Private eye begins publicizing IDs of Canadas suspected Nazis

MONTREAL — An American private investigator who uncovered dozens of suspected war criminals living in Canada has begun to publicize their identities.

Steven Rambam is making good on his threat to begin naming the suspected war criminals on his list if Canada's Justice Department did not make use of the information by the end of February.

Addressing a public meeting at a synagogue here, Rambam released the name of Josef Kitisielatis, an alleged former member of a Lithuanian army unit that murdered thousands of Jewish men, women and children during World War II.

"We are going to out one or two people a week over the next couple of months," Rambam said.

The Canadian Jewish Congress has called on the government to initiate legal action against Kitisielatis.

Jewish groups here have criticized the government for what they say has been a lack of resolve in pursuing suspected war criminals.

Kitisielatis made headlines more than 10 years ago after he fled from the United States to Canada to avoid prosecution as a war criminal.

According to Bernie Farber, national director of community relations for Canadian Jewish Congress, U.S. officials had an ironclad case against Kitisielatis.

"He came to Canada in 1948, was here till 1962, when he became a Canadian citizen, then went to the U.S.," Farber said in an interview.

The Office of Special Investigations, the Nazi-hunting arm of the U.S. Justice Department, "discovered him in 1983 and put together a legal case against him for deportation," said Farber.

"Two days prior to his hearing, he disappeared, skipping the country and coming back to Canada in May 1985," he added.

"There is no reason that Canada has not gone ahead with legal proceedings against Kitisielatis."

Paul Vickery, senior counsel for the Canadian Justice Department's war crimes division, said that he would not "comment on whether an investigation is ongoing on a particular individual."

In December, Rambam presented the war crimes unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with recorded tapes of interviews between him and dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals living in Canada.

Rambam said he continues to speak with some of the alleged war criminals since he first interviewed them, posing as a professor from a fictitious Central American university.

Rambam said that he recently spoke by telephone with Kitisielatis, who told him that the RCMP has not visited him since he first returned to Canada more than a decade ago.

"He lives in Burlington, Ontario, under his own name and he is happy as a clown," Rambam said.

"He is not the kind of guy Canada would want to welcome with open arms."