Toronto Sun | May 05, 2003 | Bernie Farber

Farber on Deportations defy justice

RE "DEPORTATIONS defy justice: new act refuses seniors the right of appeal"
(Sun., May 05, 2003; Toronto Sun):

On many issues, Peter Worthington and the Canadian Jewish Congress see eye-to-eye.

However, when it comes to Nazi war crimes and individuals within the Nazi regime who were involved in the Nazi machinery of death we very much part company.

Worthington again defends Helmut Oberlander and Wasyl Odynsky as "aging Ukrainians who have committed no crime." As a reminder, Helmut Oberlander was a translator for a mobile killing unit run by the Nazis known as einzatsgruppen unit 4D. After the war, association with a Nazi murder squad would have kept Oberlander out of Canada, so the court found he must have lied when he was asked what he did during the war. The Oberlander case has had a number of judicial reviews and has been before the courts for over five years. Justice has clearly been done.

Wasyl Odynsky was a guard at the Trawniki and Poniatowa labour camps in 1943 and 1944. In the space of two days in November 1943, 25,000 men, women and children from Poniatowa were slaughtered by German police units, S.S. men and members of the einzatsgruppen as part of the planned genocide of Polish Jewry. While Odynsky was found not to have participated in wrongdoing, as a labour camp guard, he was responsible for maintaining the captivity of those victims who met their deaths.

It has always been the position of the CJC that people like Odynsky and Oberlander were indispensable cogs in the Nazi machinery of mass murder.

I will leave it up to your readers to decide their moral culpability. The courts have already spoken.

Bernie Farber, Executive Director, CJCONT
(And courts can be wrong, which is why Peter favours the right of appeal)