In Canada, Steven Sahiounie

Photo Credit: (Kelowna Capital News / Google Images)

By Aiden Jonah,

Published on The Canada Files, Aug 25, 2022:

On August 23, Liberal and Conservative Canadian politicians continued the tradition of validating “Black Ribbon Day”, thereby falsely equating Communism and Nazism. Bob Rae, as a Liberal MP, initiated the motion which recognized this day back in 2009… These politicians are pushing the “victims of communism” theory, which is based on an incompetently sourced database, which even considered Nazis as victims.

On Aug. 23, Liberal and Conservative Canadian politicians continued the tradition of validating “Black Ribbon Day”, thereby falsely equating Communism and Nazism. Bob Rae, as a Liberal MP, initiated the motion which recognized this day back in 2009.

These politicians are pushing the “victims of communism” theory, which is based on an incompetently sourced database, which even considered Nazis as victims. This concept relies on The Black Book of Communism, which counts Nazicollaborating fascists, anti-Semitic White Army fighters and czarist officers who oversaw genocidal pogroms against Jews in its list of “victims of communism.” Contributors to the book admitted that the book’s editor Stephane Courtois fabricated the numbers to arrive at the much parroted 100 million figure. It also minimizes the horrific crimes of fascism, ignores the deaths under the capitalist economic system, while portraying communism as the greatest threat

The first to do push this theory was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In his tweet, he stated “we remember the millions of victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe – and we honour them by continuing to fight hate and intolerance, protecting the most vulnerable, and working to make the world a safer place for everyone.”

In the full statement he said “On this day in 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This alliance, which led to the violent political and territorial rearrangement of Eastern and Central Europe, caused immense suffering.” This statement was made in total ignorance of three important facts:

  1. This non-aggression pact was only originally signed by the Soviet Union as an attempt to stay neutral in the World War. This pact was broken by the Germans, who invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. In the fight against the Nazis, more than 25 million Soviet citizens died (14 per cent of the USSR’s prewar population).

  2. The Soviet Union was responsible for 80 per cent of Nazi deaths, and was the nation which did the most to defeat Nazism.

  3. While the Soviet Union were fighting the Nazis, American corporations continued to do business with Nazi Germany, allowing it to sustain both the Holocaust and its wars abroad.

The statement continues “Many of those who fled found refuge and an opportunity to rebuild their lives in Canada. They, along with their descendants, have made tremendous contributions to our country, helping build the strong, diverse, and prosperous country we call home.”

What Trudeau fails to mention is that the Canadian government specifically focused on bringing in Nazis and anti-communists into Canada during the post-WWII period. More than 2,000 Ukrainian members of the 14th Division of the Waffen SS were allowed into Canada. One way of getting into postwar Canada “was by showing the SS tattoo,” Canadian historian Irving Abella told 60 Minutes interviewer Mike Wallace in 1997. “This proved that you were an anti-Communist.” This was done to crush the burgeoning leftist Ukrainian diaspora, which had strong ties to the labour movements.


The Ukrainian diaspora, which by now has been mostly taken over by Nazi collaborator glorifying groups, is led by Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s chief imperialist, the Deputy PM and the new Minister of Finance. Freeland’s tweet even more openly equates Communism and Nazism.

She said “#BlackRibbonDay, the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, reminds us to never take freedom for granted and to never be complacent in the face of authoritarianism. We must not forget the lessons that the dark days of Communism and Nazism in Europe have taught us.”

Freeland has gone on record defending her Nazi collaborator grandfather, Michael Chomiak, who proudly ran a Nazi propaganda newspaper in Ukraine, Krakow News and chose to stay with the Nazis, even when presented multiple opportunities to escape.

Freeland venerated her grandfather, tweeting this on Black Ribbon Day in 2016: “Thinking of my grandparents Mykhailo & Aleksandra Chomiak on Black Ribbon Day. They were forever grateful to Canada for giving them refuge and they worked hard to return freedom and democracy to Ukraine. I am proud to honour their memory today.”

In 2017, it was exposed that Freeland’s maternal grandfather — Michael Chomiak — was a fascist propagandist. Freeland even attempted to claim that this was “Russian disinformation”, but the truth was out.

During Freeland’s reign as foreign minister, she oversaw the continuation and eventual extension of Operation UNIFIER, a program which saw the Canadian Armed Forces supply the Ukrainian military and paramilitary police units with training and weapons. These weapons then fall into the hands of neo-nazi militias such as the Azov Battalian. They were officially integrated, along with the Aidar, Dnipro and Donbass battalions in 2014, into the Ukrainian National Guard, which is led by Ministry of Internal Affairs.

These groups revere Yaroslav Stetsko, the right-hand man of Stepan Bandera, the fascist nazi collaborator, and political and military leader of the Bandera faction of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, OUN. The OUN was a virulently anti-Semitic group which pushed the “Judeo-Bolshevism” theory, and actively collaborated with the Nazis.

Stetsko stated in his 1941 autobiography that: “I therefore support the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine, barring their assimilation and the like.”

The Ukrainian National Police leadership share the Azov Battalion’s reverence for Bandera and Stetsko. So does Freeland, who described Bandera as a “western Ukrainian partisan leader … who led a guerrilla war against the Nazis and the Soviets.”

The integrated militias have been accused of committing war crimes on multiple occasions, while in spring 2018, a lethal wave of anti-Roma pogroms swept through Ukraine, with at least six attacks in two months. Yet, Freeland proceeded to extend the UNIFIER program until 2022.

On Aug. 24, Freeland tweeted out a phrase from fascist Nazi collaborator group OUN: “Slava Ukraini”. The full tweet: “Today, my family and I are proud to join fellow Ukrainian-Canadians in celebrating #UkrainianIndependenceDay. Canada is a steadfast partner to Ukraine and will always stand up for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Слава Україні! #ДеньНезалежностіУкраїни

Trudeau never once contradicted the Freeland narrative, thus indicating that he is very comfortable with it.

The Grayzone’s Ben Norton explained that “[the slogan] was created by the League of Ukrainian Fascists and used by Nazi war criminals who massacred civilians.

United Conservative Party leader and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney also released a public video statement about Black Ribbon Day. Kenney falsely claimed that “Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact carved up the sovereign nations of central and Eastern Europe, [which] ultimately paved the way for decades of oppression and dictatorship.” In reality, the pact was a non-aggression treaty which did not involve land in any sense.

Kenney continued: “Of course, these two twin regimes, while informed by different ideologies, practised many of the same strategies and tactics.” This is a disturbing way of minimizing the Holocaust, a horrific German Nazi campaign of genocide against Jewish people, simply for being Jewish, which led to the deaths of more than six million European Jews. Kenney falsely stated that “they [the USSR and the Nazis fed off one another in their policies of oppression.” By saying this, Kenney is incorrectly inferring the USSR played a role in the continued maintenance of Nazi concentration, when this accusation is 100 per cent false.

Both Canadian Conservative or Liberal politicians continue to push Black Ribbon Day, and thereby equate Communism and Nazism to this very day. In doing this, these politicians continue to whitewash the Holocaust. This is a disgrace of the highest order.

Yet, the NDP and Greens refuse to condemn the political establishment’s support for this propaganda day. While nowhere as bad of an action as direct support, silence is complicity after all. That isn’t okay either.


Aidan Jonah is the Editor-in-Chief of The Canada Files, a socialist, anti-imperialist news site founded in 2019. He has written about Canadian imperialism, federal politics, and left-wing resistance to colonialism across the world for Canadian Dimension, Palestine Chronicle, the Orinoco Tribune and Dissident Voice. He is a second-year Bachelor of Journalism student at Ryerson University, who was the Head of Communications and Community Engagement for Etobicoke North NDP Candidate Naiima Farah in the 2019 Federal Election.


EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

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