TORONTO (Oct. 17)
A Canadian Jewish leader has urged the government to deny citizenship to and take other measures against persons suspected of major war crimes who “have been admitted to and are residing in Canada.” In a statement issued here, Sydney M. Harris, national president of the Canadian Jewish Congress deplored the fact that Canadian immigration authorities in the past were less than vigilant in admitting suspected Nazi war criminals to the country.
“It would appear” that the immigration authorities “gave more consideration to the possible Communist affiliations of potential immigrants and citizens than to the question of their membership in a ‘criminal organization’ such as SS, Waffen SS, Fascist militias, etc. as defined by the protocols and results of the Nuremberg trials,” Harris said. He pointed out that no extradition treaty exists between Canada and the USSR or other socialist countries “and thus there is no possibility of extraditing war criminals suspected of murder to such countries.”
Harris said the CJC does not claim to have a full list of war criminals in Canada but it has submitted a number of names of suspected persons to the Department of Manpower and Immigration “for investigation from the point of view of possible fraud or perjury or general undesirability” in gaining admittance to Canada and applying for citizenship.
He said the CJC was particularly concerned with the case of David Geldiaschvilli (alias Georgi Tananarive) who, the Soviet government informed the Canadian government in 1968, was wanted for major war crimes. “We are informed that in 1971. although this information was in the hands of the Canadian government, this man was given Canadian citizenship.” Harris said.
“We intend to again make representations to the appropriate government departments involved because the Geldiaschvilli case highlights an intolerable state of affairs, namely, that mass murderers may be living among us.” Harris said. He conceded that to date, no confirmation of the charges against Geldiaschvilli has been forthcoming from the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna, one of the main sources of data on war criminals still at large.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported from Vienna earlier this week that Simon Wiesenthal. head of the Documentation Center, has asked the Canadian government to take steps against Imre Final, a Hungarian who commanded the Jewish ghetto in Szeged in 1944 and cooperated with Adolf Eichmann in the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz. Finta is presently living in Toronto.