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Defunding the Myths and Cults of
Cold War Canada:
Ongoing state support for East European
émigré groups with deep fascist roots

(Collaborators, Crusades and Coverups in an era of “truth and reconciliation”)

Issue #70, Press for Conversion! (Spring 2021)
of the
Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
Read a summary of this issue            See articles on the state funding of fascist-linked groups

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Defunding Cold War Canada

Table of Contents

Canada’s anti-Red, Cold War propaganda in context
L.B.Pearson: Godfather of Cda’s Cold War on the new "Red" enemy
Pearson College and NATO’s United World Colleges
The CBC’s “Voice of Canada” --  Weapon of Cold War propaganda
‘Voice of America’ & the CIA’s ‘Radio Free Europe’ & “Radio Liberty’
L.B.Pearson: Groomed by King, St. Laurent & the ‘Big antiRed Machine'
Mackenzie King gave shocking praise for Hitler until the eve of war in 1939
Liberal immigration: "None is too many" and Too many is not enough
Why did King have such adoring admiration for Nazi Germany's dictator?
King loved Hitler’s hate speech against “Jewish international Bolshevism”

“Captive Nations” and their "Black-Ribbon-Day" crusade
The ignored historical context of “Black Ribbon Day” (Aug. 23, 1939)
“Captive Nations”: Nazi trope to CIA meme to Cold-War trump card
The “Captive Nations” conceit in Nazi propaganda
John Diefenbaker: Strong voice at the UN for “Captive Nations” bloc
The BRD campaign: Canada’s top Cold War propaganda export
The late Cold War context of the BRD crusade
Ongoing propaganda of the former "Captive Nations":
    (1) Canada’s anti-communism monument and (2) the Magnitsky laws

Far-right roots:
East European émigré groups in Canada & abroad

Estonian Central Council in Canada
   Estonia glorifies Nazi veterans as ‘freedom fighters’
Estonian World Council
Lithuanian Canadian Community and the Lithuanian World Community
   Lithuanian nationalists now have 'freedom' to glorify Nazi heritage
Latvian National Federation in Canada
World Federation of Free Latvians
Slovak World Congress and the Canadian Slovak League
Council of Free Czechoslovakia & Czechoslovak Nat'l Assoc. of Cda.

Ukrainian linchpin of Cda’s postwar, far-right diaspora
Krakow and Ottawa, 1940: "A Tale of Two Cities," and two UCCs:
(1) Germany’s Ukrainian Central Cttee. and (2) Canada's Ukrainian Canadian Cttee.

The Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations & World AntiCommunist League
Yaroslav Stetsko: Leader of proNazi Ukraine, 1941

State-funded centres of Canada’s Bandera cult and its Bandera youth
Roman Shukhevych: Assassin, terrorist, war criminal and cult hero

Getting them young: Instilling Ukrainian patriotism in children and youth
Plast recruited for Nazi’s Waffen SS Galicia; now recruits for Ukraine
From Chomiak to Freeland: “keep that flame alive”
Chrystia Freeland: “Accidental journalist” or groomed for the job?
Myron Kuropas: Downplaying Holocaust; Exaggerating Holodomor
Turning from same page: Freeland wrote for pro-fascist publications
Yuri Shymko: From Bandera youth leader, MPP & MP, to elder statesman
Lisa Shymko: In the footsteps of family, community & far-right, war heroes
Rubbing political shoulders with the ABN in Toronto

The struggle continues...                                            Abridged Index

Latvian National Federation
in Canada

By Richard

(Click here for a PDF to see this article as it appears in print)

Since its creation in 1948, LNAK has had the same political fixations as other émigré groups in Canada whose leaders also included war criminals and Nazi collaborators. Seeing Latvia as one of the many ethnic nationalities "enslaved" within the multicultural USSR, LNAK worked with profascist, Cold-War networks like the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations and the World AntiCommunist League. LNAK was also active in leading Canada’s "Captive Nations" movement and remains central to its Black Ribbon Day crusade.

Janis Niedra:
LNAK’s founding president was key Nazi collaborator

Aug. 22, 1943: Reich Deputy Minister Alfred Meyer (left) met Janis Niedra (right front) and other local officials in Daugavpils, Latvia's second largest city.

Niedra, who took part in executing Jews in 1941, became the Nazi's top
city official in Daugavpils

In July 1943, Niedra organized a mass Nazi rally of 20,000 in Daugavpils.

In 1951, he was welcomed to Canada where he helped create the organization which served Lithuanian
SS veterans in Canada.

In 1954, Niedra became the founding president of the Latvian National Federation in Canada which he helped lead until his death in 1969.

Although LNAK claims to hate communism and fascism, its first leader was a top Nazi collaborator. Janis Niedra (1908-69), who fled Latvia to safety in Germany and then to Canada in 1951, was LNAK’s first president in 1954,1 its vice president in 1961,2 its chair in 1963-693 and president in 1969.4

During the Operation-Barbarossa invasion the USSR in June 1941, when the Nazis entered the Latvian town of Tukums, they were aided by Janis Niedra, a former lieutenant in the preSoviet, Latvian army. Yakov Karasin, a local Jewish survivor from Tukums, said Niedra "legalized" Latvia’s proNazi "self defense" forces and reinforced them with ex-soldiers and police from fascist militias that were "ardent anti-Semites, nationalists, hating the Soviets."

This mass Nazi rally in Daugavpils,
July 4, 1943, with 20,000 people,
was organized by Janis Niedra

General Otto Drechsler, Latvia’s Nazi ruler,
addressed Niedra's mass rally, July 4, 1943.

This film of the parade and mass rally organized by Niedra, shows Latvians marching for Nazi bigwigs, and women
giving flowers to German officers
who give the Heil Hitler salute.

After rounding up all the Jews, some were forced into slave camps while most "women, children and old people" were shot and buried in "mass nameless graves." Karasin’s book names 350 Jews massacred in Tukums.5

This "Holocaust of Bullets" was repeated across Eastern Europe. Nazis and local fascists killed about 95% of Latvia’s 70,000-75,000 Jews.6 Communists, gypsies and other "undesirables" were also executed, bringing Latvia’s civilian death toll to 230,000. About 30,000 Soviet soldiers died during WWII to defeat Latvia’s ethnonationalist fascism.7 About 140,000 Latvians were soldiers in the Nazi’s Waffen SS.

At the Nuremberg trials, the USSR submitted 500 reports on the crimes of Nazis and their accomplices.8 The Soviets amassed Nazi files, scoured slave camps, gas chambers and mass graves, and gathered accounts from victims and perpetrators. In 1966, when publishing this data from Latvia, they exposed Niedra’s work for the Nazis and noted his 1951 escape to safehaven in Canada. Captain Benedict Zaharans, the Nazi’s Latvian army commander in Tukums gave eye-witness testimony of Niedra murdering Jews in 1941.9

Having proven his loyalty to Latvia’s Nazi "liberators," Niedra was made the top official in Latvia’s second largest city, Daugavpils (Oct. 1942 - July 1944).10  Of the 16,000 Jews there when the Nazis invaded, said survivor Sidney Iwens, "less than 100 survived."11

Niedra was the key organizer of a mass Nazi rally in Daugavpils, on July 4, 1943. Gen. Otto Drechsler, Latvia’s Nazi ruler, addressed the crowd of 20,000 from a stage festooned with swastikas and Latvian flags. Film of this rally shows Latvians marching for Nazi bigwigs, and women in folk dress giving flowers to German officers that are doing the Heil Hitler salute.12 

In August 1943, Niedra met the two top Nazi war criminals from the Ministry of Occupied Eastern Territories: Alfred Meyer and Alfred Rosenberg,13 a German-Estonian who led the ministry and was executed at Nuremberg in 1946.

After WWII, Niedra fled to Toronto where he met other Nazi collaborators, like Oskars Perro, a Latvian SS Obersturmführer and Iron Cross recipient. His books covered up Latvia’s role in the Holocaust. Perro and Niedra worked closely together to form the Latvian Union of Officers (LVA) to serve SS veterans. Their first meeting was in Toronto in 1951 but

in view of the still unfavorable position of some Western countries against the soldiers, especially the officers who fought against the Red Army—the then Western Allies—there were fears that the establishment and affiliation of the LVA could be detrimental to the personal security of officers.14

Although continuing to meet, these officers waited until 1954 to officially form the LVA. Niedra and Perro were among its founders. LVA’s goals included to "unite Latvian officers in the whole free world" and to "celebrate those who have fought and worked for the benefit of Latvia’s freedom."15 Canada’s LVA had a key role in creating this global network of antiSoviet Latvian veterans.16

In 1961, as LNAK’s VP, Niedra met Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and presented him with a "hand-painted scroll with the national flags and coats-of-arms of the 18 ethnic groups" in the Mutual Co-operation League (MCL). This anticommunist lobby group for "captive nations" urged Diefenbaker to deport Abraham Feinberg, the Lithuanian-American Rabbi emeritus of Canada’s largest Reform synagogue. The MCL opposed the cross-Canada speaking tour of Feinberg,17 who was chair of the Toronto Committee for Nuclear Disarmament.

"Honor for Diefenbaker," Ottawa Citizen, May 02, 1969, p.52.  This photograph and caption also appeared that day in the Windsor Star (p. 12) and Saskatoon's Star-Phoenix (p. 2)

In 1967, Niedra was among 13 Latvians, including five in Canada, named as war criminals by Simon Wiesenthal’s Vienna-based Centre for Jewish Victims of the Nazi Regime. Although Lester Pearson’s Liberal government  was informed, it did nothing.18

Two years later, Niedra, then LNAK president, made the news, not as a war criminal but for presenting former-PM Diefenbaker with a medal and scroll for aiding the fight to "liberate the Latvian people."19

In 1980, Weisenthal gave a new list of war criminals to Trudeau’s government but, again, to no avail.20 

Media and government allies

LNAK enjoyed keen media support throughout the Cold War.21  Even when Soviet trials exposed Latvian war criminals living in Canada, LNAK saw them as victims of communism. In 1982, Haralds Puntulis, a former police chief in Latvia (1941-44) was tried in absentia by the Soviets. "After 19 days of testimony from witnesses and the coaccused," Puntulis, who had lived undisturbed in Toronto since 1948, "was found guilty of the slaughter of 713 Jews, 28 gypsies and nine Communists."22 Canadian newspapers said that in 1941, Puntulis

and his men carried out the annihilation of all the Jews in the hamlets of Silmalas, Malta and Riebin; ... he directed the firing squad in the execution of the residents of Audrini; and ... after each salvo he shot those who still showed signs of life.23

One witness testified that Puntulis executed an "11-year-old Jewish boy" by shooting him "in the head." 

In reaction, LNAK’s president, T. Kronbergs, said such cases "automatically create a situation where" East Europeans defend the accused "whether he’s guilty or not because they feel insulted."  Jews also felt insulted since, as Wiesenthal said, "the typical Nazi in Canada lives free for many years ... and neighbors think he’s a nice old man."24

"Latvians who fought Soviet communism shouldn’t be regarded as
Nazi collaborators."

Linares Lukss

Lukss was president of the Latvian National Federation in Canada (LNAK), the leader of Canada's "Group of 7" (a network of far-right East European organizations), and secretary-treasurer of the International Black Ribbon Day Committee

By vilifying the USSR, papers diverted attention from LNAK’s Nazi past. Latvians were said to be either victims or heroes for fighting the USSR. LNAK’s Linares Lukss told the Deschênes Commission: "Soviets are trying to discredit East European immigrants, by feeding rumors about Nazi war criminals... in Canada." He said "Latvians who fought Soviet communism shouldn’t be regarded as Nazi collaborators." Soviet evidence on war crimes was derided as fake news that was "‘very intimidating, most unpleasant’ for East Europeans..., said Lukss."25 (Lukss was a key founder and leader of the Black Ribbon Day campaign.)

When the USSR asked Canada to extradite Puntulis, "the response was a firm no." Although Canada’s Geneva-Conventions law obliged it to search for war criminals and put them on trial, Canada said all Nazi war crimes were exempt. The Solicitor General of Canada, Bob Kaplan, said he would not "risk his political career on the prosecution of alleged war criminals living in Canada." Meanwhile, Canada's Justice Minister Jean Chrétien said "I don’t intend to introduce legislation in Canada for crimes committed 35 years ago in other nations."26

LNAK’s profascist friends/allies

Latvian National Federation in Canada’s delegate at a 1958 meeting in Mexico, Hugo B. Atoms,1 joined 50 others from five continents to help create the World AntiCommunist League (WACL). Their leaders included Lev Dobriansky, Taiwan’s Ku Cheng-kang, Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN) president, Yaroslav Stetsko,2 and retired Brazilian Admiral Carlos P.Botto, who supported Axis powers in WWII and "participate[d] actively in [Brazil’s] military coup of 1964."3

The ’ 1986 global ABN conference in Toronto assembled contras, mujahideen and far-right delegates from East Europe. The ABN’s Latvian delegate praised the World Federation of Free Latvians and LNAK’s Black-Ribbon-Day [BRD] efforts.4 This speaker, Martins Stauver, was a honorary, lifelong LNAK member and a long-time member of its council and board.5

LNAK has also joined other Russophobic, anticommunist émigré networks like the Baltic Federation of Canada, the Canadian Council for Free Europe, the Mutual Cooperation League, Canada’s Committee of Captive European Nations (Group of 7) and the International BRD Committee.


1. A ‘Secret’ CIA report listed Atoms as a potential recruit, Jul. 13, 1960.

2. Walter Dushnyck, "Groundwork Laid for Congress of World AntiCommunist Groups," Svoboda, Apr.5, 1958, pp.1-2.

3. Pierre Abramovici, "The World Anticommunist League: Origins, Structures and Actions," in Transnational Anti-Communism and the Cold War, 2014, p.119.

C.P.Botto, "Communist infiltration in Brazil," ABN Correpondence, May/Jun 1967, pp.9-10.

4. Latvian Activities in Cda 1980-85, ABN Correspondence, Mar-Apr 1987, pp.23-30.

5. Dace Aperane, "Active and productive life," Latvia in America, Jul. 21, 2019.


1. Jânis Niedra, Daugavpils U. http://

2. "Nehru on Side of Reds, Ethnic Group tells PM," Ottawa Citizen, Dec.20, 1961, p.4. 

3. LNAK history, p.48 

4. Author’s collection of news clippings, May 2, 1969.  http://

5. Yakov Karasin, Jews of Tukum city, 2002, p.34. (Note: In WWII, Karasin was one of 500,000 Jewish soldiers in the Red Army).  http://

6. Dovid Katz, "Baltic Movement to Obfuscate Holocaust," 2018, p.11. 

7. Vadim Erlikman, Poteri narodonaseleniia v XX veke: spravochni, pp. 21-35.

8. Trial of the Major War Criminals, 1949, "Exhibits of the Soviet Prosecution," pp. 170-186.   http://

9. A. Arklâns, J. Dzirkalis, J. Silabriedis, Vini Bez Maskas ("Them Without Mask"), 1966, pp.118, 159-62.  http://

10. Ibid., pp.160, 162.

11. Sidney Iwens, How Dark the Heavens: 1400 Days in the Grip of Nazi Terror, 1990, p.291.  http://

12. Daugavpilî notiek II Latgales dziesmu svçtk, ("Latgale Song Festival held in Daugavpils"), July 4, 1943. 

Film: "II Latgales dziesmu svçtki Daugav -pilî.1943.g.4.jûlijs." 

13. News/photo of Alfred Meyer with Janis Niedra, Aug. 22, 1943. 

14. Latvieðu virsnieku apvienîba ["Latvian Officers Assoc."], 1922-2012, 2013, p.18    http://

15. Ibid.

16. Kadet, No.1, 1967.  http://

17. "Nehru on Side of Reds..." op. cit..

18. Bulletin of Information, No.5, April 1967.  http://

19. Author’s collection ..., op. cit.

20. Jeff Ansell and Paul Appleby, "The War Criminal," Calgary Herald, Aug. 28, 1982, p.122.  http://

21. Author’s collection of news clips on LNAK (1947-91)  http://

22. Ansell and Appleby, op. cit., p.120.

23. Ibid., p.121.

24. Ibid., p.120-21.

25. "Soviets manipulate facts on Nazis, commission told," CP, Windsor Star, Jun.11, 1985, p.14.  http://

26. Ansell and Appleby, op. cit., p.120.

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Read the introductory article:
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Watch the COAT website
for news about....

  (1) an upcoming book
by Richard Sanders

with the
  working title...

The Grooming
of a Liberal
War Hawk
Chrystia Freeland

Stop Canadian government
funding of groups that
glorify Nazi collaborators

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