The government of Belarus has accused Canada of deliberately attempting to whitewash Nazism and rewrite history. In response, Minsk has demanded an official apology from Ottawa for praising a Ukrainian man who served in Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS forces during World War II as a “hero.” The incident occurred during the visit of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the House of Commons in Canada, where Yaroslav Hunka, a former member of the SS 14th Galician Division, was given a standing ovation.
The Foreign Ministry of Belarus expressed outrage and deep offense at the footage of honoring Hunka, stating that it was a quintessence of Canada’s longstanding policy. Belarus, which lost every third citizen in the Second World War, felt particularly affected by the gesture. The ministry released a statement on Monday demanding an official apology from Canada.
However, in response to the incident, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office has distanced itself by throwing Speaker Anthony Rota under the bus. They claimed to be unaware of Hunka’s past and stated that they regretted the decision to publicly call him a “Ukrainian and a Canadian hero.” Rota himself claimed that he only became aware of more information after the incident, causing him to regret his decision.
Belarus believes that the cynical attitude towards the memory of Nazi victims is not accidental. The government views it as part of a long-standing consistent policy of Canada and some Western countries to cover up and whitewash Nazi criminals and rewrite history. The Belarusian foreign ministry also highlighted that their requests for assistance in the investigation of the genocide of the Belarusian population during the Great Patriotic War and the post-war period have gone unanswered by the Canadian authorities.
As a result, Belarus awaits an official apology from Canada’s leadership and calls for international and public organizations, associations, and foundations commemorating the victims of World War II to give a proper legal and moral assessment of the incident. They believe that such recognition is crucial in order to prevent the normalization of Nazi ideology.
Belarus has been vocal about its stance against any efforts to glorify or downplay the crimes committed during World War II. They have consistently called for justice and recognition of the suffering endured by their population during the war and the post-war period. The government’s demand for an apology from Canada reflects their commitment to preserving and honoring the memory of those lost in the fight against Nazism.
In conclusion, the incident involving the honoring of a former member of the SS division ‘Galicia’ in the Canadian Parliament has sparked outrage and offense in Belarus. The government has accused Canada of whitewashing Nazism and rewriting history, and they are demanding an official apology from Ottawa. Belarus emphasizes the need for a proper assessment of the incident by international organizations in order to prevent the normalization of Nazi ideology.