Skip To Content
Fast Forward

97-year-old former member of Nazi death squad dies at home in Canada

(JTA) — A translator for a Nazi death squad died at home in Ontario at the age of 97, ending a decades-long effort to deport him from Canada for his role in the murders of tens of thousands of Jews.

Helmut Oberlander, who was born in Ukraine in 1924, had long said that he was forced on pain of death at age 17 to become an interpreter for Einsatzkommando 10a, a Nazi unit. The death squad killed nearly 100,000 people, most of them Jews, according to the CBC. Oberlander had not been accused of directly taking part in killing anyone.

In 1954, he emigrated to Canada and hid his activities during the war, eventually raising a family. His Nazi past appears to have been discovered as early as the 1960s. In the mid-1990s, the government began the process of revoking his citizenship, which succeeded after repeated appeals. He was in the midst of deportation hearings when he died on Wednesday.

B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish organization, had fought for years for Oberlander’s deportation.

“The peaceful demise of Helmut Oberlander on Canadian soil is a stain on our national conscience,” Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s CEO, said in a statement. “The fact is that this country slammed its doors on Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, then allowed some of their tormentors into Canada and failed to deport them.”

The post 97-year-old former member of Nazi death squad dies at home in Canada appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.