WATCH: Parliament gives standing ovation to Ukrainian Nazi

As many as 2,000 Waffen SS soldiers of Ukrainian heritage, including Yaroslav Hunka, changed their identities and masqueraded as 'refugees' before capture to seek refuge in Canada in the 1950s

WATCH: Parliament gives standing ovation to Ukrainian Nazi
Rebel News
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Parliament rose Friday in the House of Commons to praise a Ukrainian "refugee" with ties to an anti-Soviet Nazi SS Division.

Speaker of the House Anthony Rota recognized Yaroslav Hunka, 98, for his service in the 'First Division' of the Ukrainian National Army before immigrating to Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed him as an honoured guest as part of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Canada.

"We have with us in the Chamber today a Ukrainian-Canadian veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian Independence against the Russians and continues to support the troops today," said Rota.

All House parties, Senate groups and foreign dignitaries gave Hunka a standing ovation for his efforts against the Russians then and now.

"He's a Ukrainian hero — a Canadian hero — and we thank him for all his service," concluded Rota.

However, Canada's leading military affairs reporter, David Pugliese, wrote a 2020 article that says no such 'First Division' existed during WWII. 

Members of the division served Adolf Hitler's 14th Waffen SS Division Galicia — a designated criminal organization, according to the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal, reported military journal esprit de corps.

As many as 2,000 Waffen SS soldiers of Ukrainian heritage, including Hunka, supposedly changed their identities and masqueraded as "refugees" before capture to seek refuge in Canada in the 1950s. 

As many as 30,000 Ukrainian refugees fled Europe for Canada at the time.

Before members of the unit surrendered to Allied forces, they hid their SS connection in the final days of the war by renaming themselves the First Division Ukrainian National Army. 

Pugliese said that the Ukrainians had voluntarily served the Nazi war machine and "eagerly signed up" to join the Waffen SS. 

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) member Lt. Bohdan Panchuk, a founding member of the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen's Association (UCSA), pushed a "positive narrative" portraying the former Galicians as an "anti-Soviet" German Army unit. 

However, the Galician Division "committed themselves to German victory, the New European Order, and to Adolf Hitler personally," explained Per Anders Rudling, a historian of Eastern European history and Associate Professor at the Department of History at Lund University, Sweden.

While Canadian Immigration officials did not sufficiently probe the 2,000 SS "refugees," their British counterparts knew exactly their origins and were more than happy to offload them to Canada.

"The Division was an SS division, and technically all of its officers and senior NCOs are liable for trial as war criminals," noted a report from Britain's Under-Secretary of State. 

The SS Waffen fought the Polish Home Army in WWII, crushed the Slovak National Uprising and hunted down anti-Nazi partisans in Slovenia. 

"What little we know of their war record is bad," wrote Beryl Hughes, who handled the cursory background checks for Britain's Home Office. 

"We're still hoping to get rid of the less desirable Ukrainian PoWs either to Germany or Canada," he said in another 1948 note.

Hughes also wrote to a colleague that Panchuk knew he was dealing with "unsavoury individuals," but that did not sway him in making Canada their home. 

Some Ukrainian-Canadians also knew their origins and strongly opposed their settling in Canada. 

"It is clear that Mr. Panchuk and his Association either forget the facts, that no Canadian could forget or feel that Canadians have already forgotten their sons who have fallen on the battlefields in Europe," said the Association of United Ukrainians in Canada.

"Ukrainian Division (Galicia) was part and parcel of the Hitler army. Our Canadian boys fought against them on the battlefields of Italy. Many Canadian sons remained over there, shot by the very ones that Mr. Panchuk would [like] your Department to bring to Canada," they said.

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