Claiming “extreme hardship emotionally, healthwise and financially,” former Nazi rocket scientist Arthur Rudolph has returned to Hamburg, West Germany, for medical treatment while hearings continue to determine his admissibility to Canada.
Rudolph, 83, who is currently seeking visitor’s status in Canada, voluntarily gave up his American citizenship in 1984 rather than face denaturalization proceedings because of his role in a rocket plant that used slave labor during World War II.
His lawyer, Barbara Kulaszka, presented an affidavit from Rudolph detailing his illnesses and financial difficulties, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported.
Rudolph was advised, however, that if he tries to return to Canada he may have to go through the same investigative procedure again.
“Once he seeks admission again, it’s a whole new ballgame,” adjudication official Grant Simmie said.
But the outcome of the current hearing may influence any future decision about Rudolph’s admissibility, he added.
There has been much speculation in the media and in the Jewish community that Rudolph’s visit was a public relations bid to win back his U.S. citizenship. Rudolph now insists he acted under coercion in relinquishing it.
He was brought to the United States in 1945, one of many ex-Nazis employed in the U.S. defense and space programs.
Manuel Prutschi, a spokesman for the Canadian Jewish Congress, suggested that Rudolph left Canada because he achieved what he planned.
“Rudolph seems to think he has milked the system as far as publicity goes,” Prutschi said.
COULD BE BARRED FOR LIFE
To be admitted to Canada, he must prove he is not guilty of complicity in war crimes committed at the Dora-Nordhausen concentration camp, whose inmates were used as slave labor by the nearby Mittelwerk factory, where V-2 rockets were produced.
From 1943 to 1945, Rudolph was a supervisor at the rocket plant. At least 20,000 Dora-Nordhausen inmates died working there or on other projects.
Rudolph came to Canada on July 1 but was told he would have to prove he was not a war criminal in order to visit this country.
If the current hearing finds him admissible, he could be allowed into Canada in the future, depending on evidence presented at that time.
But if a “removal order” is issued against him, he could be barred from Canada for life. Only the minister of justice can rescind such an order, Simmie said.
Canadian Jewish organizations are hoping for a decision within the next three weeks.
“Obviously we’re pleased Rudolph has left, but we’re still hoping for a swift and favorable decision that will bar him from the country,” said Paul Marcus, a spokesman for B’nai Brith Canada.
According to the Toronto Star, Kulaszka said Sunday she doubts her 83-year-old client will return to Canada.
“This country has treated him in a most abominable way,” she was quoted as saying.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.