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VALERIAN (VIOREL) TRIFA

August 22, 2018
Viorel Trifa

Romanian Orthodox Archibishop Viorel Trifa, speaks during a new conference at a suburban Detroit church, Oct. 9, 1982, a day after he was ordered deported by an immigration judge for misrepresented his past when he came to the United States 30 years ago.

Trifa, the former U.S. archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox church, relinquished his citizenship in 1980 and left for Portugal in 1984 after admitting he lied to immigration authorities to conceal pro-Nazi activities during World War II.

The U.S. government alleged Trifa had been an ardent Nazi supporter who wrote inflammatory newspaper articles and made anti-Jewish speeches as a member of the Iron Guard, a Romanian fascist group.

One speech, in January 1941, touched off four days of rioting in Bucharest that resulted in hundreds of deaths. Trifa denied any role in the riots.

Trifa attained a U.S. visa through the post-war displaced persons program.

He was interned in the Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps but investigators said he never told refugee officials about special treatment he received.

Trifa died in 1987 at age 72.

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