Back in 2021, the Canadian academic Eric Kaufmann wrote that his native country was swiftly becoming “the world’s first woke nation”. And over the last two years, it seems the trend has only accelerated.
In a recent article, Jordan Peterson identified Canada as being at “the forefront of the wave of woke lunacy threatening to swamp the entire Western world”. And in a speech earlier this month, retired General Michel Maisonneuve lamented that the “woke movement” is “destroying Canadian values”.
As we all know, the woke are notorious for branding those who disagree with them as ‘bigots’ or even ‘Nazis’. (This cartoon offers an amusing illustration.) So you’d assume the last thing they’d want is to be associated in any way with the actual Nazis from World War II.
Apparently not. On September 22nd, Justin Trudeau invited a 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian man named Yaroslav Hunka to the parliament in Ottawa. Hunka was introduced as a “veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians”. Greeted with a standing ovation, he was described as a “Ukrainian hero” and a “Canadian hero”.
Left out was the fact that Hunka fought with the Nazis as a volunteer in the Waffen SS ‘Galicia Division’.
There seems to some dispute about whether or to what extent this particular unit was involved in atrocities. Wikipedia notes that although it “has not specifically been found guilty of any war crimes by any war tribunal or commission”, the unit faces “numerous accusations”, and goes on to list several atrocities in which it was allegedly involved.
What is true is that by the time the ‘Galicia Division’ was formed in 1943, the Nazis and their collaborators had already murdered hundreds of thousands of Hunka’s fellow citizens (mostly Jews and ethnic Poles). So regardless of exactly what his unit did during the war, fighting with the Nazis against the Soviets is hardly something a Western parliament should be honouring as “heroic”.
Indeed, “heroic” would have been to resist both the Nazis and the Soviets, as some Eastern European partisans did.
My point here is not that ‘Ukrainians are Nazis’. My point is that the Canadian parliament are taking us for fools. They honoured a man with ‘associations’ (to put it mildly) that in any other context they would have viciously denounced. Either that or they didn’t do basic due diligence.
Last year, Trudeau himself accused Conservative MPs sympathetic to the trucker convoy of standing with “people who wave swastikas”. So according to him, someone who fought with the Nazis (against a country with which the British Empire was then allied) is a “Canadian hero”, but truckers who opposed the vaccine mandates – well they’re the real Nazis!
My advice to Hunka, the former SS soldier: if you want to steer clear of controversy, don’t fraternise with Canadian truckers.
Stop Press: The speaker of the Canadian parliament has apologized and accepted responsibility for honouring Hunka. So it seems that neither Trudeau nor the Canadian parliament was aware of Hunka’s role in the Waffen SS. Was not a single parliamentarian just a little bit suspicious?