Justin Trudeau has described the Canadian parliament giving a standing ovation to a former member of the Waffen SS as “extremely upsetting”.
“This is something that is deeply embarrassing to the Parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians,” the prime minister told reporters today.
The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons, Anthony Rota, had introduced Yaroslav Hunka as “a Ukrainian Canadian war veteran from the Second World War who fought for Ukrainian independence against the Russians” and “a Ukrainian hero and a Canadian hero”.
During the Second World War, when Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union, some Ukrainian nationalists joined Nazi units because they saw the Germans as liberators from Soviet oppression.
Now 98, Hunka served as a member of the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, according to the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group.