Upfront by TONY SEED*
Shunpiking Magazine, February-March 1998, Volume 3, Number 18
IN THIS EDITION - along with our African Heritage supplement - we are publishing a feature report by journalist Ed Stoddard on suspected WWII criminals residing in Nova Scotia, as well as Line Goguen's review of film-maker John Versteege's new video, The Holocaust, The Auschwitz Connection.
What is this doing in shunpiking? Are these wounds that - as Ronald Regan outrageously declared at an SS cemetary in Bitburg, Germany on 5 May 1985 - "would be better not re-opened?" 1
Stoddard points out that "I see shunpiking as a sort of community ombudsman."
His hard-hitting, in-depth report is the result of detailed investigation he carried out in Riga and Vilnius, the capitals of Latvia and Lithuania respectively.
The alleged Nazi is one of several resident in Atlantic Canada. We have not been able to interview this individual; thus, we are not publishing his name or address.
Larry Riteman of the Atlantic Jewish Council in Halifax confirmed in an interview that the evidence against him is strong.
"He called one day, without provocation, asserting that he was not guilty and wanted to come in and set the story straight. We agreed.
"But he never came in," he told me. "He had cold feet. He said he was drafted into the Waffen SS, and 'given no choice.' I know from other sources the mechanics of these military units. They weren't conscripts."
The immigration of Nazis to Canada was not as isolated individuals, or innocuous. It was planned and organized at the highest levels. 2 ...
Although I view this as a shameless chapter in our country's history, our aim is hardly tabloid muckraking. With the recent appointment of a special investigator by Ottawa, shunpiking wants to expedite the discovery, prosecution and denaturalization of war criminals who emigrated to Canada following the Second World War. Their names are already known by the federal government. 3
We also aim to bring home to Nova Scotians - especially youth - the realization that this indescribable moment in Human History is as much part of our collective heritage as commemorating, each November, the sacrifice of our Canadian veterans who fought against Nazi fascism.
The question of war crimes cannot be taken lightly. Nor can it be reduced to a matter of past history, a passing phenomenon which came to an end with Adolph Hitler.
It is a grave problem today, as present and dangerous as ever, and it represents one of the deepest concerns of humanity.
Crimes of the same character as the Nazi atrocities occur constantly.
The danger of the Hitlerite ideology of "a chosen people" and "ethnic cleansing" can be readily seen in the Balkans, the Middle East, Germany, the USA … and the proliferation of Nazi and racist gangs in Moncton and other cities today (e.g., Thor's Children) and their attempts to recruit youth into the Aryan Nation.
Line Goguen's film review and Isaac Saney's timeline on Black history in this edition also clearly reminds us that if we are to keep our children safe from any future holocaust, we must not only redress the evils of the past, but also must learn to halt present-day racialist crimes and find a permament solution. Such crimes can never be forgiven.
The Nazis may be dying off, but justice delayed is justice denied. There is no statute of limitations for mass murder.
1 On this day Reagan and Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl (pictured left) visited the Bitburg Cemetary to lay a wreath on the graves of 89 SS troops on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the defeat of fascism in Europe.
2 While Jews and other refugees were denied entry (e.g., case of the 907 passengers aboard the S.S. St. Louis denied entry in Cuba, the United States and Canada in 1939: Prime Minister Mackenzie King stated he was "emphatically opposed to the admission of the St. Louis' passengers") the USA, Britain and Canada imported Nazi military, espionage, technical, propaganda and ideological experts to fuel post-war expansion and the Cold War.
By October 1950, under Operation Matchbox, 42 German scientists had moved to Canada. The scientists were screened by a British military and civilian panel and were given "temporary" migrant status for one year in Canada. In 1950, immigration restrictions were revised to relax disqualifications, such as "mere service in the German army" or "nominal" connection with the Nazi Party. Members of the Waffen SS, the military unit of the Nazi Party, who joined after 1 January 1943, were classified as conscripts and were thus now allowed to immigrate to Canada. The Canadian government did not prosecute a single Nazi war criminal until 1982.
Operation Paperclip, under which some 1600 Nazi scientists were imported to the US, was carried out by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA). Samuel Klaus, the State Department's representative on the JIOA Board, claimed that all the scientists in the first batch were 'ardent Nazis'. In a memo dated 27 April 1948 to the Pentagon's Director of Intelligence, he wrote "Security investigations conducted by the military have disclosed the fact that the majority of German scientists were members of either the Nazi Party or one or more of its affiliates."
Other leading Nazis included General Richard Gehlen, who became a CIA section chief at the invitation of Allen Dulles; Klaus Barbie, the so-called 'Butcher of Lyon'; Otto von Bolschwing, infamous for his holocaust activities; the SS Colonel, Otto Skorzeny; and Werner Von Braun, the former SS Major who became associate director of NASA. Von Braun received some 25 honorary degrees and many other awards and medals, presented to him from small cities, to NASA and even US President John Kennedy. His war records were rewritten.
Other CIA programmes brought 10,000 Waffen SS veterans and other Nazi collaborators to the US.
As of 1997 the US had stripped a grand total of 57 Nazi ''persecutors'' of citizenship and deported 48 since 1979 when the Justice Department's Nazi-hunting Office of Special Investigations was created.
3 Postscript. Although copies of these articles were delivered by hand by the editor to the Atlantic Jewish Council of the Canadian Jewish Congress (its director, Bernie Faber, swore, to the Jerusalem Post on 22 November 1996 "As long as there's even one suspected Nazi war criminal still breathing in this country, it will continue to be one of the most important items on our agenda ["Under The Maple Leaf", by Robert Sarner and Steven Leibowitz]), and mailed to the federal war crimes unit, neither shunpiking nor writer Ed Stoddard were ever contacted by either body for additional information, including the name of the particular Nazi from Latvia. It is also food for thought, to put it mildly, that Mr. Stoddard, a professional journalist, initially contacted the Halifax Daily News which declined the article.
As of 1997 Canada had deported two Nazi war criminals.
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