Nazi Death Squad Member Wins Canada Citizenship Court Battle

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A Canadian flag flies in front of the peace tower on Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada, December 4, 2015. Canada has experienced a rise in asylum seekers crossing its borders in recent months. Geoff Robins/Getty

A 92-year-old man who has admitted being a former Nazi death squad member has won a court victory in Canada, stopping the country's efforts to revoke his citizenship.

Canada has revoked Helmut Oberlander's citizenship three times since 1995 but on each occasion this has been overturned on appeal, with the latest ruling made Thursday.

The Supreme Court in Ottawa ruled that the Canadian government must prove Oberlander was a willing participant in the eastern Europe death squad in order to deport him from the country. Oberlander says he was forced to act as a translator for the WWII squad and did not readily or voluntarily participate in atrocities.

Oberlander was born in Ukraine and became a member of a Nazi death squad, the Ek 10a, which operated behind the German army's front line in occupied eastern European territory between 1941 to 1943. It was part of a force that killed more than 2 million people, many of them Jews, CTV News reported.

Oberlander insists that he was made to do translation work as a teenager and that he would have been executed if he refused to do so. His responsibilities included finding food and cleaning boots before he later became an infantryman in the German army.

Oberlander emigrated to Canada in 1954, becoming a citizen in 1960, but did not reveal his wartime record.

"It's taken a great toll on his family. Over and over again the courts have exonerated him," Ronald Poulton, one of Oberlander's lawyers, told Reuters.

"It's been tiring and difficult and unnecessary and now the Supreme Court—the highest court—has told the government that's enough."