For 37 years, Canada has kept close guard on an explosive roster of names.
The classified report lists 883 possible Nazi war criminals who found harbor in the country after World War II, and many believe it offers insights into exactly what the government knew about how they got there, the extent to which they were investigated and why most escaped prosecution.
Canada’s strong privacy laws and government secrecy have keep the report confidential, but a recent political blunder may crack it open.
Last month, Canadian lawmakers used the occasion of a visit by President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to honor Yaroslav Hunka, a Ukrainian Canadian man who volunteered for the Nazi Waffen-SS, a combat group that also oversaw concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Now, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is discussing whether the time has come to unseal the report. The deliberations began before the celebration of Mr. Hunka, said Anthony Housefather, a member of Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party caucus who has been the primary political proponent of declassification. But the episode has increased pressure on the government to finally act.
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