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The Deschênes Report tabled on December 30, 1986, contained the results of the Commission of Inquiry on [Nazi] War Criminals [in Canada].

The commission owed its existence of a rumour kick-started by Sol Littman, Canadian representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles, to the effect that the Auschwitz physican Joseph Mengele had once applied for a visa to enter Canada. There was a suggestion that Mengele may even have set foot in Canada.

Contained in the report is a description of how this false rumour was first floated -- and its predictable impact. Here it is:


The Deschênes Report [pp. 67-68]: The Mengele Affair

The opening paragraph of Minute-of-Council 1985-348 states:

WHEREAS concern has been expressed about the possibility that Joseph Mengele, an alleged Nazi war criminal, may have entered or attempted to enter Canada;

Two weeks before the passage of this Minute there had indeed been a public outcry following the publication on 23 January 1985 of an article over the signature of "Ralph Blumenthal, the New York Times." The article was captioned: "Records indicate Mengele sought Canadian visa". The third paragraph read:

Other records indicate that Mengele applied to the Canadian Embassy in Buenos Aires for a Canadian visa in 1962 under a pseudonym and that the Canadians informed American intelligence officials of the attempt.

One month earlier Mr. Sol Littman, Canadian representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, had written to the Prime Minister of Canada a letter where he unequivocally affirmed:

The documents we received on Mengele, who has been the object of world-wide search since the close of WW II, produced two shocking pieces of information. [...]

(2) Mengele, employing the alias of Dr. Joseph Menke, applied to the Canadian embassy in Buenos Aires for admission to Canada as a landed immigrant in late May or early June, 1962.

The relation between Littman's letter and Blumenthal's article is established. In the course of an interview with Commission counsel in New York, Blumenthal stated "that it was Mr. Sol Littman to whom he had been directed by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, who introduced the element of an application by Mengele to come to Canada from Buenos Aires".

Littman confirmed: "I am reasonably sure that most of the information that Mr. Blumenthal printed came directly from me."

In his testimony before the Commission in December 1985, Littman conceded his paternity of the assertion of the facts concerning Mengele:

Q. [Gordon Whitehall]: I see. Let us just take a look for a moment, if we may, at your letter of December the 29th, Exhibit 154. In that letter, sir, you assert as a fact that Mengele, employing the alias of Dr. Josef Menke, applied to the Canadian embassy in Buenos Aires for admission to Canada as a landed immigrant.

Now I ask you, sir, whether or not--whether that assertion of fact, did it come from the documents, did it come from the Immigration Officer or did it come from Corporal Yetter?

A. [Sol Littman] The assertion of fact, Mr. Whitehall, is mine.

Q. [Gordon Whitehall] The assertion of fact is yours?

A. [Littman] Yes.

And to describe the basis of his assertion of facts, Littman could find no better words than "speculation"; "impression"; "possibility"; and "hypothesis".

[end of excerpt from The Deschênes Report]


On page 81 of the Deschênes Report it is further made clear that on the basis of nothing more than "speculation, impression, possibility, and hypothesis," Littman offered a version of events for public consumption as though it were factual and solidly documented.

What is even more telltale is that Littman had been warned by one of his sources that it would unwise to do so: "Littman was, therefore, put on notice that, in view of the paucity of available information, it was dangerous to make the assumptions with which he was playing." He chose instead to disregard the warning.

On page 82, the Deschênes Report comes to the following conclusion regarding Littman and his inglorious role in the Mengele Affair:


There is no documentary evidence whatsoever of an attempt by Dr. Joseph Mengele to seek admission to Canada from Buenos Aires in 1962.

The affirmation has come from Mr. Sol Littman, and from him alone.

The documents which were then available to him related to a security request from Canada, not an immigration check from Germany, and do not bear out the theory of Mengele's visa application in Buenos Aires.

The advice which Litman solicited (whether it were from one or two people) did not support his assumptions, but put him on notice about their fragility.

As stated at the outset, all the Littman could rely on was "speculation, impression, possibility, hypothesis". Yet he chose to transmute them into statements of fact which he publicized, with the results that are now known.

This is a case where not a shred of evidence has been tendered to support Mr. Littman's statement to the Prime Minister of Canada on 20 December 1984, or Mr. Ralph Blumenthal's article in the New York Times on 23 January 1985.

Indeed Mr. Littman has stated before the Commission:

Well, let me put it this way. We have accepted the fact that Mengele did not come to Canada and, in all likelihood, never applied to come over to Canada. We had no difficulty accepting that.
[end of excerpt from The Deschênes Report]



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Index to the origins of anti-Semitism
Toronto television incident highlights bickering between lying Canadian Jewish Congress and money-grubbing B'nai Brith
B'nai Brith tears strip off Canadian Jewish Congress
Canada like Nazi regime, Telegdi (MP) says
Harvard President [Summers] Sees Rise in Anti-Semitism on Campus
Littman's letter to judge after Finta case debacle
Littman's secret letter to Prof Deborah Lipstadt, Oct 3, 1996, enclosing --
-- a smear report on David Irving written by one of his "students" (and pleading with Lipstadt to keep it secret)
Littmann's outraged OpEd in Toronto Star: "Do our jurists need Holocaust classes?"
Our opinion
Mr Sol Littmann is one of the most vociferous critics of British historian David Irving, and was one of the most active behind-the-scenes agitators for his illegal expulsion from Canada in 1992

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