Canadian Jews Demand Immediate Deportation of Nazi Death Squad Veteran Stripped of Citizenship
Jewish organizations in Canada on Friday demanded the immediate deportation of a Nazi war criminal who was stripped of his Canadian citizenship by a federal court judge earlier this week.
Now 94 years old, Ukrainian-born Helmut Oberlander served during World War II with the Einsatzkommando 10a — known as Ek 10a — a notoriously savage Nazi death squad that accompanied the German 11th Army during its conquest of the southern part of Ukraine.
Tasked with the mass murder of political opponents and Jews, Ek 10a was responsible for the murder of 100,000 civilians, the vast majority of whom were Jewish.
More than one million Jews were murdered by Einsatzgruppen death squads in the occupied Soviet Union as a whole. According to the noted historian Timothy Snyder, while bureaucratic incompetence sometimes stifled the death squads’ campaign against communists and other adversaries in the occupied lands of Eastern Europe, they were “more successful in missions against Jews, which required much less discrimination.”
Oberlander — who arrived in Canada in 1954 and became a citizen six years later — always insisted he was forced to join the death squad at the age of 17 on pain of death, and that he served as a “translator.”
Since 1995, Oberlander, a resident Waterloo, Ontario, has successfully resisted three attempts to strip him of his citizenship. His fortune turned last September, when Justice Michael Phelan ruled that “[I]t is uncontested that Oberlander obtained his Canadian citizenship by false representation or by knowingly concealing material circumstances by failing to disclose involvement in the SS at the time of his immigration screening.”
Continued Justice Phelan: “There is no doubt that to have done so would have resulted in the rejection of his citizenship application.”
On Friday, David Matas — B’nai Brith Canada’s senior legal counsel — asserted that the stripping of Oberlander’s citizenship “means that [he] can no longer appeal.”
“There is now no excuse for the government to prolong the deportation of this Nazi,” Matas said in a statement. “It’s unconscionable that this has gone on for so long.”
Michael Mostyn — chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada — noted separately that also this week Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had apologized for his country’s “callousness” in turning away the ship MS St. Louis in 1939, which was carrying over 900 Jews fleeing from Nazi persecution. Approximately 250 of those Jewish passengers were later murdered in concentration camps.
“Prime Minister Trudeau apologized for Canada’s epic failure on the MS St. Louis in 1939,” Mostyn said. “Now — and I stress the need for immediate action — our government must do the right thing and remove this Nazi from our country right away.”