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Endowments to University of Alberta in Name of Members of Waffen-SS and Other Organizations with Nazi Links

The endowment received by the University of Alberta in the name of Yaroslav Hunka in the amount of $30,000 is now being returned to his family.[1] But this is not the end of the unsavoury business. Many other endowments have been identified. Dr. Per Anders Rudling, Lund University has researched these endowments and has estimated that endowments from or in the name of members of the Waffen-SS are worth more than $1 million. Clearly, there was nothing "unintended" about accepting a donation from Yaroslav Hunka.

One of the largest endowments to the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta amounts to around $430,000 (as of 2012) in the name of chief Nazi collaborator Volodymyr Kubijovyc.

The Canadian Foundation for Ukrainian Studies (CFUS), the funding arm of the CIUS, has a General Pavlo Shandruk and Olha Shandruk Endowment Fund. This fund was established in 2011 with a donation from the Brotherhood of Veterans of the First Division UNA, i.e. the Waffen-SS Galizien. "The purpose of the fund is to support scholarly research that deals with Ukrainian military history, in general, and/or with the involvement of Ukrainians in World War II, in particular. For the first ten years, this annual grant is to be issued to the IEU (Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine) Project at CIUS for such work. Subsequently, CFUS may continue directing the annual grant to the IEU Project or may identify another recipient that satisfies the fund's criteria."

The Peter and Olya Savaryn Award was established by the Savaryns. He was a proud member of the Waffen-SS Galizien given the Order of Canada.

The Roman and Halia Kolisnyk Endowment Fund, and Levko and Marika Babij Memorial Endowment Fund were both established in 2011, in the names and to honour the memory of two of the most prominent Ukrainian Waffen-SS veterans in Canada. There are thematic conditions: the latter is earmarked for "the study of twentieth-century Ukrainian history, especially Ukraine in World War II."

Roman Kolisnyk (b. 1923) was the editor of the journal of the Ukrainian Waffen-SS veterans Visti Kombantanta. The CIUS Press Release stated, "Roman Kolisnyk belongs to a generation of Ukrainian emigrants who, faced with the horrors of war and communist terror, had no choice other than to fight back and then leave their homeland."[2]

Levko Babij (1927-2010) was Canadian president of the veterans association of the Galizien Division. The CIUS stated that the Babij Memorial Endowment Fund "supports programs and grants related to the study of twentieth-century Ukrainian history, especially Ukraine in World War II. . . . In 1944 [Babij] joined the Galicia Division, later the 1st Ukrainian Division of the Ukrainian National Army. . . . He was Canadian national president of the Brotherhood of Veterans of the 1st UD UNA from 1986 to his death in 2010."

Edward Brodacky, 1926-2007, "in 1944 joined the Ukrainian 'Galicia' Division, the bulk of which surrendered to the British army at the end of World War II," the CIUS Newsletter said.

Although the CIUS shut down the site which listed the endowments, Alberta-based Progress Report[3] with the assistance of concerned scholars and the Student Union at the Univerity of Alberta, uncovered the following additional endowments from members of the Waffen-SS Galizien in the Internet Archives and by searching the financial reports of the CIUS:

- In the name of Petro Malofij, now worth $150,000. It provides funding for students in Ukraine's Sniatyn district to study at Chernivtsi Fedkovych National University. The Government of Alberta matched the donation with twice the amount.

- A $74,000 endowment in memory of Nestor Peczeniuk was donated by his family in December 1991. The endowment is now worth $87,000.

- Sylvester Remeza donated $100,000 to establish the Remeza Family Endowment Fund to support research and publication related to the work of Ukrainian poet and writer Bohdan Lepky.

- The 2003 CIUS newsletter acknowledges a $20,000 donation from the Rev. Marian and Dr. Roman Curkowskyj Foundation to assist in publishing an Internet Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Dr. Curkowskyj was drafted as a medic in the German Army in 1945, but upon his insistence was transferred to the 14th Waffen "to fight the Soviet Red Army and liberate his homeland," according to the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation.

- The $28,700 Michael and Mary Yacyshyn Endowment Fund was created in September 2013. Michael Yacyshyn is described in the 2014 CIUS newsletter as having "fought for Ukrainian independence" during the Second World War.

- In March 2016, a $100,000 endowment was established by the estate of Dr. Demitrius Todosijczuk to fund CIUS scholarships, awards or bursaries, research grants, and scholarly publications. Todosijczuk, according to Rudling, joined the Waffen-SS in July 1943, leaving to conduct his medical studies in Giessen, Germany, in March 1944.

In addition, the search found donations from members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army, both known for their war crimes and crimes against humanity.

- The Celestin and Irena Suchowersky Endowment Fund was established by Celestin in September 1999 with $50,000 to fund MA and PhD students from Ukraine's Bukovyna region studying in Canada. It's now worth $100,000. Per Anders Rudling informed Progress Report that Celestin Suchowersky was a member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) who partook in the negotiations that created the 14th Waffen-SS.

- In December 1998, a $50,000 endowment was established in the name of Dmytro Kupiak, who from 1943 to 1945 fought for the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the military wing of Stepan Bandera's Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) faction. The endowment provides scholarships for high school graduates in Busk, Ukraine, to study at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Nicknamed "Klei," Kupiak was a UPA commander, whom the Soviet Union attempted to have extradited in 1964 for allegedly massacring 200 people in a village near Lviv, according to an October 20, 1971 Globe and Mail article. Kupiak ran for the federal Tories in the 1972 election.

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

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