FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2018
TORONTO, ON –The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD) applauded today’s decision by the Federal Court of Canada upholding the Government of Canada’s revocation of Helmut Oberlander’s citizenship.
The court noted that Oberlander “had previously been found to have significantly misrepresented his wartime activities when he and his wife applied to enter Canada.” It added that the government had “concluded that Mr. Oberlander voluntarily made a knowing and significant contribution to the crimes and criminal purpose of this SS killing squad, and that the defence of duress was not engaged.”
The court ruled that the government’s decision to strip his citizenship was “justifiable, transparent, and intelligible”. It therefore dismissed Oberlander’s application for judicial review, shutting the door to his latest bid to restore his citizenship and evade authorities in Germany.
In response, Sidney Zoltak, Immediate Past President of the CJHSD, issued the following statement:
“We commend the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss Oberlander’s latest attempt to evade justice for his crimes in Germany. For Survivors, this issue remains an open wound. It is painful to think that Oberlander and others who perpetrated heinous crimes against our families have, for so long, concealed their past and taken advantage of welcoming countries like Canada. Today, we are heartened by the knowledge that the government and courts stand with us in pursuing justice.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA, added:
“Today’s ruling is an important step in ending Oberlander’s cynical abuse of Canada’s judicial system. He actively participated in genocide, lied about his past, and has since done everything possible to avoid prosecution in Germany. The Government of Canada deserves significant credit for continuing to prioritize the Oberlander case. In upholding the government’s revocation of his citizenship, today’s decision is a victory for anyone who cares about justice and human rights.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.
The Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD) is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of its members and representing Canadian survivors at the Jewish Material Claims Conference. The CJHSD is an independent organization affiliated with CIJA.
- The Federal Court of Canada’s bulletin on this decision may be found here.
- In 2016, CIJA helped mobilize thousands of Canadians to call on the Government of Canada to strip Oberlander of his Canadian citizenship and remove him from Canada.
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