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Judge upholds order to revoke citizenship

A Canadian judge upheld an order to revoke the citizenship of a man who lied about working with a Nazi death squad during World War II.

The Federal Court on Monday rejected Helmut Oberlander’s claim that Ottawa was wrong to find that he had been complicit in atrocities committed by the Nazi Einsatzkommando unit with which he had worked as an
interpreter.

Oberlander, who immigrated to Canada in 1954 and became a citizen in 1960, argued he was forced to work with Nazi forces that invaded his native Ukraine because he was fluent in German and Russian.

Throughout his case, which stretches back a decade, Oberlander argued that the only factor motivating the Canadian government to strip of him of citizenship was suspicion of complicity.

However, Judge Michael Phelan ruled that was good enough because the death squad unit was a “mobile mass killing squad.” The court added that while Oberlander may have led a quiet life in Canada, the real issue was that he had concealed his involvement in a Nazi death squad in order to illegally gain Canadian citizenship.

It was not immediately clear whether Oberlander would appeal the ruling.

 

 

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