National Post | 25May2007 | Stewart Bell

Canada moves to oust ex-Nazis

96-year-old one of two stripped of 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 said yesterday.

[W.Z. Neither Mr. Oberlander nor Mr. Fast can be called a Nazi -- neither as a member of the NSDAP political party, nor as a person espousing that ideology.]

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.

[W.Z. Only Ukrainophobes persist in using the demeaning "the" in front of Ukraine, contrary to the repeated requests of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian community in North America.]

"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," Mr. Nicholson said from Munich, where he is attending a gathering of G8 justice and security officials.

[W.Z. We note that Mr. Nicholson is parroting the "no safe haven" mantra popularized by the preceeding Liberal government. We trust that this will apply to Canadians, Americans and British citizens from the WWII era to the present day in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. It should include Russian-Jewish-Soviet personnel from that era to the present Chechen disaster. And it definately must include Israeli atrocities repeatedly perpetrated in Palestine since its inception in 1948 to the recent Lebanese disaster in July 2006.]

It has been more than seven years since Ottawa took away the citizenship of a Canadian for involvement in Nazi atrocities. The last such decision, in March, 2000, concerned Serge Kisluk, who had collaborated with the Germans in Ukraine. He died in 2001.

[W.Z. In his testament released after his death, Mr. Kisluk maintained his innocence and condemned the people who had orchestrated his persecution.]

The Oberlander case has been a longstanding 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, Mr. Oberlander was a member of a unit that carried out mass executions of Jews.

[W.Z. "a member"? Surely, Mr. Bell is aware that, as a 17 year old kid, Mr. Oberlander was dragooned to work for the Germans as an interpreter, once they learned that he spoke German, Russian and Ukrainian.]

"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 last night after the National Post first reported the story on its Web site.

[W.Z. The hypocrisy of Bernie Farber of the CJC is beneath contempt.]

He said the decision was about more than redressing past wrongs; it should also serve notice to combatants in current and future conflicts that they cannot commit crimes against humanity and get away with it, he said.

"When you deal with a person like Oberlander, you send a message to those who would today be committing war crimes, and that is that Canada will not rest, Canada will do whatever is necessary and years make no difference. The right thing will be done."

[W.Z. The world fervently hopes that the Israelis perpetrating crimes against humanity in the Middle East will be brought to justice!]

Dozens of war criminals have settled in Canada since the Second World War.

[W.Z. Although this hypothesis may be true for all we know, -- especially from more recent conflicts in the Middle Esast and throughout the world -- the fact is that not one of the people targetted by the Deschenes Commission in 1985 nor by Canada's War Crimes Unit created in 1987 has proven to be a war criminal.]

Following unsuccessful attempts to prosecute a Toronto man [Imre Finta?] who had participated in the Holocaust, the government changed tactics and in 1988 [1995?] began revoking the citizenship of Nazis [?] on the grounds they had misrepresented themselves to immigration authorities.

[W.Z. Following the Deschenes Commission witch hunt in 1985, the Mulroney government enacted retroactive legislation in 1987 allowing for the prosecution of war crimes in a criminal court of law, as if they had been committed on Canadian soil. The government trumpeted that they would pursue a "made in Canada" solution and that there would be no denaturalizations and deportations (d&d) as was being perpetrated by the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in the United States.

Imre Finta, a Hungarian expatriate, was the "star" case of Canada's War Crimes Unit. The 12 member jury found Mr. Finta innocent of all charges. This verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1993.

In January 1995, Justice Minister Allan Rock announced that the government would renege on its earlier declaration and would institute a d&d policy (virtually identical to that used by the OSI in the U.S.). The government of Jean Chretien abandoned criminal prosecutions in criminal courts of law requiring evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt" and replaced them with civil processes utilizing lax rules of evidence and requiring evidence "on a balance of probabilities". Thus war crimes trials have deteriorated into immigration infraction cases. These d&d trials fraudulently equate immigration infractions with war criminality.]

Since 1977, Canada has revoked citizenship 54 times -- seven of them in relation to the Second World War. Some of those war criminals left Canada voluntarily and others died but none were removed to their countries of origin, officials said yesterday.

Mr. Oberlander and Mr. Fast have 30 days to appeal the decision. Neither could be reached for comment yesterday. Asked if the government intended to deport them, Mr. Nicholson said that was up to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Diane Finley.

[W.Z. Since d&d trials deal with immigration infractions and not criminal acts, what business has Rob Nicholson (Minister of Justice) issuing a press release on a matter which should be solely the concern of Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)?

"That would be a separate decision," he said. "They would be in the same position as other individuals without status in the country, so there are a number of avenues, but again until the decision is final, I think we should be clear that they have the right to have this reviewed."

Mr. Oberlander immigrated to Canada with his wife in 1954 and they became citizens in 1960. But in 1995, federal officials notified Mr. Oberlander they were taking steps to revoke his citizenship for failing to mention his wartime past when he immigrated.

In 2000, a Federal Court judge found that Mr. Oberlander had been a member of Einsatzkommando 10A, a "mobile mass killing squad" in Ukraine that implemented the Third Reich's Final Solution in the Soviet Union.

The government subsequently ordered the revocation of his citizenship, but the decision was set aside by a court in 2004 and no further action was taken until yesterday. He lives in Waterloo, Ont.

Mr. Fast arrived at Halifax harbour in 1947 and became a Canadian citizen in 1954. The government notified him in 1999 that it was revoking his citizenship.

Federal officials alleged that from 1941 to 1944 he had worked for the Political Police, a unit in Zaporozhye, Ukraine, that enforced the policies of the German occupation forces.

In October 2003, the Federal Court ruled that Mr. Fast had been a Nazi collaborator and that he had concealed his German citizenship when he entered Canada.

The case was sent to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for final disposition but no action was taken until yesterday.[???] He lives in St. Catharines, Ont.

[W.Z. It is my understanding that the secret Cabinet meeting took place on 17May2007 not "yesterday". It is not known who was present at this meeting and is responsible for this decision.]

"These files have been in the system for some time but we've been very clear in our support of human rights and clear in our commitment that Canada will not be a safe haven for people involved with war crimes or crimes against humanity or genocide," the Minister said.

� National Post 2007

[W.Z. In my opinion, this article is pure hate-mongering by the National Post. Its purpose is to demonize Mssrs. Oberlander and Fast and to promote the agenda of the Holocaust Industry. It utilizes weasel words like Nazi, collaborator, mass executions, Holocaust survivors, crimes against humanity, war crimes, war criminals. It certainly does not even attempt to present all sides of the issue and inform the reader.]