Polish Ambassador to Canada Witold Dzielski demanded an apology for the appearance in the Canadian parliament of a 98-year-old veteran of the Galicia Division, Jarosław Hunka. After the speech of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in the parliament, the latter was presented as a war hero by the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Roth.
Dzelsky published his statement on the Web on September 25.
It should be noted that on September 22, Rota honored Hunka during Zelensky's visit. After the Ukrainian leader's address to the Canadian Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Commons presented Hunka as a war hero.
He's Ukrainian a hero, a Canadian hero, and we thank him for all his service," Rota said.
Applause of Canadian parliamentarians to the veteran of the Galicia Division Yaroslav Hunko / Screenshot
Poland demands apology for veteran of Galicia Division in Canadian Parliament
A few days later, Dzelsky demanded an apology for the veteran of the Galicia Division in the Canadian Parliament. He called Hunka a member of "Ukraine's infamous World War II military formation, responsible for the murder of thousands of Poles and Jews."
"Poland is the best ally that Ukraine has, but it will never agree to whitewash such villains. As Poland's ambassador to Canada, I am waiting for an apology," Dzelski wrote on the Web, adding a photo in which Zelensky and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau applaud Gunka.
Post by the Ambassador of Poland to Canada Witold Dzielski
Canada apologizes to Poland
The Speaker of the Canadian Parliament, Anthony Rota, apologized for inviting veteran Yaroslav Hunka to a meeting with Zelensky, The Guardian reports.
According to Roth, he later learned "additional information" about the veteran of the Galicia Division, hinting that its fighters during World War II were allegedly involved in the Holocaust.
Later, I found out more information [about this person – ed.], which makes me regret my decision. In particular, I want to offer my deepest apologies to Jewish communities in Canada and around the world. I accept full responsibility for my actions," said the speaker of the Canadian parliament.
Rota added that inviting Hunka was his personal decision, which neither Trudeau nor other parliamentarians knew about.
Was the Galicia Division Involved in the Murder of Poles and Jews?
During 1943-1945, the Galicia Division, or the 14th Grenadier Division of the SS Galicia Front-Line Forces, was part of the German Waffen SS and was a military rather than a punitive formation. Its creation was announced by the German occupation authorities on the territory of Eastern Galicia. The division was not part of the structure of the general SS (Allgemeine SS), which took part in the Holocaust and other punitive operations in the occupied territories, but was part of the so-called Waffen SS and was intended for combat operations at the front next to the Wehrmacht.
Neither the Galicia Division, nor the OUN, nor the UPA, nor the Nachtigall and Roland battalions and their members were recognized as criminal after the Second World War.
Last week, Zelenskyy visited the United States and Canada, after which he spoke about the assistance that Ukraine will receive.
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