Canada tries to deport Helmut Oberlander, an interpreter for a Nazi death squad with 20,000 dead, while the 97-year-old tries to throw the case away.
Oberlander has been engaged in a legal battle with the Canadian government since 1995 when an investigation was launched into his activities during World War II.
Helmut Oberlander, now 97, is accused of hiding his WWII activities from the Canadian government, requiring him to undergo a deportation hearing
Canada’s federal court was set to hear a motion Tuesday morning.
Oberlander has said he hoped the CSAe would end the deportation proceedings for “abuse of process.”
Holocaust survivor groups and others have said Oberlander should be punished regardless of how long ago alleged crimes were committed.
As part of the long-running case, Oberlander’s name had first appeared in a secret report of “urgent actions” presented to the government.
His lawyers allege that the government has not made public the secret report, the core of the “abuse of process” motion.
It is not clear when a ruling on Oberlander’s status will be revealed.
Oberlander’s unit killed at least 20,000 people in occupied territories, including Jews.
Oberlander claims he never killed anyone and has said he spent his time doing tasks like shiny boots. He has also never been charged with a crime and claims to have been conscripted by the Nazis.
The interpreter did not disclose his participation in the unit when he immigrated to Canada, causing the country to scrap his citizenship.
Oberlander was born in southeastern Ukraine before becoming an interpreter with Einsatzkommando 10a in 1941.
Oberlander and his wife settled in Canada in 1954 and acquired citizenship in 1960 when he began a successful career as a real estate developer.
Oberlander was a member of the Einsatzkommando, where his unit killed at least 20,000 people
German officials questioned Oberlander in a separate investigation in 1970, but the former interpreter claimed he did not know the name of the unit in which he served, nor their mission to exterminate Jews.
A federal court judge of Canada called the allegation that Oberlander did not know the name of his unit in 2000 “implausible.”
Oberlander had his citizenship scrapped in 2001, 2007 and 2012, and it is restored each time on appeal.
However, that was not the case with the 2017 decision to revoke his citizenship, which has been maintained so far.
A hearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board last month was temporarily interrupted because Oberlander has a hearing impairment, which could have been unfair to him, especially with social aloofness and other pandemic measures.
Afterward, the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants co-president said the government should “ complete the deportation process without further delay, ” the CBC
Oberlander (pictured before 1944) has lived in Canada since 1954 and became a real estate developer in the country
Canada has been criticized in the past for failing to bring war criminals to justice.
“The Oberlander case must be seen against the backdrop of a failed policy that initially failed to bring war criminals to justice,” said Irwin Cotler, president of the Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights in Montreal.
A 1994 Supreme Court decision to uphold the acquittal of a Hungarian gendarmerie captain responsible for deporting Jews to concentration camps complicated the prosecution of war criminals, the police said. Washington Post
Instead, the country focuses on deporting alleged war criminals.
Since the 1980s, ten cases have resulted in the removal of citizenship, while four have been unsuccessfully prosecuted for crimes.