How Perpetrators of Genocidal Crimes Evaded Justice
It is an affront to our sense of natural justice that those involved in perpetrating the heinous crimes of the Holocaust were able to find safehavens in new lands of resettlement almost immediately after the war. It is even more of an affront that they could then live out their lives with impunity, even after substantial accusations against them were brought to the attention of the governments of the countries in which they had settled.
KeywordsJewish Community International Criminal Court Canadian Government Ethnic Factor External Affair
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- 1.Rauca, the first case of an alleged war criminal in which the Canadian government took legal action, was a former member of the Gestapo who had risen in the ranks of the SD and who was alleged to have been responsible for the murder of 11,000 Jews in Lithuania. Though a West German request for information about his whereabouts was made in 1959, he was found and arrested only in 1982, mainly because until then the federal government was not inclined to act with respect to Nazi war criminals. Other explanations for the delay are that he used different spellings for his surname and occasionally a different first name which may have confused investigators, and that in the 1970s, some federal government bureaucrats were excessively zealous with respect to newly enacted privacy legislation, with the result that they blocked the RCMP’s efforts to consult social security and old age pension records pertaining to Rauca. Evidence against him included depositions obtained in the interrogation of three of his former fellow officers by Nuremberg Trial prosecutors in which he was identified as the head of the Gestapo for the Kaunas ghetto; and depositions from witnesses in Israel and Canada. The most powerful piece of evidence was the Jager Report which lists the numbers of men, women and children murdered in each of the Einsatzkommando’s operations in Lithuania, beginning in late June 1941, including the 9,200 victims of the Grosse Aktion in Democracy Square, for which Rauca was held responsible. Rauca was extradited to West Germany in 1983 but died of cancer before he could be put on trial. For a narrative account of the Rauca case, see Sol Littman, War Criminal on Trial: Rauca of Kaunas (Key Porter Books, 1998 edition).Google Scholar
- 3.Alti Rodal, Nazi War Criminals in Canada: The Historical and Policy Setting from the 1940s to the Present, Royal Commission Records, NA: RG 33, 1986 (‘Rodal Report’). The report was based on government records held at the National Archives of Canada, more current material held by a number of departments, archival collections of ethnic organizations and personalities at the National Archives and at the provincial archives of Ontario and Manitoba, and case files collected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since the 1950s and by the Deschênes Commission in 1985.Google Scholar
- 52.For the decision to include crimes against Axis nationals, see History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, pp.190–191; Bower, p.86, and David S. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941–1945 (Random House, New York 1984), p.257.Google Scholar