Former Nazi death-squad member Helmut Oberlander dead at 97

Former Nazi death-squad member Helmut Oberlander has died in the midst of his Canadian deportation hearing.

His family says the 97-year-old died peacefully in his home "surrounded by loved ones."

A lawyer for Oberlander recently asked the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada for an adjournment in a hearing on whether Oberlander could remain in Canada or be deported to Germany.

Oberlander, who had been living in Waterloo, Ont., was a member of a Nazi death squad that operated behind the German army's front line in the eastern occupied territories during the Second World War.

He said he was conscripted into duty as a teenager on threat of death and that he never participated in any killings.

Oberlander served from 1941 to 1943 as an interpreter with the Ek 10a unit, which was responsible for killing more than two million people, most of them Jews.

He arrived in Canada in 1954 and became a Canadian citizen six years later, but he did not disclose his wartime experience to his new country.

In June 2017, the federal government revoked Oberlander's Canadian citizenship for the fourth time since the mid-1990s.

Oberlander's lawyer, Ronald Poulton, had previously told the board that his client's health was declining and he was not expected to survive much beyond the summer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2021.