Sunday, February 7, 2021

Canada’s long road to deport its last Nazi-era suspect


Nazi war crimes ratlines Canada immigration deportation citizenship justice

A quarter of a century ago, two RCMP officers showed up at Helmut Oberlander’s home in Waterloo, Ont., to ask about how he immigrated from Germany and what he did during the Second World War.

That visit, on Jan. 25, 1995, signaled the start of Ottawa’s efforts to deport Mr. Oberlander, who had been an interpreter for a German death squad during the invasion of the Soviet Union.

He was among the first targeted under a new federal strategy of stripping Nazi-era suspects of their Canadian citizenship, then expelling them. He is now the last remaining removal case linked to Second World War atrocities.

He says he was conscripted and there is no evidence he ever pulled a trigger. But the Federal Court ruled that his work as an interpreter contributed to his unit’s murderous aims and that he shouldn’t have been allowed into Canada in the first place.

For 25 years, he waged a protracted legal battle.

On Monday, having run out of avenues of judicial appeals, the former real estate developer, now 96, will have his case reviewed for the first time by the Immigration and Refugee Board, which could order him deported.

“People like Oberlander are a good example that if you are prepared to litigate every single step along the way, and take every legal option, it just never ends,” David Matas, counsel to the League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada, said in an interview.

In the words of Alti Rodal, who was director of historical research for the Deschênes Commission, which looked into the country’s handling of fugitive Nazis, “Canada started too late, moved too haltingly and did too little.”  (more...)

Canada’s long road to deport its last Nazi-era suspect


  1. A 17 year old translater...come on. Did they lock up the American Jews that did nothing to help the Polish Jews from being massacred.

    1. American Jewish passivity pales beside the American corporate complicity: