Canada to review case of Nazi-era war crimes suspect Helmut Oberlander

Helmut Oberlander has been investigated in court over the last 20 years.

(JTA) – The case of Nazi-era war crimes suspect Helmut Oberlander, who has been fighting to retain his Canadian citizenship since 1995, is headed back to the Canadian government for review.

Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal sent his case back to the Canadian Cabinet for reconsideration after the Cabinet filed its third motion since 2001 to revoke his citizenship, the National Post reported Feb. 23.

The Cabinet has stripped Oberlander of his citizenship three times; twice it was restored by court rulings. The Ontario resident is trying to forestall his deportation from Canada.

The government launched its case against Oberlander in 1995, when it alleged he had failed to disclose his wartime past when he became a Canadian in 1960. In 2000, a judge ruled that Oberlander had lied about his wartime service to gain citizenship.

Oberlander, a Ukraine native, was a member of a mobile death squad that is estimated to have murdered more than 23,000 people, mostly Jews, in the Soviet Union during World War II. He claims to have been a low-level interpreter and would have been shot had he tried to escape.

Another Canadian resident who had been on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of wanted Nazi criminals, Vladimir Katriuk, died last year at 93.

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