The Canadian Parliament’s praise for Yaroslav Hunka, who served with the Waffen-SS Galicia Division, has created quite a stir. As it turns out, the maternal grandfather of deputy prime minister Chrystia Freeland edited a pro-Nazi newspaper. Freeland, Trudeau, Speaker Anthony Rota and others doubtless knew about Hunka’s past all along. After all, Nazis living in Canada is not a new story.
Back in 1997, CBS’ “Sixty Minutes” exposed “Canada’s Dark Secret,” thousands of Nazi war criminals in Canada, living peacefully under their own names. They included Helmut Oberlander, who served in Special Detachment 10a of Einsatzgruppe D, “a mobile killing unit of the Nazi SS that murdered tens of thousands of Jewish and other civilians in southern Ukraine and the Caucasus.” As host Mike Wallace noted, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) planned to investigate more than 1800 SS members, “presently living in Canada who are still receiving their German military pensions.”
After the Hunka love-in, Robert Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, tweeted that the Russians were on the side of the Nazis between 1939 and 1941. This came to the attention of Taylor C. Noakes, an “independent journalist and public historian,” who writes for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Noakes called Rae “historically illiterate,” but readers had cause to wonder.
It was true, Noakes wrote, “that the Soviet Union signed a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany in 1939.” That was the Nazi-Soviet Pact, also known as the Stalin-Hitler Pact, signed on August 23, 1939. The dictators divided up Europe between the National Socialist and Stalinist regimes, so aggression pact would be more accurate.
“The Soviet Union did not participate in the Holocaust,” Noakes contends, “nor assist Nazi Germany in any of their military campaigns.” In reality, Hitler’s forces invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and on September 17, Stalin’s forces invaded Poland. Stalin’s Soviet Union, thus aided Hitler’s military campaign against the Poles, and there was more going on during the Pact.
The USSR founded and controlled national Communist parties through the Communist International, known as the Comintern. In the countries Hitler invaded, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France, the Communist parties did all they could to facilitate the Nazi invaders. British agent Malcolm Muggeridge, a liaison with Charles de Gaulle’s Free French forces, wrote that during the Pact, the Communists were full-blown collaborators with the occupying Nazis. See the author’s magisterial Chronicles of Wasted Time, now available in a single volume.
During the 1930s, Jewish communists from Germany and Austria took up residence in the Soviet Union. During the Pact, Stalin handed hundreds of Jews directly to the Nazis at Brest-Litovsk. The Soviet commander read out the names and transferred the Jews to Nazi SS officers. For a first-hand account see Under Two Dictators: Prisoner of Stalin and Hitler,by Margarete Buber-Neumann.
If any Jews regard this transfer as open collaboration in the Holocaust it would be hard to blame them. After the war, some of the Nazi officers may have found safe haven in Canada, hardly the only refuge.
During World War II, Kurt Waldheim served in the Sturmabteilung or SA, also known as Sturmtruppen. Waldheim also served in an intelligence unit known for transport of civilians to slave labor camps, deportation of Jews to death camps, reprisal execution of hostages, and massacres of partisans and civilians in the Balkans.
This record escaped revelation when Waldheim was tapped to head the United Nations, where he served from 1972-1981. The truth only emerged in the mid-1980s, when the Nazi veteran ran for president of Austria. The U.S. Department of Justice duly barred Waldheim from entering the United States.
Comics quipped that the former UN boss suffered from “Waldheimer’s Disease,” which made him forget he was a Nazi. A Waldheimer’s Variant is now spreading willful ignorance of German National Socialism, the most-documented totalitarian and anti-Semitic movement of modern times.
Those stricken with the Variant can call National Socialism “right wing” or “far right.” To cure that nonsense, see The Road To Serfdom by F.A. Hayek, who fled Hitler’s National Socialist regime. See also Paul Johnson’s account of Hitler’s rise in Modern Times.
The Waldheimer’s Variant can cause politicians and journalists to brand peaceful protesters, children and grandchildren of Canada’s WWII veterans, as dangerous “far right” types. Those suffering from the Variant are even capable of proclaiming Yaroslav Hunka, as Speaker Rota put it, “a hero, and we thank him for all his service.”
As Canadian-born writer Saul Bellow said, “A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”