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Scientist Tied to War Crimes is Denied Entrance to Canada

January 14, 1991
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A former German scientist linked to Nazi war crimes has been denied entry to Canada, six years after renouncing his U.S. citizenship and returning to Germany rather than face U.S. Justice Department charges.

A decision was announced Friday in Toronto denying entrance to Arthur Rudolph, 84, a rocket scientist for the U.S. moon exploration program who was brought to the United States after World War II to work on the space program. Rudolph was manager of the V-2 rocket program in Nazi Germany, which employed slave laborers.

Canadian government adjudicator Bill Willoughby said in the written decision that Rudolph had known that slave labor was being used at the rocket factory. He said prisoners had been forced to work on rockets that were directed at their own countries.

Rudolph “will not be allowed to return in the future without special permission of the minister of immigration,” a Canadian government spokesman said.

Rudolph, who worked on prestigious U.S. rocket programs and eventually received U.S. citizenship, went to Toronto last July for what he said was to be a family visit. He was stopped at the Toronto airport because of a 1988 amendment to a Canadian immigration law that excludes people suspected of war crimes from entering the country. An immigration hearing was held during the summer.

In news conferences last summer, Rudolph denied all allegations made against him by the U.S. Justice Department.

Friday’s decision was immediately lauded by B’nai Brith Canada, but a B’nai Brith official also expressed hope that the Canadian government would now act to prosecute other former U.S. citizens living in Canada and suspected of involvement with Nazi war crimes.


“The presence of Nazi war criminals in Canada remains a stain on our national identity,” said Ian Kagedan, B’nai Brith’s government relations director. “Canada must not become a retirement home for old Nazis, the refuse of other countries.”

During World War II, Rudolph, who joined the Nazi party in 1931, directed production of V-2 rockets at an underground factory near the Dora-Nordhausen concentration camp in Germany, U.S. Justice officials have said.

Rudolph originally left the United States in 1984, under an arrangement with the Justice Department that allowed him to voluntarily renounce his citizenship and leave the country so as to avoid charges of brutalizing slave laborers, Justice Department officials said.

Some 10,000 slave laborers are reported to have worked at the camp, at least half of whom died from exhaustion, illness, mistreatment and starvation, according to published reports.

“It’s really no surprise the (Canadian) court found him implicated in war crimes, because the evidence was clear,” said Neal Sher, director of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations in Washington.

Sher’s department led the original investigation of Rudolph, which culminated in his leaving the country in March 1984.

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