Edmonton Journal | Mar. 30, 2004 | Elaine Gottlieb
Letter to Editor

Trivializing atrocities

In the article, "Where are their witnesses?" Eric Hafemann, the lawyer for the Edmonton man accused of having a Nazi past and faced with deportation, is quoted as saying, "Each case has been the same. And their allegation is that these Ukrainian kids were assisting the Nazi regime. Well, so was every Jew in a concentration camp forced to provide labour."

I don't understand the logic behind his implication that the innocent victims, the European Jews who were victims of forced labour under cruel and inhumane conditions that were designed to kill them, can in any way be compared to the perpetrators of the systematic annihilation that was practised in German concentration camps during the Second World War.

Also, if the accused is now 83 years old, I don't think it is accurate to describe him as having been a "kid" at the time of the alleged crimes.

Hafemann may have a legitimate point that the accused man should have a criminal trial, but his statements trivialize the atrocities and failure of justice that the deportation proceedings attempt to redress.

Elaine Gottlieb,

� The Edmonton Journal Tue., Mar. 30, 2004

[Hafemann was misspelled as Hasemann in the original.]