Canada set to deport 96yo ex-SS death squad member as Russia probes massacre of disabled kids in 1942
"The deportation process has begun but it is far from over," Ron Poulton, a lawyer for Oberlander, told RIA Novosti, adding, "there is no extradition proceedings." The country's Supreme Court has previously upheld the decision to strip the man of Canadian citizenship over war crimes allegations.
It comes days after Russia's Investigative Committee requested Canadian criminal files related to the 96-year-old man who enlisted as an interpreter in the SS Sonderkommando 10A — part of the wider Einsatzgruppe D deployed to the south of the Nazi-occupied part of the Soviet Union.
The notorious death squad was basically tasked with elimination of Soviet commissars, partisans Jews, Roma and other "racially impure" people — in line with Hitler's sick vision of clearing out the conquered lands for German colonists.
Back in 1942, when Soviet forces were still on defensive, Sonderkommando 10A descended on an orphanage in the southern city of Yeysk, forcing 214 disabled children into sealed trucks. The helpless victims died from the exhaust gasses and were buried in a mass grave uncovered after the Red Army liberated the surrounding Krasnodar region.
Now, Russian authorities, which relaunched a criminal investigation into the despicable murder last October, insist that such crimes have no statute of limitations. They point out that several interpreters and members of the Sonderkommandos acting in the Krasnodar area were arrested and convicted in the 1940s and 1960s.
Oberlander, an ethnic German and a native of Ukraine — part of the USSR back in the day —remained in the Sonderkommando from September 1942 up until July 1943, when it was disbanded. He immigrated to Canada in the 1950s, concealing his SS membership during naturalization process.
When Ottawa's immigration service learned of the cover-up, the former SS-man claimed he was merely an auxiliary, tasked with doing translation, polishing boots and protecting German communications.
The explanation didn't sit well with Canadian authorities, who launched de-naturalization and deportation process back in 1995. The fugitive lost and regained his citizenship several times during the decades-old proceedings, until the final decision was made last year.
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