Canada and Canadians are deeply embarrassed. The applause a former Nazi received in the House of Commons has left us all red-faced. Michael Harris writes:
Yesterday Justin Trudeau apologized for unwittingly honouring a former Nazi in Canada’s Parliament.
He apologized to the Jewish community, the Ukrainians, the Roma and everyone else who suffered from the scourge of Adolf Hitler and his mad-dog fascism. But it was a day late and strangely hollow.
Harris is usually supportive of Trudeau. But not this time:
Justin Trudeau’s no-show in Parliament on the day House Speaker Anthony Rota resigned in disgrace, is the story here. It marks a new low in the PM’s political career, even though he took every question in question period today.
Instead of standing up to the barrage of insults, demands and denunciations that he knew was coming, he sent House leader Karina Gould into the fray to take the heat. In a voice sometimes reduced to a whisper, Gould did her best to take one for the team.
Gould admitted that honouring someone in Parliament who had fought with an SS unit against the Russians in the Second World War was shameful and unforgivable.
There is a story behind how the 98 year old Ukrainian got to the House of Commons:
Hunka’s own son was the person who contacted the Speaker’s constituency office to suggest that his father should be invited to Parliament for Zelenskyy’s speech.
For one thing, Hunka was Ukrainian-born. For another, he had fought the Russians as a teenager. On paper, it must have looked good — widely separated generations standing up to the Russian Bear. Except, of course, for the Nazi thing.
The law of unintended consequences claimed a few more victims. Hunka’s son wangled the invitation to Parliament during Zelenskyy’s visit to garner praise for his father’s war record, and to show common cause with the embattled Ukrainian president.
Instead, Hunka has now been outed as a Nazi collaborator, who was part of a unit that swore allegiance to Hitler. The standing ovation he received in Parliament after being recognized by then-Speaker Rota has turned into something very different. He may now face extradition to Poland and retroactive justice for alleged war crimes.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies alleges that Hunka’s unit “was responsible for the mass murder of innocent civilians with a level of brutality and malice that is unimaginable.”
Even Zelensky himself now faces major headaches over the bungled guest list that has captured the world’s attention. Remember, Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said he invaded Ukraine to rid it of neo-Nazis. Canada’s face plant has empowered him.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Image: TheTimes Of Israel