St. Ignatius of Loyola

This is St. Ignatius of Loyola Chapel in Montreal, where my parents were married, where I was baptized, where I attended Loyola High on my first day, where family funerals have taken place. It was painted by our friend Stew Jones and given to me by E. for my birthday last night. What do you think?

My latest: kick the Nazi out

They weren’t an army division. They were actually a criminal organization.

That was what the Nuremberg Trials called the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS: Criminals, not soldiers, who found themself in the spotlight on Parliament Hill on Friday when former 14th Waffen member Yaroslav Hunka was invited to the House of Commons by Speaker Anthony Rota and received a standing ovation as “a Ukrainian and a Canadian hero” who fought for “Ukrainian independence against the Russians.”

Of course, there’s much more to the SS division’s sordid past than that. The 14th Waffen Grenadier Division murdered many, many Jews and Polish civilians. For this, they were applauded by Heinrich Himmler, who was the leader of the Nazi Party and the architect of the Holocaust.

In a speech, Himmler said of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division: “Your homeland has become so much more beautiful since you have lost — on our initiative, I must say — those residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia’s good name, namely the Jews … I know that if I ordered you to liquidate the Poles … I would be giving you permission to do what you are eager to do anyway.”

Which they were. Which they did. For their homeland, which was Ukraine.

One such atrocity took place at the Polish village of Huta Pieniacka. According to those who were there, civilians were locked in barns, which were then set on fire. Those who tried to escape were killed.

On another occasion in the spring of 1944, 2,000 women and children had sought refuge in a monastery in the Polish village of Pidkamin, which is now part of Ukraine. The SS Grenadiers captured it and murdered hundreds.

Canada’s Deschenes Commission later concluded that it was unfair to call everyone in the 14th Division a war criminal. But the fact is that the commission never travelled to Europe to interview its victims.

The Nuremberg prosecutors who did found that the Grenadiers were led by men who had participated in the mass murder of Jews and civilians. And were indeed homicidal maniacs.

As Esprit de Corps magazine concluded: “Over the decades, as Holocaust historians publish more details about the atrocities of those who served in the SS Galicia Division, it has become clear to critics that the Deschenes commission was simply a whitewash of a military unit that subscribed to and served the ideology of Adolf Hitler and SS leader Heinrich Himmler.”

And one of them — one of the Nazis — was praised in the House of Commons this week. Our Church of Government defiled by the presence of a man who subscribed to the ideology of murder, Naziism.

The fact that he was there was bad enough. But this writer had a different question: What the hell was he doing in Canada in the first place?

The answer: He came here with 2,000 other Nazis. And the Canadian government welcomed them with open arms, too.

Flight Lt. Bohdan Panchuk was their sponsor. Writes historian and Postmedia journalist David Pugliese: “Panchuk was able to get members of the 14th Waffen SS Division Galicia into Canada by lying about their past.

Members of the unit had surrendered to Allied forces and were being held in a camp in Italy. In an attempt to hide the SS connection, the unit had changed its name in the last few days of the war to the First Division Ukrainian National Army. ”

To get them into Canada, Panchuk depicted them as anti-Soviet fighters. If Canadian officials had bothered to probe deeper, they would’ve found the truth. In fact, most of the men had SS tattoos under their left arms.

Ukrainians who lived in Canada knew who they were. They raised the alarm. But nobody listened to them. The 2,000 Nazis thereafter started to arrive throughout the 1950s and got to work whitewashing their past.

Which brings us to now. And the main question.

The main question is not how this Nazi came to be in the House of Commons. By now, we all know he was invited there by the moron who is the Speaker of the House of Commons, who the Liberals and Conservatives refused to fire.

No, the more important question is this: How did this Nazi get to Canada in the first place — and why is he still here?