Photo Credit: Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
Helmut Oberlander as a young member of Einsatzkommando 10a.

Helmut Oberlander, 97, the last Canadian facing allegations of Nazi war crimes, died on Monday before the federal government could complete its 26-year-effort to deport him, according to Canadian media reports.

Oberlander had been in a legal battle with Canada’s federal government since 1995, when Canadian authorities opened an investigation into his alleged involvement in atrocities during World War II, according to The Globe and Mail. The government claimed that during his 1954 immigration, Oberlander had hidden his role as a Nazi death squad interpreter. He obtained citizenship in 1960.

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The government argued that his citizenship had been received through “false representation or fraud,” and a Canadian court agreed that he had “significantly misrepresented his wartime activities when he and his wife applied to enter Canada,” according to the report.

However, the effort to deport him bogged down in appeals. It was only in December 2019 that the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear another appeal from Oberlander, opening the way for his deportation. In February 2021, a hearing to decide whether he should be deported was delayed.

Helmut Oberlander, 97, the last Canadian facing allegations of Nazi war crimes, died on Monday before the federal government could complete its 26-year-effort to deport him, according to Canadian media reports.

Oberlander had been in a legal battle with Canada’s federal government since 1995, when Canadian authorities opened an investigation into his alleged involvement in atrocities during World War II, according to The Globe and Mail. The government claimed that during his 1954 immigration, Oberlander had hidden his role as a Nazi death squad interpreter. He obtained citizenship in 1960.

The government argued that his citizenship had been received through “false representation or fraud,” and a Canadian court agreed that he had “significantly misrepresented his wartime activities when he and his wife applied to enter Canada,” according to the report.

However, the effort to deport him bogged down in appeals. It was only in December 2019 that the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear another appeal from Oberlander, opening the way for his deportation. In February 2021, a hearing to decide whether he should be deported was delayed.

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