Nazi war crimes suspect loses fight to retain Canada citizenship
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Nazi war crimes suspect loses fight to retain Canada citizenship

Paving way for deportation proceedings, country’s top court refuses to review decision to revoke Helmut Oberlander’s citizenship

In this undated photo, Helmut Oberlander during his time serving as a an interpreter for the Nazis with Einsatzkommando 10a. (CIJA)
In this undated photo, Helmut Oberlander during his time serving as a an interpreter for the Nazis with Einsatzkommando 10a. (CIJA)

OTTAWA, Canada — Canada’s top court on Thursday declined to review a decision to strip the citizenship of a Ukrainian immigrant for alleged ties to a Nazi killing squad in World War II.

The Supreme Court decision paves the way to begin anew proceedings to deport Helmut Oberlander, after three previous attempts to revoke his citizenship failed.

The 95-year-old has been fighting to stay in Canada since federal police in 1995 launched an investigation into his ties to the atrocities.

A federal court found that he had “significantly misrepresented his wartime activities to Canadian immigration and citizenship officials when he applied to enter Canada” in 1952, according to a legal summary of the case.

He was admitted in 1954 as a permanent resident, and obtained Canadian citizenship in 1960.

On three occasions — in 2001, 2007 and 2012 — immigration officials tried to revoke his citizenship but each time the decision was set aside on appeal.

Oberlander said he was forcibly conscripted by the Nazis, and that he only acted as an interpreter for the Einsatzkommando 10a death squad.

In 2017 officials tried again, saying he “was complicit in crimes against humanity” and had made “a voluntary, knowing and significant contribution to the crimes committed by Ek10a.”

The court did not explain its decision not to hear his case.

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