FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         CRM
TUESDAY, MAY 9, 1995                               (202) 514-2008
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     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.