The Holocaust Historiography Project

Teen deported for suspected Nazi war crimes

Feb. 3, 2001

TORONTO, Ont. (CP) In a landmark decision that has earned praise from Jewish community leaders and raised eyebrows among some conservative legal scholars, Judge Herschel Gold yesterday ordered the grandson of a suspected Nazi war criminal deported to the Ukraine.

Robert, 15, will be escorted by RCMP officers to Pearson International Airport early next week.

The government has alleged that Rauliuk's grandfather, Evhen Rauliuk, served as a cook in Schuma 118 Police Battalion in Byelorussia and that from 1942 to 1944 he prepared nourishing hot meals for his unit while it conducted actions against partisans and committed atrocities against civilians.

Rauliuk, dubbed the "Butcher Chef of Byelorusse," died from a heart failure last November at the age of 98, allegedly induced by an often vocal around-the-clock vigil conducted by a local Jewish youth league outside the Placid Valley Geriatric Home where he had resided since 1981.

His premature demise compelled a change of tactics on the part of the Crown, which at the urging of several Jewish organizations filed new charges against his grandson under the Multicultural Justice Act, an omnibus legal reform law facilitating equitable outcomes in legal cases involving designated ethno-cultural groups.

Robert Rauliuk is the first person charged under the new act. Legal observers believe his conviction may lay the groundwork for charges against the descendants of other deceased alleged war criminals.

In recent years the declining number of East Europeans available for deportation has negatively affected Canada's war-crimes industry, insiders report. It is hoped that the unprecedented intergenerational features of the Rauliuk case will re-invigorate the pursuit of justice.

The court heard evidence that the Butcher Chef failed to reveal his participation in crimes against humanity when applying for Canadian citizenship in 1951 and therefore obtained citizenship by false representation and knowing concealment of circumstances. Judge Gold ruled that because Evhen Rauliuk's citizenship was invalid and his son Ivan, now deceased, born outside of Canada, Robert Rauliuk was in violation of the Illegal Domicile Act of 1876 and could be stripped of his citizenship and deported to his genealogical place of origin.

Noted Talmudic scholar and civil-rights activist Rabbi Gunther Plaut testified for the Crown on the role of inter-generational punishment in the Western tradition of jurisprudence.

In a statement released this morning, David Matas, senior legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada, applauded Judge Gold's controversial decision, under section 379b of the Multicultural Justice Act, to bar defence attorneys from the courtroom in order to expedite the trial.

"Since the start of the court proceedings, the case against the two Rauliuks has been bogged down in minor legal technicalities, shamelessly brought up by the defense, which prevented the government's allegations from ever being judged on their merit," Matas said. "It was a bold decision, but the right one under the circumstances."

Bernie Farber, Community Relations director for the Canadian Jewish Congress, expressed a quiet pride at the verdict, which he attributed to the many years his organization has spent lobbying a succession of Justice Ministers for the passage of the Multicultural Justice Act.

"We feel that justice has been served," Farber said at an impromptu victory celebration held in front of Toronto's Ukranian Cultural Centre. "Evhen Rauliuk was getting pretty feeble and may not have survived the trip to the airport, but Robert is young and vigorous, he has his life in front of him, and his family will miss him. It's a much more satisfying conclusion, ethically speaking."

Farber also called for restraint in the Ukranian community, many of whom were fearful that deportations for alleged war crimes may now be prolonged indefinitely.

"Anti-Semitism is not a term I use lightly, although I do use it often," Farber added. "But in this case it's fully justified. Those Jew-hating Bohunks must come to terms with their virulent anti-Semitism."

Robert Rauliuk, contacted at the Downsview Youth Detention Facility, expressed surprise at the verdict.