Canadian Jewish organizations and social media critics are expressing strong criticism toward the Canadian Parliament for giving a standing ovation to a man associated with the Nazi regime during an event featuring the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the country.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Canadian nonprofit focused on Holocaust education, expressed their dismay on X (formerly Twitter): “FSWC is deeply troubled by Canada’s Parliament applauding a Ukrainian veteran who served in a Nazi military unit during World War II, known to be involved in the mass persecution of Jews and others. An apology and clarification are warranted.”
Video footage and photographs depict a moment of jubilation in the Canadian Parliament on Friday during President Zelenskyy’s visit to Ottawa. During this event, Canadian lawmakers also paid tribute to Yaroslav Hunka, a 98-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who had served in the First Ukrainian Division, also recognized as the Waffen-SS Galicia Division. This division functioned as a paramilitary arm of the Nazi regime under the Schutzstaffel organization.
House Speaker Anthony Rota, with the presence of Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Justin Trudeau, praised Yaroslav Hunka, 98, as a ‘Ukrainian hero.’ The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons has since issued an apology for the acknowledgment of an individual with ties to a Nazi unit during World War II, in a session attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.