Canadian Jewish organizations and social media critics are slamming the Canadian Parliament for giving a man who fought for the Nazis a standing ovation during an event featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to the country.
"FSWC is appalled that Canada’s Parliament gave a standing ovation to a Ukrainian veteran who served in a Nazi military unit during the Second World War implicated in the mass murder of Jews and others. An apology and explanation is owed," the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Canadian nonprofit dedicated to educating people on the Holocaust, wrote on X, previously known as Twitter.
Video and photos show the Canadian Parliament erupted into cheers on Friday during Zelenskyy’s visit to the country’s capital of Ottawa, when Canadian lawmakers also honored Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who fought for the First Ukrainian Division, according to the Toronto Star. That division was also known as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, which fought for the Nazis as its paramilitary arm under the Schutzstaffel organization, according to the outlet.
"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," the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center continued in their statement.
Social media commenters have joined the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center in condemning the Canadian House for celebrating Hunka, who some called a "literal Nazi" and "monster."
Canadian columnist Joe Warmington called for a "full apology" "for celebrating a Second World War Nazi in the House of Commons," in an op-ed published Sunday in the Toronto Sun.
Local Canadian outlets said the Associated Press identified the 98-year-old in a photo caption as a veteran of the "First Ukrainian Division in World War II," and noted other outlets described the man as a Ukrainian immigrant to Canada who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians.... (Read more)
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