CRM (202) 514-2008 TDD (202) 514-1888

ACCUSED NAZI MURDERER IS EXPELLED FROM THE UNITED STATES WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Justice announced today that its Office of Special Investigations (OSI) sent back to Canada last night a Canadian citizen and resident who served as a decorated member of the most notorious of all Nazi murder squads during World War II and who is the subject of citizenship revocation proceedings in Canada based on charges that he participated in "executions of civilians." Helmut Oberlander, 71, an Ontario home-builder, was returned to Canada late last night aboard a commercial airliner. Captured Nazi documents disclose that Oberlander served during World War II in Special Detachment 10a of Einsatzgruppe D, a mobile killing unit of the Nazi SS that murdered tens of thousands of Jewish and other civilians in southern Ukraine and the Caucasus, in the former Soviet Union. The infamous Einsatzgruppen were the principal German instrument of annihilation of the Jewish people in Soviet territories overrun by Nazi forces. Otto Ohlendorf, the Commander of Einsatzgruppe D, was convicted on war crimes charged by an American military tribunal at Nuremberg in 1948 and was hanged in 1951. Heinrich Seetzen, the commander of Special Detachment 10a, was arrested by British military police in 1945 and committed suicide in Hamburg later that year. On April 28, the Canadian government instituted proceedings to revoke Oberlander's Canadian citizenship, which he obtained in 1960 after immigrating to Canada from Germany in 1954. Oberlander disappeared from his Ontario residence on the day the Canadian charges were filed. The Office of Special Investigations subsequently traced him to Marco Island, Florida, where he was questioned yesterday by OSI officials. Oberlander agreed to return to Canada rather than face deportation charges in the United States. Under the 1978 Holtzman Amendment to the U.S. immigration laws, persons who assisted or participated in perpetrating Nazi acts of persecution are barred from entering the United States and are subject to deportation if found in the country. Since its establishment in 1979, OSI has deported or otherwise removed from the United States 43 Nazi persecutors. Wartime documents reveal that Oberlander, an ethnic German from the vicinity of Zaporizhzhya in the Ukraine, served in the Nazi Security Police and SD (the Security Service of the SS) from 1941 until at least 1944. The specific unit in which he served, Special Detachment 10a of Einsatzgruppe D, was comprised of 100 to 120 men and was responsible for annihilating all persons in its areas of operation who were considered "undesirable" by the Nazi regime, particularly the Jewish and Sinti and Roma (so-called Gypsy) inhabitants. In a document later used at the Nuremberg trials, Einsatzgruppe D reported at the beginning of April 1942 that it had "executed" 91,678 persons since the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Other captured reports of the unit candidly disclose that tens of thousands of these victims were Jews. During the summer of 1942, Special Detachment 10a was issued a poison gas van with which to carry out additional mass murders, which hitherto had been performed by shooting. In one report to Berlin, Einsatzgruppe D declared that "the Jewish problem has been solved" in the area in which Special Detachment 10a was then operating. In January 1943, Oberlander was awarded the War Meritorious Service Cross Second Class for his service in Special Detachment 10a. OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum said, "The rapid tracing of Helmut Oberlander and his removal yesterday from this country should send a powerful and unambiguous message far beyond our borders: Under no circumstances will the United States allow itself to become a haven for those who are credibly accused by other governments of complicity in the barbaric crimes of the ​Nazi regime." Rosenbaum also expressed gratitude to the Canadian federal authorities and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service for what he termed their "outstanding assistance" in the Oberlander matter. #### 95-261