Edmonton Journal | 25May2007 | Stewart Bell
National Post, Toronto

Ex-Nazis lose Canadian citizenship

The Canadian government has revoked the citizenship of two former Nazi collaborators who misrepresented their wartime pasts when they entered the country more than 50 years ago, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced Thursday [24May2007].

Helmut Oberlander, 83, and Jacob Fast, 96, were stripped of their Canadian citizenship by cabinet order.

Both are Ontario residents born in the Ukraine and found by the Federal Court of Canada to have served the Nazi occupation during the Second World War.

"The message should go out that this country is not a safe haven for anyone involved with a war crime, whether it be recent or quite some time ago," Nicholson said.

The Oberlander case has been a long-standing concern of Jewish groups, which have repeatedly urged Ottawa to take action against him.

Although the courts have ruled there was no evidence he personally committed war crimes, Oberlander was a member of a unit that carried out mass executions of Jews.

From 1941 to 1944 Fast, federal officials said, worked for the Political Police, a unit in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, that enforced policies of the German occupation forces.

In October 2003, the Federal Court ruled that Fast had been a Nazi collaborator and had concealed his German citizenship when he entered Canada two years after the war. Nothing was done about it until Thursday.[24May2007 or 17May2007?]

"Justice is finally being done and I think Holocaust survivors especially will embrace this decision as they are in their twilight years," Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress said Wednesday [23May2007?] night after the National Post broke the story on its Web site.

[W.Z. If the Wednesday date is correct and since the News Release of Mr. Nicholson is dated Thursday, 24May2007, this would imply that the CJC and Mr. Farber were aware of the decisions presumably made in the secret Cabinet meeting the previous week.]

Dozens of war criminals have settled in Canada since the Second World War. Following unsuccessful attempts to prosecute a Toronto man who had participated in the Holocaust, the government changed tactics and in 1988 began revoking the citizenship of Nazis on the grounds they had misrepresented themselves to immigration authorities.

Mr. Oberlander and Mr. Fast have 30 days to appeal the decision.

Neither could be reached for comment Thursday.

CanWest News Service

[W.Z. This article in the Edmonton Journal (a puppet paper of the National Post controlled by the Asper clan) is just an abbreviation of the article appearing in the National Post, which I have commented extensively.

Nevertheless, it is instructive to see how the CanWest News personnel massaged the original article by Mr. Bell to better serve as a hate-mongering propaganda piece.]