Summary

Peter Warren Interview, June 23, 2002
10:05 a.m. PDT = 1:05 p.m. EDT

[1] Olya Odynsky gives a short summary of the Wasyl Odynsky case since 1997.
- Outpouring of support for Odynsky has delayed the cabinet decision on revocation of citizenship.

[2] Robert Keyserlingk is introduced. [See Transcript Excerpts]
- Not a war crimes trial, but an immigration trial.
- When he was in Germany in the 1950s as a Foreign Service Officer for Immigration Canada, the term "collaborator" was a totally incomprehensible term. Even prosecution witness, d'Ombrain, in 1988 admitted he did not know what the term meant.

[3] Olya Odynsky - With exception of several Estonians and Latvians, most of the accused victims have been Ukrainians (including Mennonites and Volksdeutscher)
- Interesting that Ukrainian government has allowed RCMP to come in to dig up supposed evidence in KGB archives, which is normally refuted and/or inconsequential.
- "if the person is found to be innocent of war crimes, there is no case."
- [Break]
- More hope now because of huge amount of mail to MPs -- glimmer of hope.

[4] Robert Keyserlingk - Doesn't know what Canadian Jewish Congress policy is.
- Immigration procedures at the time were absolutely lax.
- RCMP had no authority to do security screening in Europe until 1959.
- "They did it informally but they only looked for Communists."
- All files are gone, immigration forms had no questions re wartime activities, immigration officers had nothing to do with security screening and were overwhelmed by 40,000 DPs.
- "In many cases, they didn't even interview them and to say nowadays that they have interviewed them and particularly they asked about their wartime experience, which was not the job of an immigration officer at all, is absolutely untrue."

[5] Olya Odynsky - Mr. Odynsky has been an exemplary citizen.
- It is so unjust and unfair.
- Cabinet just revokes his citizenship, it is up to the Immigration and Refugee Board to deport him.
- "And then, it is out of the government's hands supposedly, so everyone, you know, doesn't feel guilty about deporting a 78 year old man because they didn't deport him, they only took away his citizenship."
- In 1995, Allan Rock clearly stated "that if there is no individual criminality, no proceeding will commence."
-Odynsky's lawyer said "there should be a stay of proceedings because this man is not charged with any criminal wrongdoing."
- Justice MacKay replied that we owe it to the Minister (Anne McLellan and Lucienne Robillard) to answer the question, "Did this man misrepresent himself?"
- This "never made any sense to anybody, because if there is no war crime, why is there even a hearing?"

[Call for phone ins and break.]
[NOT in Transcript excerpts.]

[6] Ollie in Edmonton - very concerned about this.
- Went around with petition on d&d and no one knew anything about it.
- "Removing people in the night and we won't know who's missing."

[7] Peter Warren reads second paragraph of 5 page Email from Stefan Lemieszewski:

My further understanding is that to keep Canada safe, the Canadian government has spent millions of dollars in searching for so-called Nazi war criminals, since the time of the Deschenes Commission. I use the term “so-called Nazi war criminals” because from the cases that I have seen, such as the Odynsky case, the individuals were neither Nazis, nor criminals, despite being frequently labeled as such by the [news] media. Furthermore, having initially failed numerous times in the criminal courts with so-called Nazi war criminal cases because there was no evidence of guilt, the Canadian government then changed its policy to one of “denaturalization and deportation” using the civil courts where the burden of proof is much less. Since a civil court can not make a finding of criminality, these cases became “immigration” cases, not war crime cases. Nevertheless, the [news] media persists in using the erroneous label of “Nazi war crimes”.

[8] Walter in Vancouver - Is this policy designed to placate Izzy Asper with his huge monopolistic media empire?
- Have any people from Israel ever been refused entry to Canada because of alleged atrocities against Palestinians or other Arab people?

[9] Robert Keyserlingk - The war crimes legislation passed as a result of the Deschenes Commission didn't work, because under Canadian law, you can use superior orders as a defense, whereas they could not use superior orders as a defense at the Nuremberg Trials. In desperation, the government switched to the d&d process.
- There have been no trials of Jewish collaborators here, even though ghettos could not have been run without Jewish Councils and Jewish police. They had some in Israel, but gave them up as being too divisive.
- One forgets how scared we were of the Communist threat in 46' to 49. [Remember the Gouzenko affair.] The atom bomb in 1949, the Berlin blockade and airlift, Korean war in 1950.
- "We started at that point to rehabilitate the Germans on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend." In the '50s, we were letting in ex-SS and ex-Gestapo officers legally.
- In 1950, the government let in a whole Ukrainian Waffen SS Division, claiming that they were not security threats at all.
- "And the claim today, as Immigration Officers do, that we were interested about what went on in World War II is absolutely wrong."

[10] Barry in Calgary - Concerned about the phrase "on a basis of a balance of probabilities". Whatever happened to "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

[11] Olya Odynsky - This is a civil process where 51% probability is acceptable. These cases belong in criminal court.
- Mr. Odynsky has had to use all his life's savings, mortgage his house and get help from elsewhere, just to fight this case.

[12] Robert Keyserlingk - Each judge can make up his own mind anyway he wants and there is no appeal to it.
- [Robert Keyserlingk takes issue with a Mr. Gunn(?) and another fellow, who consistently testify for the prosecution that "there was a process in place" which they conscientiously carried out to weed out Nazi war criminals and collaborators.]
- "They are the same two people that come in and give the same testimony in all these cases and some judges accept it and some don't. So it's really a crap shoot, who do you get as your judge."

[13] Jack in North Battleford - A veteran who says we have to be careful how we define a war criminal.
- Are you aware that there is a known Gestapo as a member of Parliament?
- Peter Warren cuts him off, but invites him to send any information via Email.

[14] Paulette in Coquitlam - This is something out of Orwell... or Lewis Carroll. In Canada, we believe in innocent until proven guilty. What about innocent after proven innocent? It's ridiculous. Leave the guy alone and go after the real criminals, instead of spending all this money and effort trying to make charges stick. What purpose would it serve to deport an innocent person on such specious grounds? Did it serve society to lock up David Milgard, Donald Marshall and Thomas Sophenow? All that time wasted and the real killers are still out there. So what's the difference here? Leave the guy alone let him live out his remaining days in peace and go after real threats to society.

[15] Don in Cochrane, AB - Book Hitlers Jews - about 100,000 Jews in the wehrmacht, highest ranks of the SS, etc.
- Have any of these people been rounded up and brought to justice?

[16] Robert Keyserlingk - Well, I can answer that one a little bit and that is, specifically, I don't know. None of these trials happen unless there is a lot of public pressure. And I live in Ottawa, so it's a little pressure cooker of its own, you know. And what you have here, is you have a war crimes commission, where there's a bunch of people making careers and one of them, the head of them [Neal Sher] actually worked in the United States for a while, and on that terrible Demjanjuk case which proved to be an absolute fraud. But if you live in Ottawa, you understand these things have a momentum of their own. When you have an organization, it has to justify itself. There's a budget. People have careers. And if you just looked at the success rate that they have in these so-called war crimes trials finding war criminals, they're abjectly failures. The only way they can pump up the statistics is by claiming that these people they're throwing out somehow are also war criminals, but they're not. It's immigration, but they're fudging the statistics. This is very important in Ottawa, for budgetary reasons among other things.

- Demjanjuk is down in the United States. They are trying another trial against him now. They started all over again.

[17] Olya Odynsky - He's actually just lost his second trial. The judge has found that he, indeed, is guilty of misrepresenting himself into the United States. So they are now going through an appeal process. It's very difficult in the United States, because they have something called the Holtzmann Amendment, by which you can be found guilty by association. Just because you belong to a unit and if that unit did something that was bad, it doesn't matter whether you did it or not, or whether you even knew about it. You are guilty by association. It's a huge problem.

[18] Peter Warren: Robert, I had him on the air years ago. Am I not right, I'm going strictly on memory now, that whole thing revolved around what appeared to me to be falsified Russian ID.

[19] Robert Keyserlingk: There was other stuff which was suppressed. Remember there was a man who walked past the Justice Ministry and found all the documents.

[20] Peter Warren - Olya, what do you want our listeners to do if they agree with you?

[21] Olya Odynsky - Well, if they agree with me and I hope they do, if they can just pick up the phone and call their MP. If they can write their MP a letter or a quick Email and to Mr. Coderre. Mr. Coderre is very instrumental and the key person, of course, Mr. Manley [Don Boudria] is very important. He is the chairman of the particular Special Committee of Cabinet, that is reviewing this particular situation. So basically your MP, Cabinet Ministers.

[22] Peter Warren - Olya, thanks very much, Robert, thank you very much.