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Court Affirms Ruling Barring Ex-nazi Scientist Form Canada

May 5, 1992
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A decision by Canadian immigration authorities to bar Nazi rocket scientist Arthur Rudolph from Canada because he committed crimes against humanity has been upheld by a federal court in Ottawa.

In a 12-page ruling released last Friday, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against a 1991 decision by Canada’s Immigration Department denying Rudolph admission to the country on the grounds that he is a war criminal.

Rudolph is accused of using slave labor at the Mittelwerk Rocket Works at the Dora-Nordhausen camp in Germany from 1943 to the closing days of World War II.

At least 20,000 French, Belgian, Czech, Polish and Russian prisoners died of starvation, brutality, disease or execution in the tunnels where Rudolph supervised production of the Nazis’ supersonic revenge weapon.

The three-judge panel, headed by Justice James Hugessen and including Justices Arthur Stone and Mark MacGuigan, ruled that if any criticism were to be made of immigration adjudicator William Willoughby, it was that he placed “too high a standard of proof upon the government” and gave Rudolph a benefit of doubt to which he was not entitled.

Rudolph, 85, was scooped up by the Americans at the end of the World War II, along with 1,600 top Nazi scientists, to prevent his capture by the Soviets. The Germans were brought to the United States under a clandestine scheme known as Operation Paperclip.

In the United States, Rudolph worked with his former boss Wernher von Braun on the Saturn V project, which launched American astronauts to the moon.


In 1984, Rudolph moved to Hamburg, Germany, after cutting a deal with the U.S. Justice Department.

Rather than face prosecution by Washington’s Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations, he agreed to depart the United States permanently and to relinquish the American citizenship he obtained in 1954.

The OSI agreed not to contest the continuation of his U.S. $50,000-a-year pension.

Rudolph now wants to regain his U.S. citizenship, claiming he forfeited it under duress.

His arrival here without a visa on a July 1, 1990 Lufthansa flight from Germany was part of a well-organized campaign.

It was mounted by Friends of Arthur Rudolph, an organization based in Huntsville, Ala., where he worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space Center on the Saturn project, and by his daughter, Marianne, 55, a graphic artist for NASA in San Jose, Calif.

Rudolph’s lawyer, Barbara Kulaszka, also codefended alleged Hungarian war criminal Imre Finta of Toronto in a sensational eight-month trial, which ended in his acquittal in May 1990.

Last week, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed a bid by the Justice Department for a retrial. That case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

But Rudolph has run out of legal recourse here, since his case was a civil immigration matter rather than a criminal prosecution.

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