Minister Freeland's Grandfather,
"It takes a village to raise a Nazi" (old African proverb, slightly modified)
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This issue (#68) deals with the mass internment of Ukrainian Canadians, this community's left-right split and the mainstream racist, xenophobic anti-communism of progressive "Social Gospellers" (like the CCF's J.S. Woodsworth) who were so captivated by their false beliefs that they carried out the genocide of First Nations and turned a blind eye to government repression during the 20th-century "Red Scare."
Below is the advertisement that appeared on the same page as the conclusion of the article by Chrystia Freeland and David Marples, "Memory of Ukraine's famine emerges from official historic amnesia," Ukrainian Weekly, August 28, 1988, pp.2, 13.
Although the official narrative states that Freeland's journalistic career began in her early 20s when she suddenly started writing for some of the world's largest corporate newspapers while she was in Ukraine, the reality is that Freeland had started along this path as early as 1986. In that year, at age 18, Freeland got a Canadian government-funded summer job with the University of Alberta's Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS). The CIUS, a part of the University of Alberta in Edmonton had been created through Alberta government funding in 1976.[i] Freeland's job involved writing articles for a CIUS print project called the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.[ii] Kubijovych, who was her grandfather's former wartime boss, was the mastermind behind this encyclopaedic effort to rewrite Ukrainian history. He had just died in 1985, the year before Freeland started writing articles for his encyclopedia.
After leading Ukrainian collaborationists throughout WWII, and overseeing Chomiak's job running carefully-selected news through the Ukrainian media pipeline, Kubijovych took control of another colossal task ‑ the routinisation of the collective Ukrainian memory. That this encyclopaedic national-memory project suffered from some glaring lapses, such as Holocaust amnesia, is not surprising considering Kubijovych's central role in rallying Ukrainians to put their bodies, hearts and minds into supporting the Nazi's war efforts. Contributing to this exercise, in what sometimes amounted to institutionalised memory loss, seems to have been Freeland's very first step into the paid world of wordsmithing.
Then, in the late 1980s, at about age 20, just before heading off to Harvard for her BA, Freeland worked for The Ukrainian News[iii] in Edmonton. This was the second, ultranationalist stepping stone in her journalistic career. For many decades, this Ukrainian-language weekly, has been a strong print-media vehicle for strident ultranationalist Ukrainian perspectives in Canada.[iv] In her work for this paper, she must have been guided by its editor and publisher, Marco Levytsky. He has led this Canada-wide Catholic Ukrainian newspaper since 1982, when he took over its editorial helm from Freeland's Ukrainian dido, Michael Chomiak.[v]
For the 35 years since then, Levytsky has used this newspaper to promote his community's brand of patriotism for Ukraine, its support for Ukrainian WWII veterans and the acute Cold War politics for which they should be famous. Some historians have critiqued Levytsky's repeated reliance on forged documents (i.e., fake news) to whitewash Ukrainian complicity in the Holocaust.[vi]
Levytsky has also embroiled Ukrainian émigrés in controversy by writing articles and editorials supporting such prominent members of their community as Myron Kuropas. Professor Kuropas has, over many decades, continued to fixate on ruminations that Jews played a major role in victimising Ukrainians before, during and after WWII. Despite editorial support from Levytsky at The Ukrainian News, Kuropas has been accused of antiSemitism.[vii] As an early stepping stone on Freeland's career path, working for The Ukrainian News likely helped to confirm her already deeply ingrained perceptions about Ukrainian politics.
A third stepping stone in Freeland's early journalistic career was The Ukrainian Weekly, a US-based newspaper catering to the interests of Ukrainian nationalists throughout North America. Freeland's byline appeared in this newspaper in 1988 and 1990 when she was a BA student in "Soviet Studies" at Harvard. As might be expected, her contributions followed the paper's extremely antiSoviet/anticommunist approach. While constantly poking the finger at Soviet flaws and blindspots, this periodical has helped the nationalist Ukrainian community to turn a blind eye from the horrors of its Nazi collaborationist past. Besides featuring a bi-monthly column by Myron Kuropas, The Ukrainian Weekly has relied heavily on news material supplied by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). The newspaper has literally used thousands of stories fed by RFE/RL[viii] which was the CIA's main media juggernaut throughout the Cold War, and continues to pump out vast amounts of US-government propaganda.
The RFE/RL was created in the late 1940s as a massive CIA propaganda program. Its website now proudly claims credit for having spread "news and information to audiences behind the Iron Curtain" which "played a significant role in the collapse of communism."[ix] After 25 years of secret CIA financing, other US government agencies took up that responsibility. With a current budget of over $100 million per year, the RFE/RL remains the largest weapon in the US government's propaganda arsenal against former Soviet states. Nowadays, this mighty Wurlitzer is funded by a combination of US government sources and private monies from such oligarchs as George Soros and his Open Society Foundations. The RFE/RL has not only been a cash cow for pushing US-sponsored propaganda, it has also played a significant role in funding many journalistic careers.
Like other aspiring mainstream journalists writing about Ukrainian nationalism and other issues critical of the Soviet Union, Freeland also received a helping hand from the RFE/RL. In 1990, during the Soviet Union's last days, Freeland helped conduct an interview for Radio Liberty with a founder of Ukraine's separatist movement, "Rukh."[x] The interview ‑ conducted for Radio Liberty at the University of Alberta's CIUS ‑ was initially published in The Ukrainian Weekly. The interview was later edited and packaged as a chapter in a book coordinated by the RFE/RL.[xi]
The Ukrainian Weekly regularly advertised books glorifying the Waffen SS Galicia, and memorialised elders in their community whose journalistic endeavours during the war had assisted the Nazi war efforts, including staff from Krakivs'ki visti and Dilo.
The conclusion of an article by David Marples and Chrystia Freeland in 1988 appeared on the very same page of The Ukrainian Weekly as an ad for a book glorifying the heroes of the Waffen SS Division Galicia.[xii] (See that black-and-white ad in the left column, below.) This was the same Nazi military division that her grandfather's two newspapers had passionately urged Ukrainians to join in 1943.
The book, called Fighting for Freedom: The Ukrainian Volunteer Division, with 128 pictures, is one of many proNazi books written by Richard Landwehr which romanticise the Nazi SS. Ads for Landwehr's book glorifying the Waffen SS Galicia appeared in at least sixteen other issues of The Ukrainian Weekly in 1988.[xiii]
Note the Waffen SS
Galician symbol (a lion with three crowns)
in each of the following images.
The third image below is a public monument commemorating
the Waffen SS Galicia in Oakville Ontario:
[i] Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies
[ii] Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Newsletter, November 1986, p.14.
Chrystia Freeland, "My Country &
My People," December 12, 2014.
[iv] "During the Cold War, in its reporting on Soviet history," says Swedish-American historian Per Anders Rudling, "Edmonton's Ukrainian News followed the standard, shrill narrative found in much of the Ukrainian émigré press."
Per Anders Rudling, personal communication with Richard Sanders, January 17, 2017.
To illustrate this, Rudling cites a 1983 article from Ukrainian News which, in describing the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s, spoke of the “diabolical plans of the red Muscovite fascism.”
visti, November 16, 1983, p.2.
"Falsifying World War II History in Ukraine,"
May 8, 2011.
Karyn Ball and Per
Anders Rudling, “The Underbelly of Canadian Multiculturalism: Holocaust
Obfuscation and Envy in the Debate about the Canadian
Museum for Human Rights,” Holocaust Studies, Vol.20, Issue 3, 2014.
"Collaboration and or Resistance: The OUN and UPA during the War,"
Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Shared Narrative Series: Conference on Issues
Relating to World War II, Potsdam, June 27-30, 2011.
[vii] John Paul Himka, Brama, March 23, 2005
Michael Slotznick and
Leonard Grossman, "AJC board members comment on columns," Ukrainian
September 21, 1997.
A google search of the archives of the
Ukrainian Weekly yields about 6,250 results from back issues of
the newspaper which mention RFE/Radio Liberty. Most of these appear to
be examples of the Ukrainian Weekly reprinting RFE/RL materials.
[x] Initial publication of this two-part interview with Dmytro Pavlychko by Chrystia Freeland and David Marples states that it "was conducted for Radio Liberty" and was published in The Ukrainian Weekly "with RL's permission."
David Marples and Chrystia
Ukrainian SSR politics,"
August 5 and 12, 1990.
This book was edited by long-time RFE/RL staff person, Roman Solchanyk, who later went to work for the RAND Corp., a private military-intelligence organisation created by Douglas Aircraft Co. to conduct long-range planning of weapons and intercontinental war strategies. RAND is perhaps most famous however for having employed Daniel Ellsberg, who became a famous whistleblower for releasing the RAND's "Pentagon Papers" in 1971.
David Marples and
Chrystia Freeland, "Memory of Ukraine's famine emerges from official
historic amnesia," Ukrainian Weekly,
August 28, 1988, p.13.
[xiii] Ads for Fighting for Freedom: The Ukrainian Volunteer Division, appeared in at least 16 issues of Ukrainian Weekly in 1988: January 12; April 24; May 22, 29; June 26; July 15; August 7, 14, 21, 28; September 4, 18, 25; and October 2, 9, 16.