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Canada rejects ex-Nazi citizenship appeal

The Local · 28 Oct 2008, 09:12

Published: 28 Oct 2008 09:12 GMT+01:00

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A federal court rejected Helmut Oberlander's appeal to a 2007 decision to strip him of his citizenship for lying about his Nazi past, news agency Reuters reported on Tuesday. He is now subject to deportation following the ruling.

The 84-year-old Ukrainian man immigrated to Canada in 1954 with his wife and became a citizen in 1960. He told the court he had been forced to work as an interpreter with the Nazis in the Einsatzkommando (EK) after they invaded his country because of his fluent German and Russian language skills, Reuters reported.

Canada does not allow members of certain Nazi units to reside in the country because of their connection to war crimes.

Judge Michael Phelan said that Oberlander’s connection to the World War II unit disqualified him for citizenship because it was a "mobile mass killing squad."

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The country has been trying to take Oberlander’s citizenship since the 1990s, but his supporters fought the action, saying it was unfair to an elderly man who had led a normal life in the country. The court focused on whether Oberlander had concealed his Nazi past to get citizenship, though.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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