Former Nazi death squad member, 94, appeals for right to stay in Canada
A former Nazi death squad member’s lawyer appeared in court on Wednesday to appeal the revocation of his Canadian citizenship for the fourth time.
Helmut Oberlander, 94-year-old retired real estate developer and resident of Waterloo, Ont., served as a member of a Nazi death squad during the Second World War.
Oberlander failed to inform Canadian immigration authorities of his Nazi past when he moved to the country in 1954 and again when he applied for citizenship six years later.
His lawyer, Ronald Poulton, appeared in court on Oberlander’s behalf on Wednesday, because he was too frail to attend in person.
Poulton told CTV Kitchener that Oberlander was simply a 17-year-old interpreter charged with “mundane tasks.”
“The courts have found over and over again, he did not participate in any way, in any crimes,” Poulton said. “Why are we here?”
David Matas, a lawyer for the Jewish organization B’nai Brith Canada, was at the hearing to argue against the appeal.
“We need to build a justice system that sends a message: no statute of limitations, you cannot escape through old age, that if you’re involved you can’t get away,” Matas said.
Oberlander had his citizenship revoked on four occasions since 1995, but the first three decisions were overturned.
With files from The Canadian Press