Toronto (September 23, 2021) – Following the announced passing of former Nazi death squad member Helmut Oberlander, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) expressed dismay that Canada never brought him to justice.
Oberlander died this week in his Waterloo, Ontario home at the age of 97 in the midst of his deportation hearing. He immigrated to Canada in 1954 after serving in the notorious Einsatzkommando 10a unit that carried out mass atrocities during the Second World War.
The news comes after years of failed attempts at revoking Oberlander’s Canadian citizenship and deporting him to Germany. In 2017, Canada revoked his citizenship for the fourth and final time, and following numerous failed appeals, Oberlander’s case was sent to the Immigration and Refugee Board earlier this year.
In response to the news of Oberlander’s death, FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt released the following statement:
“To Canada’s great shame, justice was never served in this case. For decades, our country’s legal system allowed Oberlander to appeal the revocation of his citizenship and evade deportation. After being a member of the Einsatzgruppen, which was responsible for the murder of more than a million Jews and others, Oberlander was handed the privilege of dying peacefully by his family’s side as a free man, a reality denied to the millions of Holocaust victims who had their freedoms, dignity and lives taken away from them. Let this be an opportunity for us all to reflect on the failure at bringing a former Nazi death squad member to justice.”