By celebrating a Waffen-SS volunteer as a “hero,” Canada’s Liberal Party highlighted a longstanding policy that has seen Ottawa train fascist militants in Ukraine while welcoming in thousands of post-war Nazi SS veterans.
Canada’s second most powerful official, Chrystia Freeland, is the granddaughter of one of Nazi Germany’s top Ukrainian propagandists.
In the Spring of 1943, Yaroslav Hunka was a fresh-faced soldier in the 14th Grenadier Division of the Waffen-SS Galicia when his division received a visit from the architect of Nazi Germany’s genocidal policies, Heinrich Himmler. Having presided over the battalion’s formation, Himmler was visibly proud of the Ukrainians who had volunteered to support the Third Reich’s efforts.
80 years later, the Speaker of Canada’s parliament, Anthony Rota, also beamed with pride after inviting Hunka to a reception for Volodymyr Zelensky, where the Ukrainian president lobbied for more arms and financial assistance for his country’s war against Russia.
“We have in the chamber today Ukrainian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians and continues to support the troops today even at his age of 98,” Rota declared during the September 22 parliamentary event in Ottawa.
“His name is Yaroslav Hunka but I am very proud to say he is from North Bay and from my riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming. He is a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service,” Rota continued.
Gales of applause erupted through the crowd, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Zelensky, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre and leaders of all Canadian parties rose from their seats to applaud Hunka’s wartime service.
Canada’s parliament gives a standing ovation to a 98-year-old Ukrainian Nazi collaborator likely to keep a music box at home stuffed with grainy black and white execution photos
If John Demjanjuk had lived a little longer he too could have been a hero https://t.co/WXYBYCwuXr
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) September 23, 2023
Since the exposure of Hunka’s record as a Nazi collaborator – which should have been obvious as soon as the Speaker announced him – Canadian leaders (with the notable exception of Eyre) have rushed to issue superficial, face-saving apologies as withering condemnations poured in from Canadian Jewish organizations.
The incident is now a major national scandal, occupying space on the cover of Canadian papers like the Toronto Sun, which quipped, “Did Nazi that coming.” Meanwhile, Poland’s Education Minister has announced plans to seek Hunka’s criminal extradition.
The Liberal Party has attempted to downplay the affair as an accidental blunder, with one Liberal MP urging her colleagues to “avoid politicizing this incident.” Melanie Joly, Canada’s Foreign Minister, has forced Rota’s resignation, seeking to turn the the Speaker into a scapegoat for her party’s collective actions.
Trudeau, meanwhile, pointed to the “deeply embarrassing” event as a reason to “push back against Russian propaganda,” as though the Kremlin somehow smuggled an nonagenarian Nazi collaborator into parliament, then hypnotized the Prime Minister and his colleagues, Manchurian Candidate-style, into celebrating him as a hero.
NEW – Justin Trudeau blames Russian propaganda for Canadian Parliament honoring a Nazi.
“Obviously, it’s extremely upsetting that this happened… this is something that is deeply embarrassing to the Parliament of Canada…
It’s going to be really important that all of us push… pic.twitter.com/Zvk5ytkxmC
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) September 25, 2023
To be sure, the incident was no gaffe. Before Canada’s government and military brass celebrated Hunka in parliament, they had provided diplomatic support to fascist hooligans fighting to install a nationalist government in Kiev, and oversaw the training of contemporary Ukrainian military formations openly committed to the furtherance of Nazi ideology.
Ottawa’s celebration of Hunka has also lifted the cover on the country’s post-World War Two policy of naturalizing known Ukrainian Nazi collaborators and weaponizing them as domestic anti-communist shock troops. The post-war immigration wave included the grandfather of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who functioned as one of Hitler’s top Ukrainain propagandists inside Nazi-occupied Poland.
Though Canadian officialdom has worked to suppress this sordid record, it has resurfaced in dramatic fashion through Hunka’s appearance in parliament and the unsettling contents of his online diaries.
“We welcomed the German soldiers with joy”
The March 2011 edition of the journal of the Association of Ukrainian Ex-Combatants in the US contains an unsettling diary entry which had gone unnoticed until recently.
Authored by Yaroslav Hunka, the journal consisted of proud reflections on volunteering for the 14th Grenadier Division of the Waffen-SS Galicia. Hunka decribed the Nazi Wehrmacht as “mystical German knights” when they first arrived in his hometown of Berezhany, and recalled his own service in the Waffen-SS as the happiest time in his life….