Ukrainian born Helmut Oberlander, 88, has been stripped of the Canadian citizenship he acquired in 1960 for a second time, over allegations of his membership in the Nazi Einsatzkommando killing squad.
Canada's Federal Court in Toronto has stripped alleged Nazi war criminal Helmut Oberlander of his citizenship, paving the way for his deportation. Oberlander claims his involvement in the Einsatzkommando squad, which executed thousands of people in the former Soviet Union, was simply in the role of a conscripted translator, Metro reported.
In spite of Oberlander's denial of a Nazi past the Simon Wiesenthal Center regards him as "one of the top 10 most wanted Nazi war crimes suspects worldwide" Naharnet reported.
Oberlander was drafted into the Einsatzkommando mobile killing squad in 1941, at the age of 17. The squad reportedly "murdered hundreds of thousands of thousands of Jews, Gypsies, and Soviet political commissars – usually by shooting the victims into mass graves. Oberlander’s unit was also issued a poison gas van."
Oberlander was initially stripped of Canadian citizenship in 2007, for failing to mention he had been part of the Nazi unit when he applied for citizenship. Canada's appeal court ordered the decision to be reviewed because of Oberlander's claims he was forced into the unit.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokeswoman Nancy Caron confirmed the review is now complete and "the government is standing by its decision to revoke Mr. Oberlander's citizenship."
According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Oberlander was one of 2,000 Nazi war criminals who slipped into Canada without revealing their Nazi past.