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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Communist Party calls for Canada's "long embrace" of war criminals to end

The Communist Party of Canada released a statement October 3 in the wake of the outrageous scandal of the Canadian parliament giving a standing ovation during the visit of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to a man who fought for the SS in World War II.

This disgraceful moment has led to the resignation of the parliamentary speaker as well as an official apology from Justin Trudeau.

Many feel, however, that the government and all those who applauded have gotten off rather lightly and also see this as a time for a reckoning with Canada's long history as a safe haven for former Nazi war criminals and soldiers.

While Parliament seeks to wash its hands of the spectacle of its two standing ovations for a Nazi collaborator whose Waffen SS Division murdered hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Poles from 1943 to 1945, the truth is that thousands of fascist troops were brought to live in Canada, the US, and the UK as part of the Cold War. In Canada, welcoming Nazis, war criminals, and collaborators was Canadian government policy.
More than 2,000 Nazi war criminals and collaborators were brought into Canada, given jobs and citizenship for two purposes: first, to turn the public against the Soviet Union (and socialism) which had been a war time ally supported by millions of Canadians and working people around the world. The Cold War propagandists worked hard to revise history and to equate socialism and fascism as one and the same enemy. As a result, younger generations are confused about Canada’s role in World War II, with significant numbers believing that Canada fought against Russia, though 27 million Soviets died fighting Hitler fascism. Further, 4.5 million Ukrainians fought Hitler fascism in the Soviet Red army, and 250,000 more fought in the resistance movement – many times the 80,000 Nazi collaborators and volunteers in the Waffen SS Division.
These Nazi collaborators and volunteers in the Waffen SS were not fighting for Ukrainian independence, as they claim today, but were members of Ukrainian national death squads who were already killing Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian Jews and Communists when the Nazis invaded Ukraine. They were responsible for the death of 70,000 to 100,000 Poles in the 1943 Volyn massacre. And thousands more after that.

They note that these "war criminals were virtually immune from prosecution for their crimes against humanity from the day they arrived in Canada."

In fact, they "could live their lives without fear of prosecution in Canada, provided they actively

attacked socialism, the Communist Party, the Soviet Union, the trade union movement, and

workers’ rights and struggles."

The party is demanding that this long embrace of these war criminals must end and that there needs to be government action to:

• tear down the monuments in Edmonton and Oakville and wherever else they have been erected, to the Waffen SS, and Nazi collaborators including Stepan Bandera
• extradite Yaroslav Hunka to Poland for trial for war crimes
• extradite all remaining Nazi war criminals and collaborators to the International Criminal Court for trial
• apologize to the Jewish community and all victims of Nazi and fascist atrocities
• redress government action, including seizure of property and incarceration in concentration camps of anti-fascist organizations and individuals, with public apologies and compensation
• enforce anti-hate laws and recognize in law hate groups and fascist groups as criminal organizations
• end Canada’s participation and call for an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of all foreign troops, and negotiations leading to a peaceful political solution to the current war in Ukraine


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