Thursday, September 23, 2021

Helmut Oberlander, Canada’s last Nazi-era suspect, dies at 97


Nazi Canada immigration ratlines Helmut Oberlander deportation deception war crimes genocide death

Helmut Oberlander, the last Canadian facing allegations connected to Nazi war crimes, has died just as the federal government was in the final stage of its decades-long efforts to deport him.

Mr. Oberlander, who was 97, died on Monday at home. For 26 years, Ottawa had tried to expel him, saying he unlawfully immigrated to Canada after the Second World War because he had concealed his role as an interpreter for a Nazi death squad during Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.

While his family portrayed him as a community-minded businessman, others saw his case as an example of Ottawa’s failure to deal with suspected Nazi collaborators.

“Notwithstanding the challenges in his life, he remained strong in his faith. He took comfort in his family and the support of many in his community,” the Oberlander family said in a statement.

The lessons of Mr. Oberlander’s death ought to be immediately clear to all Canadians, said Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal MP who served as justice minister in the mid-2000s. “We need to revisit the whole process of bringing war criminals to justice,” he said.  (more...)

Helmut Oberlander, Canada’s last Nazi-era suspect, dies at 97

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