Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Helmut Oberlander, former Nazi interpreter, appealing loss of citizenship

Nazi crime accountability fascism war immigration justice genocide

A Waterloo man who was a translator for a Nazi death squad during the Second World War is appealing the federal government’s bid to strip him of his citizenship.

The case marks the fourth time since 1995 that the government has attempted to revoke Helmut Oberlander’s Canadian citizenship. The first three were overturned on appeal.

A federal court hearing is taking place in Toronto this week as part of the latest appeal.

Oberlander’s lawyer, Ronal Poulton, says his client did nothing more than “mundane tasks” for the Nazis at the age of 17.

“The courts have found over and over again (that) he did not participate in any way in any crimes,” he told CTV News.

Oberlander is not attending this week’s hearing. Poulton says the 94 year old is not in good enough health to make the trip.

Lawyers representing Jewish advocacy organization B’nai Brith Canada have been granted intervener status at the hearing, arguing on behalf of the victims of Nazism.

“We need to build a justice system that sends a message (that) you cannot escape through old age,” B’nai Brith Canada lawyer David Matas said Wednesday.  (more...)


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