|April 30, 2000|
CJC facilitated the exchange of information dealing with suspected Nazi war criminals in Canada between private investigator, Steven Rambam, who gathered the material, and officials from the RCMP.
Photograph and caption were found on the CJC web site at www.cjc.ca/warcrim.htm
More than ten years after the release of the Report of the Deschênes Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in Canada and the subsequent passage of legislation to deal with these murderers, the dossier took on an extraordinarily high profile in 1997. CJC worked with American private investigator Steven Rambam. He had first met with CJC officials in the latter part of 1996 after he collaborated on a Jerusalem Post story exposing Canada as a safe haven for Nazis. He obtained several taped confessions, which CJC handed over to the RCMP. Several months later [Feb97] CJC's War Crimes Committee chair, Professor Irving Abella, and National Director of Community Relations Bernie Farber joined Rambam on the CBS program "60 Minutes." A few months later, the same three individuals were part of a panel discussion on the syndicated program "The Editors," broadcast to 24 million people on PBS stations across North America.|
CJC and Rambam followed this up with a series of activities in Ottawa to mark the 10th anniversary of the Deschênes Report. This included a luncheon meeting with Parliamentarians and a press conference in the House of Commons [19Mar97]. That same evening, a community-wide program was held at Ottawa's Beth Shalom Synagogue. More than 500 people were in attendance at the event, which also included the presentation of a certificate of merit to former Federal Justice Department War Crimes Unit Deputy Director Arnold Fradkin. Rambam was a keynote speaker.
Political advocacy continued when CJC led a delegation of Canada's top religious leaders to a meeting with then-Justice Minister Allan Rock to discuss the Nazi war criminals dossier. Rabbi Reuven Bulka, chair of CJC's Religious and Interreligious Affairs Committee and leader of the delegation, noted the historic significance of the meeting.
Throughout May, rallies, vigils and other public manifestations took place in Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, Saskatoon and Winnipeg under the central theme "Nazi War Criminals in Canada: One Is Too Many." In Montreal, some 2,000 people turned out at a prominent downtown location, where Rambam was presented with a certificate of merit [05May97]. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem addressed the Toronto event, while the former director of the Office of Special Investigations (the American war-crimes unit), Neal Sher, spoke in Halifax.
Excerpted from the CJC web site at www.cjc.ca/dais/past-issues/dais2-4-3yr-report.htm, blue emphasis added, and CJC misspelling Deschènes corrected to Deschênes.
CJC MEETS WITH RAMBAM, HANDS OVER WAR CRIMES TAPES TO RCMP
MONTREAL, DECEMBER 19, 1996 — Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) today facilitated the exchange of information dealing with suspected Nazi war criminals in Canada between a private investigator who gathered the material and officials of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) War Crimes Unit.
Working with two reporters for the Jerusalem Post, detective Steven Rambam of New York secured taped confessions from some 50 suspected Nazi war criminals. He handed over copies of the tapes, as well as additional documentation, to the RCMP and CJC War Crimes Committee Chair Professor Irving Abella.
Mr. Rambam and Professor Abella were later joined at a news conference by the authors of the Jerusalem Post exposé, Robert Sarner and Steve Leibowitz, as well as Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel Office Director Efraim Zuroff and CJC National Director of Community Relations Bernie M. Farber.
Professor Abella expressed his disappointment that the directors of the Federal Justice Department and RCMP War Crimes Units failed to attend the meeting, as originally promised. However, he expressed his hope that the federal government will do its part to move proceedings along. "I think we must be fair and credit the present government and Justice Minister Allan Rock for bringing forward eight new cases over the last two years," he said. "But there still must be more fire in the belly from the RCMP and the Department of Justice units which are charged with handling these files."
Professor Abella stated that if the RCMP and the Department of Justice are not prepared to deal with this evidence promptly, CJC will have to consider other action such as civil proceedings. "Something very unique has happened," said Professor Abella. "For the first time since the end of World War II we have an individual in Steven Rambam who has invested his time and energy to uncover evidence and taped confessions which our own government over the last 50 years has seemingly failed to do."
Excerpted from the CJC web site at www.cjc.ca/Rambam.htm, blue emphasis added.