Debt Rattle September 25 2023


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    Michael Reid

    Spartacus here for a twelfth Spartacast

    Michael Reid

    The Slavery Contract

    The Slavery Contract

    Michael Reid



    Canada’s long history of soft-pedalling the Ukrainian Waffen-SS Galicia Division
    Canada has spent decades overlooking and providing official cover for the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, an organization founded by the Nazis

    Author of the article:Tristin Hopper
    Published Sep 25, 2023 •

    Long before Galicia Division veteran Yaroslav Hunka ever scored an invite to Parliament Hill, Canada spent decades overlooking and even providing official cover for an organization that would later claim to be full of Ukrainian freedom-fighters, but was founded by Nazis, served under Nazi command and fought exclusively to serve Nazi aims.

    There are monuments to the unit at cemeteries in both Alberta and Oakville, Ont., both of which avoid any mention of its SS origins, instead referring to it as the 1st Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army. When this was pointed out by the Russian Foreign Ministry in 2018, documents later obtained by Postmedia would show that Global Affairs Canada rushed to have the claim labelled as “misinformation.”
    The minister of foreign affairs at the time, Chrystia Freeland, has also played the “disinformation” card whenever Russia has pointed out that her own family tree contains a Ukrainian collaborator (although not one who served with the Galicia Division).

    Officially known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, the Galicia Division was one of a number of “foreign” units of the Waffen-SS formed during the course of the Second World War.

    After conquering a new corner of Europe, Nazi commanders would put out a call for volunteers to sign up for the Schutzstaffel (SS), an elite corps loyal to the Nazi Party that stood distinct from the German army.

    There was a French SS unit, a Norwegian SS unit, a Dutch SS unit, and even SS units formed from British and American prisoners of war. And in 1943, the Nazi occupiers of what is now Ukraine recruited a unit of racially acceptable Ukrainians to bolster their invasion and subjugation of the Soviet Union.

    But it wouldn’t do any better under Nazi rule; Ukraine served as an initial “ground zero” for the Holocaust, with German and collaborationist death squads murdering more than a million Ukrainian Jews before the war’s end.

    While Galicia Division recruits may have been attracted by the idea of eventually seeking a sovereign Ukraine through force, in joining the SS they had all sworn a personal oath of loyalty to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and had their actions directed by Nazi German commanders.

    In 1944, members of the unit would even be personally addressed by SS head Heinrich Himmler, usually credited as the primary architect of the Holocaust.

    “Your homeland has become more beautiful since you have lost — on our initiative, I must say — the residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia’s good name — namely the Jews,” said Himmler, according to an account in the book Hitler’s Foreign Executioners.

    After the war, a disproportionate number of Galicia Division veterans would find their way to Canada. Immigration policy at the time was to reject any veteran of the German Wehrmacht or the SS, but according to a 1986 federal public inquiry into war criminals on Canadian soil, members of the Galicia Division were given a cabinet-level exemption in 1950.

    This was a decision fiercely opposed by the Canadian Jewish Congress at the time, but ultimately ignored on the basis that the division’s soldiers had volunteered “not because of a love of the Germans but because of their hatred for the Russians and the Communist tyranny.” In the early 1980s, the famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal would later send a list of 217 names to the Canadian government of former Galicia Division officers who were “not living in Europe.” A subsequent RCMP investigation would find that at least 11 of them had indeed retired and died in Canada.

    But the 1986 public inquiry would ultimately conclude that “charges of war crimes” against the division had “never” been substantiated, and commissioners did not recommend the deportation of Galicia Division veterans on the grounds that Ottawa knew full well of their Nazi pasts when they let them in.

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