1 October 1921 |
Luzhany, near Chernivtsi, Bukovina, Kingdom of Romania
|Allegiance|| Nazi Germany (1942–1944)
French Foreign Legion
|Rank||Private (in French Foreign Legion)|
|Unit||Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Vladimir Katriuk (born 1 October 1921) is a Canadian of Ukrainian ancestry, born in the village of Luzhany, near the city of Chernivtsi. Chernivtsi is situated in the region known as Bukovina, which in 1921 was part of the Kingdom of Romania. Katriuk is accused by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of having been an active participant in the Khatyn massacre during the Second World War. In 2012, Katriuk was ranked number three on the List of Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Katriuk has denied any involvement in war crimes.
In 1942 Katriuk joined Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118 to fight the Soviet partisans. Katriuk's Nazi ties were known at the time of the Federal Court of Canada decision, but more details did not emerge until the release in 2008 of KGB interrogation reports at the trial of Grigory Vasiura, one of the battalion officers. The new KGB documents, yet unseen by the general public, claim that Katriuk was directly involved in the Khatyn massacre. In an article written by Lund University historian Per Anders Rudling, relying on new KGB interrogation reports, wrote that “One witness stated that Volodymyr Katriuk was a particularly active participant in the atrocity: he reportedly lay behind the stationary machine gun, firing rounds on anyone attempting to escape the flames.” Another Soviet war crimes trial in 1973 heard that Katriuk and two others killed a group of Belarusian loggers earlier on that day, suspecting they were part of a popular uprising. "I saw how Ivankiv was firing with a machine-gun upon the people who were running for cover in the forest, and how Katriuk and Meleshko were shooting the people lying on the road," the witness said. Katriuk was a member of Schutzmannschaft Battalion 118 that helped the Nazis to create "dead zones." The dead zone policy involved exterminating Soviet partisans who had launched ambushes against Nazi forces.
According to Avi Benlolo, president and CEO of the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, when he presented new research regarding the Vladimir Katriuk case to Rob Nicholson and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada Minister Jason Kenney in April 2012 they said that they would investigate it.
In August 1944 Katriuk with his entire battalion defected and joined the French Resistance to fight Nazis. Later that year he joined the French Foreign Legion as a private and was one of twenty to twenty-five volunteers who were asked by their French commanders to go to the front to fight the German army. Katriuk was placed in charge of a machine gun and, during the course of his participation, was severely injured. He spent two and a half months in an American hospital in France. Katriuk later fought with the allies at the Italian front near Monaco until the end of the World War II.
1951 Immigration to Canada
In 1951 Katriuk immigrated to Canada from France. Since 1959 Katriuk has been a beekeeper in Quebec. As of 2012 Katriuk owns a beekeeping farm in Ormstown, Quebec and resides in a small house on the property with his wife.
1999 Canadian Citizenship question
In 1999 a Federal Court of Canada decision concluded that Katriuk immigrated to Canada in 1951 under a pseudonym and obtained his Canadian citizenship by providing false information. The Federal Court of Canada found no evidence that Kartiuk had participated in war crimes. In 2007, the Cabinet of Canada decided not to revoke Katriuk's citizenship.
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- Holocaust Genocide Studies (Spring 2012) 26(1): 29-58 The Khatyn Massacre in Belorussia: A Historical Controversy Revisited
- Federal Court of Canada decision Docket: T-2409-96 The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration v. Vladimir Katriuk
- From Nazi to beekeeper? Accused war criminal living quiet life in Quebec