In Canada, Russia
Good Guys, Bad Guys and Ukrainian Nationalism

Yaroslav Hunka, former member of the infamous Waffen SS Galicia, in the Canadian Parliament.

By Christopher Black. Originally published by Neo: Near Eastern Outlook, on February 22, 2024

Canada has refused Russia’s request to extradite Yaroslav Hunka, the former Waffen-SS soldier, who had served in the SS Galicia Division, which committed massacres of Jews, communists, partisans, and anyone else the Nazis considered undesirable, during the German invasion of the USSR in World War II. Oleg Stepanov, the Russian ambassador to Canada, stated that he received a note from the Canadian government stating the lack of an extradition treaty as the reason for the refusal, an excuse that Russia could not accept, since Canada could agree to send him back as a matter of comity between states so that he concluded the rejection was made on political grounds.

Hunka’s presence in Canada, unknown to the Canadian people at large, was exposed by the Canadian government itself, which invited Hunka to appear in the gallery of the Canadian House of Commons on September 23, 2023, where he was cheered by an enthusiastic audience composed of every member of Parliament, from every major political party with seats in the Parliament, by the Prime Minister, Trudeau, the leaders of the opposition, military and police personnel, the German ambassador to Canada, and President Zelensky of Ukraine.

The incident shocked the world. It shocked most Canadians. The reaction to it in the world press was a deep embarrassment for the government, which clearly did not expect it would be noticed or taken as an important matter and thought clapping and cheering for Nazi SS soldiers, which the Canadian Army had fought against so bravely in the War, was a good thing to do. How could this happen?

The attempts at justification began immediately, with the political parties blaming the incident on each other. The Speaker of the House, who made the official invitation, was forced to fall on his sword and resign to take the heat of Trudeau and Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party, and Singh of the New Democratic Party, but it was clear that they were all involved and wanted to share a moment with President Zelensky. What was the moment? It was a piece of theatre, to show their hero, Zelensky, that they admired anyone who kills Russians, and Hunka had bragged about doing that.

This is the showpiece of Canadian “values”, of the Canadian “value system”: praise murderers and cutthroats, no matter how vile, and brutal they are, so long as their victims are Russians. They didn’t care that the man they were cheering murdered civilians on a mass scale. In the aftermath, they pretended not to know who he was, pretended they knew only that he fought against the Russians in the war. But one believed them. Their excuse was as weak as their applause for the SS was strong. For even the dumbest student in our deteriorating schools knows that if you were fighting our Russian (Soviet) allies in WWII, you had to be fighting for Hitler and his thugs.

Trudeau issued an apology for the incident, but it was badly done that it only made things worse since he claimed the uproar was caused not by his celebrating an SS man in Parliament, but by “Russian propaganda.” It was disgusting to see him speak and for the Canadian media to go along with it.

And, so, here in Canada, the incident has been brushed under the rug and was hopefully forgotten. But Russia has no intentions of letting the matter drop. The Russian government stated they would seek Hunka’s extradition and they acted. They knew they would face a rejection. But this will not be the end. Russia will make this an issue now, and in the future.

In fact, it so angered President Putin of the Russian Federation that he has mentioned it several times in public, has stated that Russia will not tolerate Canada flirting with Nazis, and even raised it again in his interview with the Tucker Carlson, the US right-wing media celebrity, so that the whole world could see the clip of Hunka in the Canadian parliament one more time. It was humiliating to be a Canadian at that moment.

But what explains the presence of Nazis soldiers in Canada? To understand that, it is necessary to read the Canadian government report made in 1986, examining the issue, the Rodal Report, made by Alti Rodal. The Report is titled,

“Nazi War Criminals in Canada, The Historical and Policy Setting, 1940s to the Present,” and was prepared for the Commission of Inquiry On War Criminals in Canada.

It is a long report, at over 500 pages, that sets out in detail the development of the policies of the Canadian government, in cooperation with the British and American governments, and the Vatican, on what was to be done with individuals who had fought against the “communists” of the USSR and were members of German and allied armed forces units or the various Waffen-SS units that committed war crimes across Europe, including the USSR.

I post the link to the report here, as a short article like this cannot address but a fraction of the important and damning evidence Mr. Rodal compiled in his Report. The world should read it since it sets out the criminal, immoral, thinking of the Western allies that developed even during the height of the war years on how to treat Nazis after the war.

But to summarise it is fairly simple. The western governments approved of the Nazi objective of eliminating communists and communism, and it did not concern them what methods they used. This was made clear before WWII began with the deal between Hitler, the British prime minister, Chamberlain, and the French government; that they would approve of Germany attacking the USSR in order to destroy socialism there and then break it into pieces to be exploited, and its spoils shared among them, so long as Hitler did not attack them.

Hitler at first agreed, but then changed his mind, as he did not trust them not to attack him if he first attacked the USSR. So, he decided to eliminate their threat first, then attack the USSR. But even then, the allies did not attempt to mount a major offensive against Germany. They waited, hoping Germany would succeed against the USSR. It was only after it became clear that the Germans were defeated at Moscow, Stalingrad, and Kursk and were advancing into Germany that they then launched their operations in Europe to stop the advance of the Red Army.

Nevertheless, so long as the Allies were fighting the Nazi menace together, steps were agreed upon on what to do with Nazi war criminals. On November 1, 1943, the Moscow Declaration was signed by Britain, the USA and the USSR. The Moscow Declaration committed the Allies to the principle that after the war, those responsible for atrocities, massacres, and executions,

“will be sent back to the countries in which their abominable deeds were done in order that they be judged and punished according to the laws of those liberated countries…the allied powers will pursue them to the uttermost ends of the earth and will deliver them to the accusers in order that justice may be done.”

The Moscow Declaration presaged the establishment of the Nuremberg Tribunals of 1946-49, at which the Waffen-SS was declared a criminal organisation. Though Canada was not a party to the Declaration, Canada must understand to be bound with the obligation undertaken by the British government since Canada was a British dominion, not yet fully independent.

The Russian government, the successor to the Soviet Government that signed the Declaration, is therefore entitled to expect that Canada abide by the Declaration and hand over Hunka for trial and judgement.

However, even as the ink was drying on the Declaration, the Americans, British and Canadians began creating pretexts to evade it, all having to do with the “fight against communism”.

At the end of hostilities in Europe, members of German and allied units that committed crimes managed to get through slipshod security clearances for displace persons, and refugees, sometimes unknowingly but often knowingly. Nazis, including SS men, were admitted into Canada as well as their collaborators in occupied territories. A Frenchman, Count Jacques De Bernonville, a member of the Vichy government, sentenced to death by French courts for his massacres of French resistance fighters on behalf of the Germans, deporting Jews and even the murder of a Canadian soldier during the war, was allowed to enter Canada, where his presence was protested by Jews, left groups and the French government, but defended by the rest of Quebec society and the Catholic Church. Only after years of protests, and evasions by the government did the pressure become too much, and he was allowed to leave for Brazil instead of being returned to France for punishment.

In 1951, due to influence from various pressure groups, including Christian groups and Ukrainian, Latvian and other émigré groups, the Canadian government issued a directive permitting the entry of Waffen-SS members into Canada. At the same time, the Canadian government insisted on barring entry to Canada of communists. This logic of protecting the murderers of communists and Jews, while banning the entry of those who had fought to defeat the fascist menace, of turning a blind eye to any atrocity, so long as the criminal was anti-communist, became the overall policy of the government in the decades afterwards. In fact, the logic was so bizarre that immigration directives were issued not only banning communists from Canada, but also Jews, many of whom the government suspected of being communists. This attitude persisted into the 1950s.

The Report contains a wealth of other interesting information about how the tolerance and protection of Nazis by the West developed and was implemented. One interesting fact detailed in the Report is that the Americans were not keen on admitting people from the Ukraine region since their policy was that they did not want Russians infiltrating the West, as no doubt they could be communists. The official policy of the USA was that people from the Ukraine region were not a distinct ethnicity but were Russians and Ukraine was part of Russia, supporting comments made to Tucker Carlson by President Putin that Ukraine is not a country and that the war in Ukraine can be considered a civil war. How the American change their tune when it suits them, President Putin now well knows.

President Putin, the Russian government as a whole, has declared that denazification of Ukraine and the world is a prime objective of Russia’s foreign policy, carrying on the Soviet policy contained in the Moscow Declaration of November 1941.

We can expect Russia to maintain the pressure on the Canadian government to adhere to the Moscow Declaration, of the findings and rulings of the Nuremberg Tribunal, to come to their senses and accept their moral responsibility and their claimed zero tolerance of war crimes, and act on the Russian request to extradite Mr. Hunka.

But since Canada has engaged itself directly in the Ukraine war, the Yugoslav war, the atrocities committed against Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Palestine, tolerated the American torture of prisoners of war at Guantánamo Bay, has, in fact, adopted the Nazi’s crusade against Russia as part of its own crusade along with the rest of the NATO gang, we can be sure that Canada will dig in its heels, continue to protect Nazis, and continue its decline into a nation of immorality and criminality.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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