The lawyer for Helmut Oberlander says the former interpreter for a Nazi death squad during the Second World War has died.
Oberlander, 97, died in his home in Waterloo on Wednesday. A statement from his family said he was “surrounded by loved ones.”
“Notwithstanding the challenges in his life, he remained strong in his faith. He took comfort in his family and the support of many in his community. He gave generously to charity, supported his church and was a loving family man. He will be dearly missed,” read the family’s statement, sent to CBC News by Oberlander’s lawyer, Ronald Poulton.
Earlier this month, Oberlander faced an admissibility hearing by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada about whether he could remain in the country.
The federal government has argued Oberlander lied to Canadian authorities about his wartime activities, even though no evidence existed that he took part in any atrocities.
Oberlander was born in Halbstadt, Ukraine, in 1924. He has steadfastly maintained he was just 17 when he was forced on pain of execution to join the Nazi death squad Einsatzkommando 10a, known as Ek 10a.
The squad was responsible for killing close to 100,000 people, mostly Jewish. Oberlander was not accused of taking part in any executions.
He came to Canada in 1954 and became a citizen six years later.
Oberlander had been in a legal battle with the federal government to maintain his citizenship since 1995.