No honourable solution

Letters | Robert H. Keyserlingk | Toronto Sun | May 5, 2001

As a retired history professor who taught the Holocaust, I am aghast at Bernie Farber's notion ("The Nazi's enablers," guest column, Toronto Sun, April 25, 2001) that "there were no unimportant cogs within the murder machine that the Nazis constructed to liquidate European Jewry." Many otherwise innocent or reluctant people, including members of the various Jewish councils and crematorium workers in the camps, were forced under duress into co-operating with the Nazis. If this had not been the case, the Nazis would have had a far more difficult time carrying out the Holocaust.

I share Farber's frustration regarding the lack of success in Canada of prosecuting war criminals. But taking after conscripted men like Wasyl Odynsky and Helmut Oberlander is no honourable solution.

A real problem concerns the presence here of upper-level members of the Nazi Party, the SS and even the Gestapo, who were legally allowed into this country as immigration regulations changed after the late 1950s. They had no need to lie on applying for immigration to Canada, so presumably they are untouchable.

Robert H. Keyserlingk

(A sad lesson from history)