(Breitbart) The Canadian government insists two rounds of standing applause for a 98-year-old Waffen-SS volunteer was a mistake borne of ignorance, meanwhile, Poland is moving to extradite the elderly trooper over potential war crime charges.
— The Jewish Voice (@JewishVoice) September 24, 2023
The Polish government is taking steps to examine the case for extraditing a 98-year-old former SS trooper from Canada, it has said in a letter to the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation.
State Minister for Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek wrote to the President of the Commission to examine whether it held documents indicating that Canadian resident Yaroslav Hunka was wanted for crimes against Polish and Jewish people relating to his time as a soldier with the Waffen-SS in the Second World War.
If there is evidence against Hunka, Czarnek wrote, this would constitute grounds for Poland to apply to the Canadian government to extradite the man for prosecution.
Yaroslav Hunka, a Ukrainian who moved to Canada after the Second World War, hit major public prominence in the past week after he was introduced to the Canadian Parliament during a special session attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a “Ukrainian hero, Canadian hero” who had “fought [for] Ukrainian independence against the Russians”. This warm introduction led to Hunka enjoying two standing ovations, including whoops and cheers from the floor.
What was not mentioned at the time, however, is that Hunka fought “against the Russians” as part of a Nazi unit in the Waffen-SS recruited from ethnic Ukrainians. But critics pointed out this information was available from a simple Google search, and indeed that it is common knowledge that those fighting against the Soviets in Eastern Europe at the end of the Second World War would generally be doing so in collaboration with Nazi Germany.
Nazi ideology saw Poles as subhuman and the war crimes of the SS and German occupation in Poland, including ethnic cleansing and the German death camp Auschwitz near Krakow are well documented. The 14th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division which Hunka is said to have fought with has been accused of several atrocities including massacres of civilians.
The speaker of the Canadian Parliament has insisted Friday’s incident was an accidental oversight and that he alone was responsible for the error, in what may be a bid to clear the Trudeau government of responsibility of putting Ukrainian President Zelensky in a position where he found himself applauding a former Waffen-SS member. Canadian opposition politicians have challenged this account, saying it is inconceivable that Trudeau’s office would have been unaware of the plan to introduce Hunka at the special parliamentary session in advance.
Karina Gould, the Liberal house leader who was photographed holding hands and smiling with Hunka, also shuffled blame directly onto the House Speaker’s shoulders today, saying he had lost the support of MPs and should “do the honourable thing” and resign. Trudeau has also tried to limit discussion of the “deeply embarrassing” episode, making implicit it plays into “Russian disinformation”.