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91 y/o Canadian beekeeper accused of Nazi war crimes, because he happens to have the same name that is in an academic article.


Propped up by a shovel that acts as his cane, Vladimir Katriuk putters about his wooded lot in rural Quebec, lovingly caring for his bees and appearing to have few worries other than this season’s honey yield.
But a prominent Jewish human-rights organization insists there’s much more to the cordial 91-year-old beekeeper — whom they allege is one of the world’s most-wanted Nazi war criminals.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center recently ranked Katriuk No. 4 on its top-10 list of suspected former Nazis, after a new study alleged he was a key participant in a village massacre during the Second World War.
An academic article alleged that, in 1943, a man with his name lay in wait outside a barn that had been set ablaze, operating a stationary machine-gun and firing on civilians as they tried to escape. The same article said the man took a watch, bracelet and gun from the body of a woman found nearby.
A neighbour described Katriuk as a quiet man who keeps to himself in the sparsely populated area, only a few kilometres from the U.S. border.
“He’s a quiet guy. I don’t think he mixes in the community ever,” said the man, who did not want to be named.
Court case found lack of evidence
The neighbour acknowledged that locals are aware of the allegations about Katriuk, which have made many news headlines over the years.
The Federal Court ruled in 1999 that Katriuk lied about his voluntary service for German authorities during the Second World War in order to obtain Canadian citizenship.
The court concluded Katriuk had been a member of a Ukrainian battalion implicated in numerous atrocities in Ukraine — including the deaths of thousands of Jews in Belorussia between 1941 and 1944.
But in 2007 the Canadian government overturned an earlier decision to revoke Katriuk’s citizenship, due to a lack of evidence.
Article ties Katriuk to 1943 massacre.
David Matas, the organization’s senior legal counsel, said Katriuk’s case could also be raised Thursday with Stephen Harper himself during a scheduled B’nai Brith meeting with the prime minister.
Before the meeting with Harper, Matas said Canada’s history in dealing with suspected war criminals has been “bleak.”
“It was easier after [the Second World War] to get into Canada if you were a Nazi war criminal, than if you were a Jewish refugee,” Matas said.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the Harper government “remains committed to identifying and removing people involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide from Canada, including revisiting new evidence on previously examined cases.”
Ana Curic also said Kenney had “a fruitful discussion” with Holocaust survivors earlier this week, reassuring them that the government remains committed to the Katriuk case.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s so-called “Chief Nazi-Hunter” alleges the new “hard evidence” in Rudling’s article will change everything in Katriuk’s case.
Efraim Zuroff, co-ordinator of the organization’s Nazi war crimes research project, said the most-wanted list also includes another Canadian: Helmut Oberlander, who’s ranked at No. 10.
Oberlander’s case is also in limbo, the group says.
Age a factor
Zuroff said the biggest problem in bringing suspected Nazis to justice is not finding them or the evidence — but a lack of political will in many countries to see that they’re prosecuted.
“What’s the chance of a 90-year-old Nazi war criminal committing murder again? Zero,” Zuroff said. More from source 


Short URL: http://www.newsnet14.com/?p=101218

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