| 04Sep2007 | Anthony David Marks (Israel Hasbara Committee)

The Unknown Factor that Influenced Amended Legislation in Canada to Prosecute Nazi War Criminals

[W.Z. Not one "Nazi war criminal" was successfully prosecuted and convicted by this legislation.]

IHC Abstract
The complete dynamics of how high level decisions are made are not always known even to those who are part of the decision-making process. This seems to have been the case in the decision to amend Canadian law in 1987 to facilitate prosecution of Nazis living in Canada who had emigrated from Europe. With the advent of the Cold War with Russia many ex Nazis suddenly were seen by some in the intelligence community as valuable assets to infiltrate communist organizations. The Canadian government was not enthusiastic about this legislation as many thought the issue was exaggerated. There was also some apprehension that it would spark ethnic tensions between various ethnic groups, principally the Jewish and Ukrainian communities. Here is an insight into some activity that never got reported.

[W.Z. Throughout this article, note how facilely Mr. Marks refers to WWII refugees fleeing for their lives from the clutches of Stalin as "ex Nazis". He never refers to Jews who were allowed to leave Soviet-controlled territory at the end of the war and later to those allowed to emigrate to the West as "KGB agents".]

(IHC News Editorial, 04Sep2007) Normally I would never have ever considered writing an article such as this one. The experience revealed in this article should have remained secret as have many other initiatives I have undertaken in my lifetime. However, circumstances dictated otherwise. This article demonstrates clearly how one person�s behavior can cause a chain reaction. In this case, it is the result of the lack of cooperation of a leading Canadian Jewish organization in a simple research project. [W.Z. Name? What research project?] This is one of my numerous contributions to Canada in general and to the Canadian Jewish community in particular. In contrast, the Israel Hasbara Committee has a policy of being ready to assist any other similar organization to further the common agenda.

For those not knowledgeable about Canada�s record of pursuing former Nazi war criminals who sought refugee in Canada, this reading should be an eye opener. Until 1987, Canada had a poor record of pursing legal action against former Nazi war criminals who had lied their way into being admitted to Canada. It was almost as if some Canadian immigration and justice officials had intentionally turned a blind eye on the matter for whatever reason.

It took a scandalous accusation in Parliament to prod the Canadian government into taking some decisive action against Nazis living in Canada. A member of the Canadian Parliament [W.Z. Name? It was Sol Littman who led the disinformation campaign.] had claimed that the infamous Auschwitz death doctor, Joseph Mengele, was now living in the country. Many know that Canada had a reputation for being an easy country for former Nazis to enter. After the claim, then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney was compelled to take action. [W.Z. It is my understanding, that Mr. Mulroney successfully sought Jewish support for his election campaign in the fall of 1984 by promising to act on this issue.] He appointed former Quebec Superior Court Judge Jules Deschenes to conduct a commission of inquiry on war criminals living in Canada. Deschenes submitted a report in 1986, which among things concluded that the number of war criminals living in Canada was vastly exaggerated.

Meanwhile, Jewish groups were pursuing the matter and established a commission which involved B�nai B�rith and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Lyle Smordin acted for B�nai B�rith and Sol Littman headed the Canadian office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. They demanded that the Canadian government make a change to the Criminal Code in order to facilitate prosecution of war criminals in Canada. In particular, they wanted an investigation of former members of the Ukrainian Waffen SS Unit living in Canada who they alleged had committed mass murder of Jews during World War II.

While Jewish groups wanted action to identify and prosecute Ukrainians suspected of war crimes, the Ukrainian community was apprehensive that such action would unfairly label them as a group and they all would become suspects, so they tried to put pressure the Canadian government to block passage of the amendment. [W.Z. That is not true. The Ukrainian community particularly objected to the establishment of a U.S.-style OSI (Office of Special Investigations), which had been used to persecute and denaturalize John Demjanjuk in the United States. They objected to the utilization of Soviet-supplied evidence -- often fabricated and/or obtained under torture. They had no objection to a "made-in-Canada solution" utilizing the criminal courts of law to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had perpetrated criminal acts.] The Canadian government was concerned about the possibility of a sort of ethnic war developing between the Canadian Ukrainian and Jewish communities.

Almost everyday during its coverage, The Globe and Mail, Canada�s most respected national newspaper covered the story of the Simon Wiesenthal�s Center�s efforts under Rabbi Marvin Hier and the local Toronto Wiesenthal representative Sol Littman�s efforts to pressure the Canadian government to amend the Criminal Code of Canada. The man obstructing passage of the amendment was a senior Canadian justice official named Ivan Whitehall. At least he was the front man. He was adamant that no amendment to the Criminal Code would be considered. [W.Z. Perhaps because he and his handlers preferred the OSI-type solution.] While living in Toronto I used to read in The Globe and Mail updates almost everyday of the confrontation between the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Ivan Whitehall of the Justice Department and every day I became a little more irritated and frustrated as I always had zero tolerance for antisemites and their cohorts. [W.Z. Is Mr. Marks accusing Mr. Whitehall of being an antisemite?] After a few days I resolved to get involved and did so with a couple of very discreet telephone calls.

I was in an entirely unique position. Completely unknown to everyone was the fact that I alone new Rabbi Marvin Hier better than most, from the time he received his first position at Vancouver�s Schara Tzedeck synagogue as the youth leader and assistant to Rabbi Bernard Goldenberg. I had worked as a volunteer with him and almost every other rabbi in Metropolitan Vancouver to produce the annual televised Rambam Bible Contest under the auspices of B�nai B�rith. I was the creator and also the producer of the quiz program, which was televised by the local public television station. Rabbi Hier was the first emcee on the show. On the other side, I had befriended one Ivan Weiss in Vancouver, a high school class mate who later changed his name to Ivan Whitehall.[W.Z. Why did he change his name? When?] We had met in grade twelve at King Edward High School.

Ivan was a Hungarian Jew who together with his mother had first moved to Israel from Hungary and then to Vancouver. Unlike other Hungarians, he and his mother had left communist Hungary legally for Israel. [W.Z. When? One wonders if the NKVD/KGB facilitated the emigration of the Weiss family from behind the Iron curtain to Israel and, then, Canada?] They were practically destitute in Vancouver and survived on welfare. Mother and teenage son lived together in one room of an old wooden frame house, a few blocks from King Edward High School. Although we came from different backgrounds and had different ambitions, we had more in common than we had differences. Ivan was highly intelligent and a very sophisticated thinker and that appealed to me. He also was cosmopolitan unlike the other local school students who were very provincial.

Unknown to Ivan probably to this day, was that shortly after I befriended him, I got busy phoning everyone possible in the Jewish community in order to solicit their financial help to assist him. I was unsuccessful as far as I remember. In the end I arranged for him to work summers with me as a construction laborer on the buildings my late father was building with his business partners. I remember on one building Ivan complaining that a fellow worker had called him antisemitic names so we had the worker fired. I remember delivering a huge box of food to his door and then running away as I did not want to embarrass him with the humiliation of a handout. Later, we were both students at the University of British Columbia and even had a partnership called Marks and Weiss taking photographs and developing them ourselves. Once we took photographs of the entire Jewish fraternity on campus at some prestigious event.

Now, years later, blocking the needed amendment to the Canadian Criminal Code to catch Nazis living in Canada was the same person who I had done all I possibly could do to assist when he was in dire need of assistance. He once told me his father was taken away by the Nazis. There was no indication that Ivan�s motives were antisemitic or anything like that; his real motive was unknown.

Consequently, I made two discreet phone calls to different people in 1987. One was to Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Rabbi Hier was a little stunned when I informed him on the phone of my once very close association with Ivan Whitehall. I think he could not believe his good luck. He took my Toronto phone number and said he would call me back soon. After reflecting on the matter, he called me back. He wanted to know �what I had on Ivan Whitehall.� My response was very clear and unequivocal. I told Rabbi Hier that Ivan is Jewish and I am Jewish and that I would not tell him anything that would in any way jeopardize Ivan�s career. Rabbi Hier was clearly taken aback by this response. I suggested that Rabbi Hier simply find a way, directly or indirectly, to mention my name and that was all that was required. I believe there was a third telephone call in which we went through the same routine of Rabbi Hier wanting to pull some facts from me, potentially damaging to Ivan, but I refused to divulge any more information. I stood my ground saying again that all he had to do was just communicate to Ivan Whitehall my name, only this time I added that if Ivan Whitehall did not change his position and stop obstructing passage to the proposed amended provisions of the Criminal Code to prosecute Nazi war criminals living in Canada, I would get involved.

About a week later, I read in The Globe and Mail that Ivan Whitehall who had been so absolutely adamant in refusing to entertain any changes to the Criminal Code had suddenly, without explanation completely changed his position and the proposed amendment soon became law.

[W.Z. The amendment, called Bill C-71, was passed surreptitiously in August 1987. The reader is invited to read my articles in the Demjanjuk Files at
/fc/, particularly
and/or the McLellan Files at

I argue that this legislation (concocted by Mr. Whitehall) was obviously written in bad faith -- specifically targetting "Nazi war criminals" and omitting Soviet, Israeli and war criminals from other lands. Not one conviction was obtained via this legislation.

Instead, in January 1995 Justice Minister Allan Rock decided to abandon criminal prosecutions and opted for the denaturalization and deportation process (a la the OSI in the United States), which are civil cases alleging immigration infractions rather than war criminality and utilizing an "on a balance of probabilities" criterion.]

On writing this article, I telephoned Rabbi Hier twice to review the incident. On both occasions I spoke to Aaron Breitbart, the senior researcher at the Simon Weisenthal Center, and he transferred the call to Rabbi Hier but both times Rabbi Hier did not accept the call and he has since then still not returned my calls. I have known Aaron Breitbart and Rabbi Marvin Hier for 40+ years when we all were living in Vancouver. A number of times, Aaron was the quiz master on the televised Rambam Bible Contest, the first video of which was supplied to me by the TV station - with Rabbi Hier as emcee!

The second discreet telephone call I made in 1987 will have to remain as such.

[W.Z. One wonders what blackmail or other skullduggery is implied in this decision?]

Source: Israel Hasbara Committee,
The author and abstractor is Chairman of the Israel Hasbara Committee
Copyright � Israel Hasbara Committee, 4 September 2007.
Permission is granted to use this material on condition the Israel Hasbara Committee is properly credited and that it is not for commercial purposes.
Israel Hasbara Committee -
You can find this article online at

[W.Z. An Internet search for Ivan Whitehall yields a laudatory piece, archived on the Justice Canada website, by d&d-supporter Stephen Bindman claiming:

It's been a remarkable journey to the pinnacle of the legal profession for Whitehall who was born Ivan Weiss, in Hungary, in 1942.

His father, taken for forced labor two months after Whitehall was born, eventually perished in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Ivan and his mother were spared in a "protected house."

"Towards the end of the war, the Germans were going systematically through these houses. The Russian Army got to our protected house before the Germans got there, so we were saved."

After a brief stint in Israel, he and his mother moved to Vancouver in 1959 to be with his ailing aunt.

The 17-year-old spoke little English. "I think this is a wonderful country. I came here with my mother, I was 17, we had 20 dollars between the two of us. We didn't come with any other resources.

"I really don't think I could have done it anywhere else but in Canada. If I call my career a success, it's a success that was made possible because of the place where I live."

Whitehall later went to the University of British Columbia. After a brief career in the private sector, he joined the Department of Justice, and moved to Ottawa, in 1971.

One also finds very critical comments dated June 23, 1994 by Chief Bernard Ominayak of the Lubicon Lake Indian Nation: ;
as well as criticisms by other authors.

On Nov. 18, 2003 Mr. Whitehall retired as chief prosecutor for the Department of Justice and joined the McCarthy-Tetrault law firm.]