Jewish Group Slams Canadian Parliament for Honoring Nazi During Zelensky Visit

Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP via Getty

Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Canadian Jewish human rights organization, slammed the Canadian parliament Sunday for giving a standing ovation to a Ukrainian Nazi during President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit Friday.

Yaroslav Hunka, 98, was introduced by Speaker Anthony Rota of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party as a “Ukrainian-Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians, and continues to support the troops today. … He’s a Ukrainian hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service.”

Rota’s historical illiteracy, however, tripped him up: some nationalist movements in Eastern Europe who fought against the Soviets later aligned with the invading Nazi forces, including in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Nazis (Petro Zadorozhnyy / Associated Press)

Ukrainian and Russian neo-Nazis raise arms in a Nazi salute during nationalist march in the memory of the so-called Galychyna Division, in Ukraine’s western city of Lviv on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, called also Galychyna Division, was a World War II German military formation initially made up of volunteers from the region of Galycia with a Ukrainian ethnic background but later also incorporated Slovaks, Czechs and Dutch volunteers and officers. Formed in 1943, it was surrendered to the Western Allies by 10 May 1945. In the background are Galychyna Division flags. Lviv is one of Ukraine’s four cities that will co-host with Poland the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. (AP Photo/Petro Zadorozhnyy)

Rebel News, a conservative Canadian outlet, noted: “As many as 2,000 Waffen SS soldiers of Ukrainian heritage, including Yaroslav Hunka, changed their identities and masqueraded as ‘refugees’ before capture to seek refuge in Canada in the 1950s.” The unit had actually fought against Canadians in Italy during the war, Rebel News added.

The Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Canadian group supporting the Los Angeles-based, Nazi-hunting organization, noted in a statement:

Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is deeply disturbed over the Canadian Parliament’s recognition of a Ukrainian veteran who served in a Nazi military unit during the Second World War implicated in the mass murder of Jews and others. FSWC is further outraged that parliamentarians in the House of Commons gave a standing ovation to the former soldier on Friday.

Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old immigrant from Ukraine, was introduced by Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons, as “a Ukrainian Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians” and “a Ukrainian hero and a Canadian hero,” ignoring the horrific fact that Hunka served in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a Nazi military unit whose crimes against humanity during the Holocaust are well-documented.

It added:

The fact that a veteran who served in a Nazi military unit was invited to and given a standing ovation in Parliament is shocking. At a time of rising antisemitism and Holocaust distortion, it is incredibly disturbing to see Canada’s Parliament rise to applaud an individual who was a member of a unit in the Waffen-SS, a Nazi military branch responsible for the murder of Jews and others and that was declared a criminal organization during the Nuremberg Trials. There should be no confusion that this unit was responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians with a level of brutality and malice that is unimaginable.

An apology is owed to every Holocaust survivor and veteran of the Second World War who fought the Nazis, and an explanation must be provided as to how this individual entered the hallowed halls of Canadian Parliament and received recognition from the Speaker of the House and a standing ovation.

Some of the Ukrainian troops fighting Russia today do, indeed, have a Nazi or neo-Nazi background — a fact that has largely been overlooked by western governments who back Ukraine in the war.

Zelensky’s address urged the West to continue to send aid to Ukraine. Trudeau pledged an additional CA$650 million.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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