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B’nai Brith Demands Action, Not Words, After Nazi SS Veteran Celebrated in Canadian Parliament

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Yaroslav Hunka served in the 14th Waffen SS Division.

September 26, 2023

OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the Federal Government to restore public trust in our institutions after elected representatives feted a Nazi SS veteran in Parliament last week.

Canada’s wartime records remain shrouded in mystery. B’nai Brith demands Ottawa take this opportunity to finally open all Holocaust-related records to the public. Although Canada’s World War II policy towards Jewish immigration was, “none is too many,” our Government welcomed thousands of Nazis after the war.

Canadians deserve to know the full extent to which Nazi war criminals were permitted to settle in this country after the war. The Deschênes Commission Final Report – the only official investigation into this subject – remains largely redacted, impairing transparency and accountability.

B’nai Brith has previously issued a report to Parliament on this issue. Find it here.

Anthony Rota, as Speaker of the House of Commons, took responsibility for the debacle and has done the right things since. However, our Prime Minister must now show leadership by directly confronting this issue and demonstrating that Canada will no longer hide its Nazi past from its own citizens.

“Yesterday the Jewish people observed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, where we apologize and seek forgiveness for our past transgressions,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “But a true apology requires more than mere words, it requires the heartfelt desire to do better.

“B’nai Brith Canada has asked our government to do the right thing and open these records to the public. We cannot move forward as a country from Friday’s humiliating debacle without the government committing to finally opening its wartime records.”

B’nai Brith is closely monitoring developments and will continue its decades-long struggle to obtain justice for the victims of the Holocaust.