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April 12, 2001 Lallier testimony in Germany convicts war criminal






by Barbara Black

Retired Economics Professor Adalbert Lallier’s testimony has led to the conviction of a Nazi SS officer in Germany.

Lallier, who taught for 37 years at Loyola College and then Concordia, expressed relief at the result, but no elation.

“I feel great sadness,” he said on the phone from his home in the Eastern Townships on April 4. “About those seven dead Jewish people, who have at least been named as a result of this case. I agree with the verdict, even though an old man will have to be put in prison, and I am horrified about the men and women who are still denying the Holocaust.”

Lallier, now 75, was an officer cadet on guard duty in the spring of 1945 outside the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. As he told the court, he saw officer Julius Viel shoot seven Jewish prisoners in cold blood.

Although 50 witnesses were called in the trial, Lallier was the only one to claim that he saw the shootings. Viel is now 83 and has cancer. He was sentenced to 12 years.

Lallier, who was originally from Hungary, came to Canada in 1951 and was educated at McGill, Columbia University, the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics. He started teaching at Loyola College in 1960, and took early retirement from Concordia’s Economics Department in 1986. He then taught here as an adjunct professor for 10 years.

He had told immigration officers about his wartime activities when he came to Canada, but few others. In 1997, through consultation with Nazi-crimes investigator Steven Rambam, he became involved in the Viel case. “In my experience,” Lallier said, “most of those young men who were drafted against their will were themselves victims of the Nazi regime. Julius Veil joined the Waffen-SS as a volunteer.

“I was in a terrible state of conscience,” he said after the trial was over. “I tried to be honest. A painful phase of my life is closed.”