Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme allied commander, personally ordered the execution during the closing days of World War II in order to deter other potential deserters. Slovik was court-martialed for desertion under fire and sentenced to death by firing squad. His execution was carried out in the closing months of World War II, on January 31, 1945, near the village of Ste-Marie aux Mines.
He was buried in the Oise-Aisne Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois , France, in a secret cemetery with 94 American soldiers executed for the crimes of rape and murder.
In 1987, forty-two years after Slovik's execution, his remains were returned to Michigan and reburied next to his wife Antoinette.
The story of his execution was made into a motion picture with actor Martin Sheen in the role of Private Slovik.