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OPINION

How Canadians Are Distorting Holocaust

canadian speaker of the house of commons with black gown and white tie and glasses speaks
Canadian then-Speaker of the House of Commons Anthony Rota apologizes for recognizing in Parliament a man who fought for a Nazi military unit during World War II, just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the House of Commons on Sept. 22, 2023. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

Mark Schulte By Wednesday, 04 October 2023 01:36 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

In early September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas triggered widespread international condemnation by abominably distorting World War II and Holocaust history during a meeting of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in late August.

Mind-bogglingly, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's inspiring speech to the Canadian Parliament on Sept. 22, House Speaker Anthony Rota saluted a 98-year-old veteran of the Waffen SS, Yaroslav Hunka, who was then showered with two standing ovations.

Reading from prepared notes, Rota abhorrently declared:

"We have here in the chamber today a Ukrainian-Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians. ... He is a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero."

In fact, Hunka's 14thSS division killed several thousand Polish civilians, Christian and Jewish, during battles with partisans behind the front lines in southeast Poland in early 1944.

Secondly, Hunka's division fought against the Soviet Army (not "the Russians"), in which 4.5 million Ukrainians helped vanquish the armed forces of Nazi Germany, Finland, Romania, Hungary and Italy.

Decorated for bravery were 1.7 million Ukrainian combatants.

Among Ukrainian World War II genuine "heroes" in the Soviet Army was President Zelenskyy's Jewish paternal grandfather, Semyon, one of four brothers who fought, but only he survived. Their parents were also killed during the war.

Third, our northern neighbor's "heroes" are the 1.1 million Canadians who battled the malevolent Axis powers between 1939 and 1945, suffering 42,000 deaths and 55,000 wounded. In the last year of World War II, Canada had the world's third largest navy and the fourth largest air force.

Fourth, Nazi Germany's "Master Plan for the East," implemented between 1939 and 1945, led to the extermination or ethnic cleansing of tens of millions of "Untermenschen" (subhumans) in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Belorussia and other Eastern European countries.

Ukraine suffered 6.85 million military and civilian deaths.

More than 5 million Jewish civilians and combatants in Eastern Europe were killed by Axis soldiers and their non-state accomplices.

Russia suffered 14 million military and civilian deaths.

On Sept. 26, 2023, after immense domestic and international condemnation, House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota resigned.

A few days earlier, he issued a public apology in which he claimed to be solely responsible for the invitation to the former Nazi SS soldier.

An official statement from Justin Trudeau also claimed "no advance notice was provided to the Prime Minister's Office ... about the invitation or the recognition."

However, one overlooked, crucial fact raises doubt about Rota's and Trudeau's claims of non-involvement. Standing and applauding Hunka on Sept. 22, right behind Prime Minister Trudeau and President Zelenskyy, was Chrystia Freeland, Canada's deputy prime minister and minister of finance.

As Jeremy Appel documents in a May 2022 Tablet article, "Canada's Future Prime Minister Needs to Come Clean About Her Nazi Collaborationist Grandfather," Freeland's maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak, was the editor of a Nazi propaganda newspaper in occupied Krakow, Poland, between 1940 and January 1945.

Freeland's meteoric rise, from a 20-year career in journalism to the apex of Canadian national politics, began in 2013 with her winning a seat in Parliament from a Toronto district.

In November 2015, newly-elected, leftist Prime Minister Trudeau appointed her minister of international trade, and Freeland became minister of foreign affairs in 2017.

Thrust into the bright public spotlight, did Freeland execrably choose to cover up her grandfather's alleged Nazi collaboration?  Articles about him appeared in the Canadian press.

A March 2017 article in the Ottawa Citizen, "Chrystia Freeland's Granddad Was Indeed a Nazi Collaborator," pointed out that during a press conference the foreign affairs minister "suggested to journalists that the articles about her grandfather were part of a Russian disinformation campaign."

The article also points out that another Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, "reported that an official in Freeland's office denied the minister's grandfather was a Nazi collaborator."

By contrast, John-Paul Himka, Freeland's maternal uncle and Chomiak's son-in-law, is a retired professor of history at the University of Alberta, who has debunked the abhorrent myth, accepted by many Ukrainian Canadians, that the Ukrainians in the 14th SS division and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army played little or no role in the genocide of Jews.

But Professor Himka documents that Ukrainian militias and police "served as important implements of the Final Solution in Ukraine and Belarus," during which "hundreds of thousands" of Jews were killed.

They also participated in another genocide "in which perhaps a hundred thousand Poles perished," he said.

Has Chrystia Freeland known the truth about her grandfather's alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany since 1996?

She seemingly assisted her uncle in writing a scholarly article revealing this painful fact.

And during the last decade as a prominent Canadian politician, has she reprehensibly prevaricated about this purported vile chapter in family history?

Finally, the egregious falsifications of World War II and Holocaust history, disseminated by a segment of the Ukrainian-Canadian community for many decades, provided the pernicious environment for last month's unprecedented scandal in the Canadian Parliament.

With fewer than 20,000 of Canada's 1.1 million World War II veterans alive today, millions of the nation's citizens should embark on serious study of their monumental wartime heroics.

Canadians should also learn about the unparalleled genocide committed by Nazi Germany and collaborators against many different groups, including Jews, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Soviet POWs, Yugoslavians and Greeks.

Mark Schulte is a retired New York City schoolteacher and mathematician who has written extensively about science and the history of science. Read Mark Schulte's Reports — More Here.

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MarkSchulte
With fewer than 20,000 of Canada's 1.1 million World War II veterans alive today, millions of the nation's citizens should embark on serious study of their monumental wartime heroics.
canadians, world war 2, holocaust, anthony rota
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2023-36-04
Wednesday, 04 October 2023 01:36 PM
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