How did 338 Members of Parliament give a standing ovation to a Nazi?
Canada’s Parliament gave two standing ovations to a Ukrainian man who fought for a Nazi SS division. It’s become an international embarrassment that has forced the Speaker Anthony Rota to resign.
You can see Speaker Rota doing some quick on the spot math in his head.— Stephen Taylor (@stephen_taylor) September 24, 2023
“from the second world war who fought… against the Russians… … …” pic.twitter.com/tMiwVBrlu8
The incident could have given Russia the opportunity to assert, once again, its brutal and illegal invasion was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine. Instead, the Kremlin called the Canadian government careless in its memory of the Second World War.
“Such sloppiness of memory is outrageous,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “Many Western countries, including Canada, have raised a young generation that does not know who fought whom or what happened during the Second World War. And they know nothing about the threat of fascism.”
Indeed, the incident raises many questions:
- What is this SS division for whom Ukrainian fought?
- How did a man fighting for a unit commanded by the Nazis end up living here?
- And why are there still two monuments to Nazis in Canada?
Once again, we recommend this episode of CBC’s Front Burner where our favourite journalist, David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen, breaks down the story for us.
David says, “So it is basic history, but a lot of Canadians don’t know their basic history. If he fought against the Russians during the Second World War, that means he was fighting on the side of the Nazis. The Russians were allied with the U.S., Canada, Britain and the various allied powers to defeat Nazi Germany.”
“You know, what Putin is saying [about de-Nazifying Ukraine] is obviously wrong. The invasion is wrong, but you don’t go, okay, well, Ukrainian Nazis are okay because now, Ukraine is fighting the Russians. You could say, for instance, Osama bin Laden fought the Russians in Afghanistan in the early days and we’re not erecting a statue towards him or a monument towards him. So I think totally two separate issues. And these Jewish groups and the Poles, they have valid concerns here. To put it bluntly, Canada fought against the Third Reich, fought against the Nazis. So it is mind boggling that an SS soldier was honoured by our MPs, by our Parliament,” he adds.