Unauthorized Entry: The Truth About Nazi War Criminals in Canada, 1946-1956


327 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-4277-5
DDC 325'.24'097109045




Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein, distinguished research professor emeritus of history
at York University. He is the author of Who Killed Canadian History? and
co-author of The Canadian 100: The 100 Most Influential Canadians of the
20th Century, Prime Ministers: Ranking


Historian Howard Margolian worked for a number of years in the federal
government’s war crimes investigation unit. His specialty was
unearthing Nazi war criminals in Canada, an area in which Canada has not
had enormous success. Margolian’s new book may offer an explanation.

Contrary to the popular belief that war criminals flooded into Canada
after World War II, contrary to the widespread view that Canada screened
out Communists more effectively than it did Nazis and their supporters,
Margolian argues that Canada in fact did an extraordinarily good job in
keeping war criminals out of Canada. His research is absolutely
thorough, his arguments clear. He concedes that some undesirables
entered Canada, but there were reasons. First, a huge number of
immigrants arrived in the first decade after the war, and the Soviet
Union and its satellites were not forthcoming in providing information
on individuals during the early Cold War. Then domestic ethnic
communities, notably Ukrainian-Canadians but also Canadians from the
Baltic states, pressed the government very hard to allow in certifiable
anti-Communists, some of whom, regrettably, had been SS soldiers in a
variety of ethnic divisions raised by the Nazis. There were also Quebec
fascists who provided a postwar Canadian haven for Vichy French war
criminals and used a powerful political smokescreen to hide their

This is not a pretty story, but Margolian counters the myths very
effectively. He points to the errors and mistakes made by government,
but also by government commissions and previous scholars. His book
should help defuse an issue that has been kept on the boil for far too


Margolian, Howard., “Unauthorized Entry: The Truth About Nazi War Criminals in Canada, 1946-1956,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 17, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/8653.