[Submitted for publication]
From: Brian Conley
To: K Whyte
Cc: Robert Fife
Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 12:17 PM
Subject: Robert Fife article September 20, 2002
Robert Fife's article of Sep 20, 2002 "Ottawa May End Effort to Expel Nazis" would be amusing due to the numerous errors, omissions and the obvious one-sided approach Fife has taken, were the subject not so serious in nature.
Were Mr. Fife able to stand back and interpret his own article he might understand my concern. To the best of my knowledge not one of the 17 people mentioned in his article has been prosecuted for being a Nazi - so who confirms these 17 as being Nazi - is Mr. Fife now the self-appointed prosecutor, judge and jury to declare these 17 Nazis?
Look, I would support denaturalization & deportation of convicted Nazi war criminals - the only trouble is we are not dealing with convicted Nazi war criminals here. Mr. Fife would have us believe that all 17 are Nazi mass murders - this is just not true in the case of Wasyl Odynsky. The Odynsky situation is one where a 19 year old is led away by the Germans at gun point and is forced to become a guard at a prisoner of war camp. Our federal government charges him with lying (not revealing he was forced into service for the Germans) on his immigration application filed in 1949.
The judge in the Odynsky case, Andrew MacKay, found that on the "balance of probabilities" Mr. Odynsky obtained Canadian citizenship by knowingly concealing material information - that being, he was in the service of the Germans. The judge also found Mr. Odynsky did not join or serve with the Germans voluntarily, that he did not harm any labourer-prisoner or any other persons, and there was no evidence of any wrongdoing by him since arriving in Canada over 50 years ago. I have read the Odynsky judgement as he is related to a good friend. Had Mr. Fife taken some time to investigate this article appropriately rather than sitting up all night contemplating the most inflammatory headline he could come up with, he might not have done your newspaper such a gross injustice. He certainly misjudged at least 1 of the 17 - I, and I doubt Mr. Fife, have not investigated the other 16.
Reader's expect and have a right to expect a higher level of objective reporting from a newspaper such as yours.