Canada to review case of Nazi-era war-crimes suspect

Marcy Oster

(JTA) – The Canadian government will review the case of Nazi-era war-crimes suspect Helmut Oberlander, who has been fighting to retain his Canadian citizenship since 1995.

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal sent his case back the Canadian Cabinet for reconsideration after it filed its third motion since 2001 to revoke his citizenship, the National Post reported Tuesday.

The Canadian government launched its case against Oberlander in 1995, when it alleged he had failed to disclose his wartime past when he became a Canadian in 1960. In 2000, a judge ruled that Oberlander had lied about his wartime service to gain citizenship.

The Canadian Cabinet stripped Oberlander of his citizenship three times. Twice it was restored by court rulings. The third revocation is what currently is being reviewed.

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Oberlander, of Waterloo, Ontario, who was born in Ukraine, was a member of a mobile death squad that is estimated to have murdered more than 23,000 people, mostly Jews, in the Soviet Union during World War II. He claimes to have been a low-level interpreter and that he would have been shot had he tried to escape.

He is trying to forestall his deportation from Canada.

Another Canadian resident who had been on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of wanted Nazi criminals, Vladimir Katriuk, died last year at the age of 93.

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