University of Alberta's Attempt to Cover Up Its Role in Glorification of Nazi Collaborators and Historical Falsification

– Peggy Morton –

The University of Alberta is trying to distance itself from its significant role in the glorification of war criminals and Nazi collaborators. After it was revealed that the university accepted an endowment in the name of Yaroslav Hunka, the 98-year old veteran of the Waffen-SS Galizien division who received two standing ovations in the Canadian Parliament on September 22, the University issued a "Statement on the Disposition of an Endowment Fund" on September 27. The statement says that the University has reviewed a $30,000 endowment fund that existed in the name of Yaroslav Hunka, which had been provided in 2019 by Hunka's family to the University of Alberta's Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS).

"After careful consideration of the complexities, experiences, and circumstances of those impacted by the situation, we have made the decision to close the endowment and return the funds to the donor. The university recognizes and regrets the unintended harm caused," the statement reads.

The University ingenuously says it "regrets the unintended harm caused" by accepting the donation from a member of the SS. This suggests that it would not knowingly accept such a contribution. Further, it says:

"On behalf of the university, I want to express our commitment to address anti-Semitism in any of its manifestations, including the ways in which the Holocaust continues to resonate in the present. The university's core values include a commitment to academic integrity and to inclusivity in its research, teaching, and community-building efforts."[1]

In other words, it does not even recognize the murderous activities of the Waffen-SS Galizien against not only the Jews, but also the Poles, the Roma, Soviet prisoners of war, partisan resistance fighters and others. To suggest that the donation from the Hunka family was an exception with regrettable unintended consequences, or that it has "a commitment to academic integrity and to inclusivity in its research, teaching, and community-building efforts" is untrue on a colossal scale.

The CIUS and its project, the so-called Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine (IEU) have accepted many donations from known members of the Waffen-SS Galizien. The University has highly praised these donors and those in whose name the endowments have been made. Even more significantly, the CIUS attributes its very conception and formation to Peter Savaryn, a member of the Waffen-SS Galizien whose Order of Canada the Governor-General has just decried and apologized for, also presumably unintended.

Savaryn was a Chancellor of the University of Alberta, from which he received an honorary doctorate. He was also president of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta and vice-president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

The National Post reported: "In a statement, Rideau Hall said it regretted the award given to Peter Savaryn in 1987. Savaryn was Chancellor of the University of Alberta and President of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta in the 1980s. He also served with the Waffen-SS, a voluntary Nazi unit in Ukraine during the Second World War. [...]

"Savaryn died in 2017 and as part of the constitution of the Order of Canada his award was automatically rescinded. He was also awarded Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals, and Rideau Hall is considering whether those can be rescinded."

To say the University of Alberta or the Government of Canada did not know who Peter Savaryn was is a stretch of the imagination because they did know. This goes to the heart of the problem of how Canada enlisted the Nazi collaborators to further the Cold War launched by the Anglo-American imperialists to destroy the Soviet Union and establish U.S. world hegemony.

Volodymyr Kubijovyc (circled) at recruitment ceremony for Waffen-SS Galizien, 1943-44.

One of the first projects of the CIUS was to sign a contract to launch the so-called Encyclopedia of Ukraine with Volodymyr Kubijovyc, the chief Ukrainian collaborator in occupied Poland who worked at the highest level with the Nazis to establish the Waffen-SS Galizien. Kubijovyc was head of the Ukrainian Central Committee (UCC) which collaborated with the Nazis in the occupation of Poland. Chrystia Freeland's grandfather was editor-in-chief of the newspaper of the UCC, known for its pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic content.

According to its description of itself, "The Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine is the most comprehensive work in the English language on Ukraine, its history, people, geography, economy, and cultural heritage. This site was created and is updated/maintained by a team of scholars and editors from the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) (University of Alberta/University of Toronto). Hundreds of specialists from around the world have contributed and continue to contribute to the Encyclopedia.

"This site is an expanded and updated version of the five-volume edition (1984-93) of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine that was prepared by the CIUS in cooperation with the Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies and the Shevchenko Scientific Society (NTSh) in Western Europe under the direction of Professor Volodymyr Kubijovyc (editor-in-chief in 1978-1985) and Professor Danylo Husar Struk (editor-in-chief in 1985-1999), and published by the University of Toronto Press. The current Encyclopedia team consists of Dr. Marko R. Stech, Director of CIUS Press and Scholarly Publications, Dr. Serhiy Bilenky, Consulting Editor, Tania Plawuszczak-Stech, Senior Editor, Dr. Larysa Bilous, Associate Editor, and a team of subject editors. This site was designed by Jaroslaw Kiebalo; Walter Kiebalo acted as consulting designer. The former members of the IEU team include Roman Senkus (formerly Managing Editor) and Andrij Makuch (formerly Senior Manuscript Editor). Maps were scanned and edited by Bohdan Skrobach and Jaroslaw Kiebalo. The work of the Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine in Ukraine is made possible thanks to the organizational support of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

"The Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine is a work in progress. Many new entries need to be added, and many of the existing entries need to be expanded and updated in order to reflect the many changes that have occurred and continue to occur in Ukraine and Eastern Europe and in order to incorporate previously inaccessible information. The editorial staff and subject editors will be collecting and processing information systematically from a variety of sources and providing it to the international public in the form of a reliable, constantly revised and updated Internet publication. Unfortunately, the CIUS is able to dedicate only a small part of its annual budget to the project, and the editorial team's ability to update and expand the Encyclopedia's database is seriously limited by budgetary concerns.

"The Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine is an ambitious and costly undertaking whose goal is to produce and maintain the best and most authoritative electronic source of information in English about Ukraine. In order to achieve this goal, the project needs financial support from sponsors and users. Become an IEU supporter today! All donations will be gratefully acknowledged, and receipts for tax purposes will be issued. The CIUS invites and encourages donors to create endowments designated for research in particular fields of study featured in the Internet Encyclopedia."

While the University of Alberta is attempting to be ingenuous by stating that it has carefully considered "the complexities" involved in its decision to return the Hunka family's donation, the University of Toronto is silent. Both are thinking they can hide the aim of the encyclopedia and its role in the revision of history to justify war crimes, crimes against humanity, and its glorification of Nazi collaborators. In fact, it is also known that Canada's Deputy Prime Minister collaborated on the encyclopedia, something which is downplayed today as if it was a youthful endeavour of no consequence.

An article by Andrew Lawton, published by True North notes:

"When Chrystia Freeland was a young student, she contributed to an encyclopedia that played down the 1st Galician Division's Nazi connections. In 1986, when she was 18, Freeland worked on the second volume of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

"The encyclopedia covers a range of subjects through a Ukrainian lens, including the Second World War. It frequently references the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a volunteer Nazi-commanded army established in 1943 to aid the Germans' efforts against the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. [...]

"The Encyclopedia of Ukraine was based largely on the original Ukrainian work of Volodymyr Kubijovyc, a Ukrainian nationalist and Nazi collaborator whose antisemitism and fondness for Adolf Hitler are well documented. Kubijovyc was one of the founders of the 14th SS unit.

"While Kubijovyc died in 1985, he's still listed as the editor of the volume to which Freeland contributed, which was published in 1988.

"The encyclopedia calls the 14th SS division 'Division Galizien,' referring to the Waffen's efforts in Galicia. While the main entry for the unit lies in the encyclopedia's first volume, it is referenced several times in the second volume, for which Freeland wrote.

"The encyclopedia opts to refer to 'German' forces rather than 'Nazi' forces, despite the unit being under SS command and not a regular military unit. It also attempts to frame the 14th SS as a predominantly Ukrainian effort that set the stage for Ukrainian independence. In fact, the project was spearheaded by high-ranking Nazi Otto Wächter with the support of Heinrich Himmler.

"'...a Ukrainian volunteer formation, the Division Galizien, was created as part of the German armed forces on the Soviet front; it was supported by the Ukrainians not as a German unit, but as the core of the armed forces in a future independent Ukraine.' One passage reads.

"'By spring 1944 the front was in Western Ukraine, and in July the Division Galician, a Ukrainian formation in the German armed forces created in 1943 and conceived by the Ukrainian organizers as the nucleus of the future army in an independent Ukraine, was largely destroyed at the Battle of Brody,' reads another.

"The encyclopedia makes no reference to Nuremberg's finding that the SS was a criminal organization. Also absent is the accusation of 14th SS Galizien involvement in the killing of 500 Polish civilians in the village of Huta Pieniacka.

"Freeland's contributions to the Encyclopedia of Ukraine came through a summer research placement she did with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, funded by the Government of Canada Summer Employment/Experience Development program.

"A CIUS newsletter says Freeland 'wrote entries' for the encyclopedia under the supervision of Prof. Bohdan Krawchenko, later the director of the CIUS. Her name also appears among dozens of contributors in the volume's front matter."

In the aftermath of the ovations given by Parliament to Hunka, various organizations have demanded that the government report on the full extent of the Nazi collaborators given safe haven by the Canadian government after World War II, including revealing the full report of the 1986 Deschênes Commission (officially known as the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals in Canada). Minister of Immigration Marc Miller has said officials are looking into declassifying parts of the Deschênes Commission report to make it public in a "less redacted" format. He said "Canada has a really dark history with Nazis in Canada ....There was a point in our history where it was easier to get in as a Nazi than it was as a Jewish person. I think that's a history we have to reconcile."

If Minister  Miller wants to know who the Nazi collaborators are, he need go no further than the CIUS list of contributors to the encyclopedia and then add the names of all the Canadian prime ministers and officials who put them into positions of power and privilege in Canada.

But, of course, liberal apologetics are liberal apologetics. The article by Lawton confirms how Freeland's spokesperson tried to sanitize her role in the encyclopedia. The spokesperson confirmed Freeland's participation in the project but claimed she had no Nazi sympathies.

"'As a young woman, the deputy prime minister contributed to the writing of the Encyclopedia of Ukraine Vol. II. She worked exclusively on four entries in this text: hayfields, horsebreeding, the jute-hemp industry, and insurance,' the spokesperson wrote.

"'During this time, the deputy prime minister had no interaction with Volodymyr Kubijovyc. She categorically condemns Nazism, fascism, and far-right extremism in all its forms.'

"Freeland was 'super bright and super skilled,' Krawchenko said from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where he's serving as a senior research fellow at the University of Central Asia.

"Krawchenko said that despite the volume being based on Kubijovyc's work and crediting him as editor, much of its content was original and written with concern for 'academic integrity.'

"For his part, Krawchenko saw the recognition of Hunka in the House of Commons as a 'colossal tragedy.' 'Why anybody would single out that individual to be a Ukrainian hero is beyond imagination,' he said. He added that celebrating a veteran of this unit undermines the 'historical reckoning' Ukrainians have had to undergo regarding their history in the Second World War.

Yaroslav Hunka is recognized in the House of Commons,  September 22, 2023

"'That unit in history deserves to be discussed. The legacy of the Second World War in Ukraine is something that Ukrainians appreciate,' Krawcenko said. 'Who in the world would have taken that initiative? I was active in the Ukrainian community. Nobody in their right mind would have done this.'"[2]

Clearly, the Nazi collaborators are claiming they had no part in any of this which is also a colossal lie. What all this illustrates is that with the help of the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta, Nazi collaborators have been able to worm their way into the highest echelons of power, as is the case with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) which Chrystia Freeland seems to have integrated into decision-making on the conduct of Canada's collaboration with the U.S./NATO proxy war in Ukraine. A UCC delegation even met with Charles III during his official visit to Canada. Members were also in the gallery, on their feet loudly applauding when Hunka was presented as a "hero." To say nobody knew who he was is ridiculous.

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 19 - November 2023

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