garvey, who helped Jack investigate his dad’s past, believes Boris and his brother came to Australia on a mission to hunt down Nazi war criminals.

In the post war years, Australia became a hotbed of antisemitism with hundreds of Nazi killers fleeing to the country.

However, an underground network of Jewish vigilante groups emerged as it also received the highest percentage per capita of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel after the war.

John Garvey believes Boris and his brother came to Australia to hunt down Lithuanian Nazi collaborators and avenge their families death.

He said: “I believe Boris and Fima came here for revenge. A large number of the Lithuanian Nazi collaborators came to Australia in 1948. They were responsible for killing Boris and Fima’s family.

“We also know that Boris, Fima and others came here in 1949.

“A significant number of Nazi collaborators disappeared after coming to Australia. There were many suspicious deaths… suicides that may have been murders.”

Boris played a leading role among the vigilantes, keeping tabs on Nazis in Melbourne where he ran a jewellery shop.

His son Sam said: “I remember one day this guy came into the shop and said ‘I saw the man who killed my brother’. My dad said ‘we’ll look into it’. There was a war going on after the war.”

One of Boris’ friends added: “Boris told us Nazi war criminals were living in Australia.

“I remember I received a call one day from Boris saying I had to come out quick as we had Nazis in the city square.

“Boris supplied us with batons and told us what to do. When one of them pulled out the Swastika we charged in with the batons.

“He organised us and drew on his experience with the partisans.”

YouTubeMelbourne was a hotbed of anti-semitism[/caption]

YouTubeA clash breaks out at a Nazi rally[/caption]

Mysterious deaths

The investigator found convincing evidence that Boris may have murdered the alleged Lithuanian Nazi collaborator Sidabras.

Many elements of Sidabras’ death align with the story that Jon heard about his father killing a Nazi in Australia.

Sidabras, who was accused of shooting Jews in a pit in Lithuania, died in Parramatta in the mid 1950s.

According to Jon, this is the same location and date that the Nazi his dad apparently killed was found.

Mr Garvey said: “I think we’ve got to look at it with great suspicion. He fits the area, the substance of the story Jon hears and the time period is right.”

The detective added that there were other cases of alleged Nazi collaborators with links to Boris and his brother dying in suspicious circumstances in Australia.

One of these men was called Antonya Dovans, an alleged Nazi collaborator who died prematurely from carbon monoxide poisoning in 1968.

YouTubeJohn Garvey (centre) and Jack with a friend of Boris[/caption]

YouTubeBoris as an older man[/caption]

Dovans ran a watchmaker’s business just 150 metres away from Fima’s own shop in Melbourne.

Jack said: “My uncle’s watchmaker shop was only 150m away from Dovans’. It’s an incredible little fact. They would have had to know each other.”

John Garvey also cast doubt on the death of Juozas Blazys – another alleged Nazi collaborator accused of murdering Jews in Lithuania.

Official records state Blazys killed himself with a razor blade.

However shortly before his death a witness heard him ranting about how communists – a synonym for Jews among Nazis – were “coming to do him some harm”.

The revelations have left Jack and his brothers asking themselves whether their dad had the right to kill Nazis in Australia.

Jon said: “Is it wrong or is it right? My father’s family was wiped out and my immediate reaction is who am I to judge? My dad said he and Fima felt like they were dead (after their relatives were killed).

“They had nothing to lose anymore, they were the living dead, their whole people were wiped out. They just wanted revenge.

 “If we are talking about taking revenge to stand up for justice when people aren’t doing that then I not only hope he did it but I’m proud of him if he did it.”

Revenge: Our Dad the Nazi Killer airs on Tuesday (23 Jan) at 10pm on BBC Four and iPlayer.

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