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Fw: [Kresy-Siberia] : Ukrainian Nationalists in Canada

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  • Danuta Janina Wójcik
    http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/archive/archive%203/canada/index.html War crimes Resolving cases of alleged Nazi war criminals living in Canada remains a top
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 25, 2008
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      http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/archive/archive%203/canada/index.html

      War crimes
      Resolving cases of alleged Nazi war criminals living in Canada remains a top priority for the Jewish community. The government, which has pursued these individuals since 1987, has been strongly criticized for its apparent inability to bring the cases to a conclusion, and for initiating proceedings in only a relatively small number of cases.

      In order to clarify a hotly contested allegation of antisemitism among officials of the War Crimes Unit of the Department of Justice, the government asked law professor John McCamus to investigate. In his March 1998 report he found no evidence of antisemitism in the unit, a conclusion contested by William Hobson, a former head of the unit, and the late Arnold Fradkin, who worked under Hobson. McCamus criticized them for pushing allegations that he had found to be without merit. He stated: 'I have been unable to discover any evidence of antisemitic incidents or attitudes in the work of the war-crime section during [Peter] Kremer's term as director.' Jack Silverstone, national executive director of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC), reiterated his view that the unit's record under Kremer involved closing many cases and opening few new ones: 'We still have serious questions about the dedication of the unit from 1990-1995.'

      In a January 1997 review of a decade of proceedings against alleged war criminals, the late former deputy director of the war crimes unit of the department of justice, Arnold Fradkin, lamented the lack of results: 'It is not justice for Nazi war criminals and collaborators to find a safe haven in Canada.' He pointed out that, given the advanced age of the accused men, the government could not afford to be dilatory: 'justice delayed will most certainly result in justice denied.' He added that Justice Jules Deschenes, who led a commission of inquiry on war crimes in 1987, had identified 224 men for investigation - twenty on an urgent basis - but, after ten years, proceedings had been initiated against only thirteen men with a successful conclusion in only one case.

      At present, of fifteen cases brought by the government since 1995, three have resulted in loss of citizenship, three have been decided in favour of the accused, four are still in court, three accused died before their proceedings were finished, and two left the country voluntarily.

      In December 1997 Neal Sher, former head of the US Office of Special Investigations (OSI, see United States), was appointed as a consultant to the Canadian war crimes unit. Sher, who had criticized Canada's 'less than aggressive' approach to accused war criminals in the past, said that he was now convinced that there was a 'commitment at the highest levels' to vigorous action.

      Sher's appointment was attacked in January 1998 by representative of the Ukrainian community. Eugene Harasymiw, president of the Alberta Ukrainian Self-Reliance League, for example, contended that: 'Mr Sher is not fit to work within the Canadian justice system, period.' The major complaint against Sher is that he headed the OSI when it was pursuing the John Demjanjuk case. Ukrainian groups are also critical of Canada's new policy of stripping suspects of their citizenship and deporting them, rather than prosecuting them under criminal law, because it is easier to meet the standards of proof required.

      Following the case of Imre Finta, a Hungarian immigrant tried by a criminal court for war crimes and acquitted by a jury in 1991 (a verdict upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1994 following an appeal by the government), it was clear that criminal convictions against alleged war criminals would be difficult to obtain. As an alternative the government attempted in 1993 to have alleged war criminals stripped of their citizenship and deported. The grounds for removing citizenship are that these individuals lied when applying for immigration to Canada and for citizenship, specifically concealing aspects of their background such as participation in military, police or Nazi SS units.

      This new strategy appeared to be making progress as the pace of initiating court proceedings against alleged war criminals increased. However, following the Podins decision in July 1999 (see below), there were calls to re-evaluate the government's legal strategy. Irving Abella, representing the CJC, called for a shift from proving fraud at the time of immigration to proving membership in specific Nazi groups or organizations, or presence at concentration camps. David Matas of B'nai Brith Canada complained that 'the government has to meet a higher standard when it tries to deport Nazis than to deport anybody else'.

      In December 1999 a new Crimes against Humanity Act was introduced by government ministers that would revive the option of criminal prosecutions of those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In particular, it would for the most part disallow the defence of following orders, and provisions for sentencing in cases of conviction for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes involving intentional killing would be the same as for murder under the Criminal Code. Anne McLellan, minister for justice and the attorney general, said the act would reaffirm Canada's pledge that it 'is not, and will not be, a safe haven for war criminals'.

      British Columbia resident Eduard Podins, who was accused of being a guard at a Nazi prison camp in Latvia, was allowed to remain in Canada in July 1999. The judge rejected the government's contention and found instead that Podins had been a shopkeeper during the war. This was the third recent war crimes case lost by the government.

      The other two unsuccessful cases involved Peteris Vitols and Johann Dueck. Vitols, a resident of Montreal, had admitted membership of a Latvian police battalion, but convinced federal court judge William McKeown that he had not personally participated in atrocities. The judge ruled in September 1998 that he had not lied in order to immigrate to Canada. In a similar decision in December 1998, Judge Marc Noel concluded that St Catharine's resident Dueck had not used fraud or misrepresentation in order to gain admission to Canada. Dueck asserted that he was only an interpreter and not a member of a police unit.

      Toronto resident Wasily Bogutin lost his denaturalization case in February 1998, when a federal court judge ruled that he had lied about his war-time activities when immigrating. The cabinet stripped him of his citizenship in July 1998 and initiated deportation proceedings a few months later. Bogutin was alleged to have collaborated with the Nazis in the Ukraine while working for the Selidovka district police, and to have participated in the murder of a Jewish family and a former militiaman in 1941; he was also accused of ordering the arrests of young girls for deportation to forced labour camps. Bogutin's lawyer, claiming that the accused's father was Jewish, argued that Bogutin worked for the Ukrainian police with the intention of remaining inconspicuous to the German authorities.

      The case of Quebec resident Mamertas Rolland Maciukas was also brought to a conclusion. Maciukas, who allegedly belonged to Lithuanian police and Schutzmannschaft battalions, was accused of having collaborated with the Germans in Lithuania and Byelorussia in 1941 as part of an auxiliary police unit that murdered some 50,000 Jews in Byelorussia. Maciukas decided not to contest the government's attempt to lift his citizenship. In April 1998 he left Canada, after the cabinet had revoked his citizenship.

      Ludwig Nebel's case was launched in July 1998. Because Nebel, a resident of Niagara Falls, had never obtained Canadian citizenship, the matter concerns only deportation. He is accused of lying to immigration officers when he denied having been a member of the Nazi party in Austria. The government also accuses him of having belonged to the SA and subsequently the SS, and of commanding troops that captured Jews and turned them over to the Gestapo.

      Windsor resident and retired auto worker Michael Baumgartner also faces the loss of his Canadian citizenship in a proceeding that began early in 1999. The government alleges that he had voluntarily joined the Waffen SS and had served as a guard at Sachsenhausen and Stutthof concentration camps in 1942 and 1943. These were grounds for denying an application for immigration, suggesting that Baumgartner, Hungarian-born, must have lied when applying to come to Canada.

      Historian Yitzhak Arad testified in March 1999 in the case against Wasyl Odynsky, who served in a unit that guarded labour camps in Poland. Odynsky, who lives in Scarborough, is accused of lying about his war-time activities when he immigrated to Canada and faces the loss of his Canadian citizenship and deportation.

      Serge Kisluk faces the loss of his citizenship and deportation since federal court judge Allan Lufty found in June 1999 that he had misrepresented his record when he immigrated to Canada. Testimony at the trial connected the former Ukrainian police officer with war-time offenses against Jews. Judge Lufty rejected Kisluk's protestations of innocence. In a key part of his ruling, he held that the security screening process in effect in 1948 would not have allowed Kisluk entry into Canada had he told the truth to the immigration inspectors. Jewish organizational leaders praised the judge's conclusions.

      A federal court judge found in January 1999 that Vladimir Katriuk, a retired butcher from Montreal, lied in order to obtain Canadian citizenship. As a result the government was able to remove his citizenship and move to deport him to his native Ukraine. In the trial the government alleged that Katriuk had been a member of the Waffen SS and leader of a section of a police battalion that had committed atrocities and mass killings against Jews and other civilians in what is now Belarus. Judge Marc Nadon wrote that 'the respondent must have participated in at least some operations in which his battalion was involved between 1942 and 1944', thereby rejecting Katriuk's claim that he had not engaged in war crimes. At his denaturalization hearing in May 1998, Katriuk testified that, when he was interviewed by Canadian immigration officials at the time of his application to come to Canada, he was never asked about his war-time activities.

      Jacob Fast, a Ukrainian-born retired mechanic from St Catharines, was served notice in October 1999 of an intention to revoke his Canadian citizenship. A date for the hearing has not been set. The government alleges that Fast, on applying to immigrate to Canada in 1947, failed to divulge his German citizenship, his collaboration with German occupation authorities in the Ukraine and association with the Nazi's security police and intelligence services




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    • Tilford Bartman
      Hi, I may be off base, but my impression of Canada is that it is a relatively tolerant multi-ethnic multi-cultural society that in many ways works remarkably
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 28, 2008
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        Hi,

        I may be off base, but my impression of Canada is that it is a
        relatively tolerant multi-ethnic multi-cultural society that in many
        ways works remarkably well with a more or less live and let live ethic.
        I remember reading that a former Canadian Prime Minister confided that
        he thought part of the reluctance to prosecute Nazi war criminals was
        due to the relatively large communities in Canada from places like the
        Ukraine and Latvia, as well as a significant Jewish community. The
        Canadian authorities were sensitive to exacerbating tensions, and
        getting in the middle of this.

        Tilford

        Danuta Janina Wójcik wrote:
        >
        > http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/archive/archive%203/canada/index.html
        > <http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/archive/archive%203/canada/index.html>
        >
      • Paul Havers
        Hi Tilford I unfortunately have had some bad rap from a Canadian - Ukrainian, have a look on http://www.kresy.co.uk/infopage.html and then click on food for
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 30, 2008
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          Hi Tilford

          I unfortunately have had some bad rap from a Canadian - Ukrainian, have
          a look on http://www.kresy.co.uk/infopage.html
          and then click on food for thought link.

          This is what actually happened and I was lost for words how this person
          behaved.

          Paul

          Tilford Bartman wrote:
          > Hi,
          >
          > I may be off base, but my impression of Canada is that it is a
          > relatively tolerant multi-ethnic multi-cultural society that in many
          > ways works remarkably well with a more or less live and let live ethic.
          > I remember reading that a former Canadian Prime Minister confided that
          > he thought part of the reluctance to prosecute Nazi war criminals was
          > due to the relatively large communities in Canada from places like the
          > Ukraine and Latvia, as well as a significant Jewish community. The
          > Canadian authorities were sensitive to exacerbating tensions, and
          > getting in the middle of this.
          >
          > Tilford
          >
          > Danuta Janina Wójcik wrote:
          >
          >> http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/archive/archive%203/canada/index.html
          >> <http://www.axt.org.uk/antisem/archive/archive%203/canada/index.html>
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
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        • Zenon Kuzik
          Dear Paul, What you say is so true. Courageous Ukrainians, like Wiktor Poliszczuk, who dare to tell the truth are ostracised and defamed by the majority of
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 30, 2008
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            Dear Paul,

            What you say is so true. Courageous Ukrainians, like Wiktor Poliszczuk, who dare to tell the truth are ostracised and defamed by the majority of their countrymen of the Ukrainian Diaspora. The saddest aspect is that some of the worst offenders in this regard of glorifying the OUN and UPA, and covering up and/or denying their crimes are Church newspapers and periodicals, as I have observed on many occasions over the years.

            Greetings,

            Zenon Kuzik
            New Zealand



            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Paul Havers <haverp@...>
            To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 8:47:28 AM
            Subject: Re: [Kresy-Siberia] : Ukrainian Nationalists in Canada


            Hi Tilford

            I unfortunately have had some bad rap from a Canadian - Ukrainian, have
            a look on http://www.kresy co.uk/infopage. html
            and then click on food for thought link.

            This is what actually happened and I was lost for words how this person
            behaved.

            Paul

            Tilford Bartman wrote:
            > Hi,
            >
            > I may be off base, but my impression of Canada is that it is a
            > relatively tolerant multi-ethnic multi-cultural society that in many
            > ways works remarkably well with a more or less live and let live ethic.
            > I remember reading that a former Canadian Prime Minister confided that
            > he thought part of the reluctance to prosecute Nazi war criminals was
            > due to the relatively large communities in Canada from places like the
            > Ukraine and Latvia, as well as a significant Jewish community. The
            > Canadian authorities were sensitive to exacerbating tensions, and
            > getting in the middle of this.
            >
            > Tilford

            ..





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