Minister Freeland's Grandfather,
Michael Chomiak,
the Nazi's Top
Ukrainian Propagandist:

Fake News,
Mighty Wurlitzers,
Historical Amnesia and the
(or Bear) in the Room

By Richard Sanders, editor, Press for Conversion! magazine of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade, March 22, 2017

"It takes a village to raise a Nazi" (old African proverb, slightly modified)

1- Introduction

2 - The Liberal Government's Warm Embrace of Ukraine's Nazi Collaborators

3 - Historical Amnesia and the Blinding Effects of Propaganda

4 - The Nazis as Victims?  Sure, just Blame the Russians!

5 - Canada needs Truth and Reconciliation, not Denials and Obfuscation

6 - Historical Denial among Canada's ultranationalist Ukrainians

7 - Michael Chomiak, The Ukrainian Central Committee and its Nazi Newspapers

8 - Aryanisation and the "Mighty Wurlitzer"

9 - The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and its Fascist Roots

10 - Getting them Early: Building the ultraNationalist Cause among Children and Youth

11 - The Freeland-Chomiak Parallels in Advocacy Journalism

12 - Was Freeland an "Accidental Journalist," or Groomed for the Job?

13 - In 1989, Freeland was Declared an "Enemy of the Soviet State"

14 - A Chomiak-Freeland Fixation on Jewish Oligarchs running the Kremlin

15 - Freeland's Kremlin-Oligarch Theory goes Global with Jewish Plutarchetype

16 - Institutionalised Confidence Scams: An Open Conspiracy of Oligarchs, Politicians and Journalists

17 - Escaping the War Racket starts with Seeing the Elephant

18 - Just Following Orders?  Which Orders?

19 - Is there a Bear in the Room?  Kill it!

20 - The Collective Care and Feeding of Russophobia

21 - The Need for Truth and Reconciliation

Ukrainian War Veterans Associations

as "National Member" organisations

of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress

Between 2010 and 2016, the UCC's online web listing of national member groups included two Ukrainian-Canadian veterans groups:

(1) the “Society of Veterans of Ukrainian Insurgent Army–UPA" (led by Stepan Bandera) and

(2) the “Brotherhood of Veterans 1st Division UNA [Ukrainian National Army] National HQ." This latter name is a euphemism adopted in the very last few days of WWII. Its troops never fought using this name but changed it only when it became obvious the war was over.  This Ukrainian division actually fought as the Nazi's 14th Division Waffen SS Galicia. 

As can be seen from the Internet Archive, these two veterans groups were removed from the UCC's online membership list sometime between May 8, 2016 and Oct 7, 2016. This occurred not long after my research (in Captive Canada) drew attention to the fact that their names were on the UCC's member list.  See Internet Archive of the UCC webpage listing national members organisations.  The symbols below are (1) the flag of Bandera's UPA and (2) the crest of the Waffen SS Galician Division:

The above UCC "National Members" list is from June 8, 2016. 
























































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Captive Canada:
Renditions of the Peaceable Kingdom at War, from Narratives of WWI and the Red Scare to the Mass Internment of Civilians
Or, how we learned to stop worrying, keep calm and carry on loving the myths that define and confine us.

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."

The main thesis is captured here:
"The Canada Syndrome,
a Captivating Mass Psychosis"

Part 9
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and its Fascist Roots

Since the war, the dominant voices of obfuscation and denial regarding the well-documented history of Nazi-Ukrainian collaboration have been closely affiliated with, and often led by, an organisation called the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.[i] Its creation in 1940 was actually facilitated by the Liberal government. Their explicit goal in orchestrating the creation of this umbrella organisation was to rally all anticommunist Ukrainians into one body in order to squash the then-powerful influence of leftwing Ukrainians whose forebears had come to Canada during earlier waves of migration. We should not forget that communism was illegal at that time and was officially targeted for repression in Canada throughout most of the 20th century.

After WWII, despite opposition from the Canadian Jewish Congress and progressive Ukrainian socialists and communists, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) supported the Liberal government in welcoming thousands of Ukrainian veterans who had volunteered to support the Nazi cause. The UCC and its "strictly anti-Communistic" views were "very much strengthened by the new mass immigration (1945-1951), when more than 35,000 Ukrainian Displaced Persons arrived from Europe."[ii] These militantly patriotic Ukrainians ‑ like Michael Chomiak and his family ‑ swelled the ranks of existing Canadian émigré groups.  They also formed veterans' associations, were assisted by the Canadian government in founding and sustaining ultrarightwing media platforms, and took leadership positions in social, religious and political organisations that still comprise the backbone of the UCC.

Over the decades, the UCC benefited from the dedicated activism of Ukrainian patriots like Michael Chomiak and his granddaughter Chrystia Freeland. Chomiak was involved in a variety of ultranationalist groups linked to the UCC. In the biographical notes compiled by the Alberta Archives, Chomiak is described as having "served on the boards of many Ukrainian organizations." His personal files, now housed in those archives, include materials on the UCC, as well as numerous of its member groups.[iii]

However, not listed in the archive's biography of Chomiak was any reference to his role as a highly-respected figure among various Ukrainian WWII veterans' associations in Edmonton including the Waffen SS Galicia.[iv] Until just last summer, this association of Nazi SS soldiers was openly listed on the UCC website as one of its national member organisations.[v] The Ukrainian SS is still given a prominent place of honour at some UCC events. For example, at UCC Edmonton's annual commemoration of the Holodomor in 2016, a Ukrainian WWII veteran stood behind the speaker's podium holding the infamous Waffen SS flag.[vi] 

The UCC has even lobbied the government "to make changes to Canada's War Veterans Allowance Act by expanding eligibility to include designated resistance groups such as OUN-UPA."[vii] The UPA or Ukrainian Insurgent Army, is another member group of the UCC.  It too was a fascist, and extremely racist, antiSemitic military formation.  Its leader, Stepan Bandera is still revered by those who ally themselves with his faction of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, i.e., the OUN(B). (See its logo, at right.) Like the Waffen SS Galicia, it too collaborated with the Nazis and was involved in the mass murder of Jews, Poles and Soviets.[viii]  In the trial of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg, testimony was submitted from Abwehr Colonel Erwin Stolze that both leaders of the OUN -- Andriy Melnyk and Stepan Bandera -- were "German Agents." (The Trial of German Major War Criminals, February 11, 1946, p.252.) 

In 1940, the OUN split into two factions, the OUN(B), led by Bandera, and the OUN-M, led by Melnyk (See the latter's logo, at right.).  Both organisations were fascist, antiSemitic and extremely anticommunist. Both factions established their own organisations in Canada that worked under the banner of the government-supported UCC.  During the war, the German authorities had also worked with both OUN factions, although they preferred the Melnykite's of Kubijovych's Ukrainian Central Committee.  The Nazi's perceived that the OUN(M) was more manageable and willing to follow their directives than the OUN(B). 

During the first two years following the Nazi invasion of Ukraine (June 1941-June 1943), the Nazis massacred about 500,000 Jews in Eastern Galicia and 200,000 in Volhynia. Although this represented 90% of the Jewish population in these areas when the Germans arrived, almost a million Ukrainian Jews were lucky to escape to the USSR with the retreating Soviet Army when the Nazi invasion began.  Taking part in the mass murders which occurred during the early weeks of the Nazi invasion, were special militia units created by the OUN(B).  These units collaborated with Wehrmacht in carrying out pogroms against Jews between June 22 and the end of July 1941. 

When the Nazis occupied Lviv on June 30, 1941, the OUN(B), declared Ukraine's independence and posted these notices all around the city (see image at left).  The notice stated in part:

Do not throw away your weapons now. Take them in your hands. Destroy the enemy.…

"People! Know! Moscow, Poland, the Hungarians, the Jews are your enemies. Destroy them!

"Know! Your leadership is the Leadership of Ukrainian Nationalists, is the OUN. Your Leader is Stepan Bandera. Your goal is an Independent United Ukrainian State. Your path is the path of the Ukrainian National Revolution, the path of armed struggle, the path of the OUN.

"Glory to Ukraine!  Glory to the Heroes!   Glory to the Leader![ix] 

Pogroms to kill Jews began the next day and a vivid description of them has survived.[x]

As an outspoken promoter of ultranationalist Ukrainian politics, Freeland has not only carefully avoided any public reference to her grandfather's wartime propaganda work for the Nazis, she has also steered publicly clear of the whole issue of Nazi-Ukrainian collaboration in general. 

Freeland's effective, high-profile activism on behalf of her Ukrainian community has not gone unnoticed by the UCC.  In fact, the UCC has often used its publications, events and internet presence to draw prideful attention to the key milestones in Freeland's career. She is now the highest-profile representative of the UCC and the extremely nationalist Ukrainian political brand that it represents. As such, Freeland has gladly offered her services to be a figurehead in Toronto's huge Ukrainian parade,[xi] and has been the keynote speaker and moderator at some of the UCC's largest recent events.[xii]

UCC president Paul Grod is someone who Freeland fondly describes as a "friend."
[xiii] He is among those UCC leaders affiliated with organisations that count Stepan Bandera among their greatest national heroes.  Freeland too considers Bandera someone worth commemorating.  She has described him as a "western Ukrainian partisan leader ... who led a guerrilla war against the Nazis and the Soviets and was poisoned on orders from Moscow in 1959...." She also noted that in "eastern Ukraine," where many ethnic Russians live, "the Soviet portrayal of Bandera as a traitor still lingers."[xiv]

The CIA, which was happy to employ Ukrainian fascists like the Banderites to continue their armed struggle against the USSR for several years after WWII ended, described Bandera as a "leader ... and symbol of the most violent, twentieth century, western Ukrainian political movement: the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists [OUN], which in late 1942 and early 1943 formed the Ukrainian Insurgent Army [UPA]."[xv] Another formerly-secret CIA document summed up Bandera's OUN(B) faction, by saying it:

"is based on principles ... such as dictatorial rule, veneration of the leader, blind fulfillment of instructions, and intolerance of contrary opinion. Totalitarian tendencies are evident in that organization's efforts to control every aspect of émigré life, in its unbridled use of slander and calumny, and in frequent use of threats and outright terror."[xvi]

Canadian Banderites and their organisations have dominated the UCC's leadership for some 20 years. The OUN(B) in Canada is organised primarily through the League of Ukrainian Canadians (LUC), whose publication Homin Ukrainy (Ukrainian Echo) is published in Toronto.[xvii]

Between 1960 and 2013 the hub of the ultranationalist Ukrainian community in Toronto was the
Ukrainian Cultural Centre (83-85 Christie St.).  It housed the offices of the Ukrainian Echo and the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada.  Here is a photo from a performance at their Cultural Centre in Toronto.  Note that a large portrait of Stepan Bandera is used as a stage backdrop:





The LUC's major national affiliates include the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women, the Society of Veterans of the UPA and the the Ukrainian Youth Association. [xviii] The latter is basically Canada's Bandera youth association, a scouting organisation (similar in military structure and appearance to the one set up by British imperialist Lt.Gen. and Baron, Sir Robert Baden-Powell)

A leading figure of the Bandera youth association is UCC president Paul Grod.  In 2013, when Grod was a key speaker at the Ukrainian Youth Association's 30th triennial meeting in Etobicoke Ontario, he posed front and centre with about 100 uniformed representatives of the Bandera youth who gathered from across Canada. 

In the group photo (above) Grod and company were flanked by portraits of Queen Elisabeth and Stepan Bandera.
[xix]  Other photos from this collection show smiling youth holding meetings under a portrait of OUN(B) chairman Yaroslav Stetsko, who was Bandera's right hand man.[xx]  After Bandera's death, Stetsko led the OUN(B) between 1968 and 1986.  Stetsko also led a CIA-supported, fascist organisation called Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations between 1946 and 1986.[xxi]

In 2012, the OUN(B)'s youth organisation commemorated an anniversary of chairman Stetsko.  Photographs of this event show uniform-wearing Ukrainian-Canadian children marching in formation reverently carrying Stetsko's portrait.  Other children in the formation are shown carrying Canadian and Ukrainian flags, and the red and black battle flag of Bandera's army, the UPA.

Yaroslav Stetsko's 1941 autobiography summed up some of OUN(B)'s extremist beliefs about their prime enemies, the Jews and communists. Their fascist ideology closely coincides with the Nazi ideologies promulgated in Krakivs'ki visti. Here is an excerpt from Stetsko's autobiography which illustrates his endorsement of Nazi methods for "exterminating Jewry in Ukraine":

"I consider Marxism to be a product of the Jewish mind, which, however, has been applied in the Muscovite prison of peoples by the Muscovite-Asiatic people with the assistance of Jews. Moscow and Jewry are Ukraine's greatest enemies and bearers of corruptive Bolshevik international ideas. I ... fully appreciate the undeniably harmful and hostile role of the Jews, who are helping Moscow to enslave Ukraine. I therefore support the destruction of the Jews and the expedience of bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine, barring their assimilation and the like."[xxiii] (Emphasis added.)

The OUN(B)'s Bandera youth movement has branches across Canada but they also exist in Australia, Argentina, Germany, the UK, the US and Ukraine.  These national branches have regular international meetings. For example in 2009 their World Executive Committee met in Munich, Germany.  They were preparing for the 8th World Meeting of youth affiliates of the OUN(B) which was held in Vancouver in 2010 to coincide with the Winter Olympics.

The Munich meeting was timed to coincide with the 100th birthday of Stepan Bandera on October 17, 2009.  On that day Bandera youth joined with other Ukrainians who had made the pilgrimage to march to Bandera's tomb at Waldfriedhof.  At this solemn event wreaths and flowers were laid in the presence of Ukrainian religious leaders. Toronto's Baturyn Marching Band was also there. (See photos at left and above.)  For fifty years, this Ukrainian Youth Association band has been performing at Ukrainian festivals and events across Canada, and in the US and Europe .

On the evening of the march to Bandera's tomb, they held a large event to commemorate Bandera's 100th birthday celebrated by youth groups from various countries which performed patriot Ukrainian songs to honour their nation, their leader and their cause.  Among them were the Baturyn band and the Bandera movement choir from Canada, the Prolisok Youth Ensemble (See photo at right, with the large portrait of Bandera as the stage backdrop. Click any of these three photographs to see the Google's translation of the website of Germany Bandera youth movement which hosted the international meeting in 2009.

Most of those involved in the OUN(B)'s Bandera youth association are likely unaware that their revered leaders were ardent supporters of, and deeply complicit in, the mass murder of Jews, Poles and communists.  Many young Banderites would likely be shocked to hear such facts and might therefore reasonably respond by categorically denying the information as "fake news." 

They might even allege that anyone making such "allegations" had been duped by the Russians.

(Continue reading this article)

(The wartime photo at left shows Ukrainian children with swastika flags and a Hitler poster welcoming a parade of Nazi soldiers.)

Sources and Notes

[i] Although it claims to represent all Ukrainian Canadians, the UCC has only ever been the umbrella organisation for those ultranationalist, anti-communist members of the diaspora. There is a major split between the government-supported UCC and those Ukrainian Canadian organisations that support progressive social-democratic, socialist and/or communist views.

Richard Sanders, "Left-Right Camps: A Century of Ukrainian Canadian Internment" and "Glorifying Ukrainian-Canadian Veterans of OUN/UPA Terrorism," Press for Conversion!, Captive Canada, Spring 2016, pp.44-49, 52-53.


[ii] This quote comes from a fascist postwar monthly newsletter that was published in Britain and distributed internationally. It was the official voice of the Supreme Ukrainian Liberation Council (UHVR); the faction of the Organization of the Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) led by fascist Stepan Bandera; its armed wing, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA); and the Ukrainian "underground" movement which waged a violent, armed insurgency war against the Soviet Union into the 1950s.

Ukrainian Information Service, July-August 1951.

The following declassified "Secret" CIA document outlines the post-WWII history of the Agency's close working relationship with the above mentioned Nazi-linked organisations: UHVR, OUN, UPA and "the underground."

Kevin C Ruffner, "Cold War Allies: The Origins of CIA's Relationship with Ukrainian Nationalists," Fifty Years of the CIA, 1998.

[iii] After his death in 1983, many of Chomiak's files were donated to the Government of Alberta Archives. Files in the Chomiak fonds include those pertaining to the Ukrainian Canadian Committee (renamed Ukrainian Canadian Congress in 1989), as well as many groups linked to this anti-communist umbrella organisation, such as the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association, Plast, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, Ivan Franko School of Ukrainian Studies and the Council for Ukrainian Community Organizations for the Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Ukrainian Archival Records at the Provincial Archives of Alberta: An Annotated Guide, p.15.

[iv] A 1978 book published by the Ukrainian War Veterans Association (Edmonton Branch) notes that on November 22, 1964, Michael Chomiak was the keynote speaker at a banquet for the Ukrainian Organisation of Nationalists (OUN), the Ukrainian War Veterans, the League for the Liberation of Ukraine (a Banderite group), the Bratsvo UNA (i.e., the veterans of the Waffen-SS Galicia), Plast and SUM, the Bandera youth organization of the OUN(B). This 1978 event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Canadian association of Ukrainian Sich Riflemen, which had been a unit in the Austrian Army during WWI.

 Orest Windyk (editor), Ukrainska Stritriletska Hromada Edmonton, 1928-1978, 1978, p.147.

Thanks to Per Anders Rudling for drawing this publication to my attention and for translating the details above from Ukrainian.

[v] Between 2010 and 2016, the UCC's online web listing of national member groups included two Ukrainian-Canadian veterans groups: (1) the “Society of Veterans of Ukrainian Insurgent Army–UPA" (led by Stepan Bandera) and (2) the “Brotherhood of Veterans 1st Division UNA [Ukrainian National Army] National HQ." This latter name is a euphemism adopted in the very last few days of WWII. Its troops never fought using this name but changed it only when it became obvious the war was over.  This Ukrainian division actually fought as the Nazi's 14th Division Waffen SS Galicia.  As can be seen from the Internet Archive, these two veterans groups were removed from the UCC's online membership list sometime between May 8, 2016 and Oct 7, 2016. This occurred not long after my research (in Captive Canada) drew attention to the fact that their names were on the UCC's member list:*/

[vi] To many, the Waffen SS Galicia symbol on this flag is as recognisable as a Nazi swastika. During WWII, these two symbols were often displayed together. The blue flag emblazoned with the infamous symbol of 14th Waffen SS Galician Division can be seen here on the Facebook page of NDP MP for Edmonton-Strathcona, Linda Duncan, November 26, 2016. 

There are hundreds of examples online showing use of this Waffen SS Galicia symbol at Nazi rallies, parades, and in wartime posters and notices.  A few examples of these images can be seen here.

[vii] "Ukraine's President Recognizes Ukraine’s Freedom Fighters," UCC media release, February 3, 2010.

[viii] Per Anders Rudling, "The OUN, the UPA, and the Holocaust: A Study in the Manufacturing of Historical Myths," The Carl Beck Papers, November 2011.

[ix] Nationalist placard posted in Lviv on 30 June 1941 incites pogroms

[x] Stanisław Różycki described attacks on Jews in Lviv in June and July 1941

[xi] "2013: Ukrainian Canadians: speaking out on the issues," Ukrainian Weekly, January 19, 2014.

[xii] Freeland was the keynote speaker at the UCC's 25th triennial conference in September 2016.

"First Day of Historic XXV Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians Concludes," September 30, 2016.

The UCC website contains about 100 separate webpages with congraulatory references to Chrystia Freeland and her achievements.

[xiii] Chrystia Freeland tweet, March 24, 2014.

When Chrystia was banned from travelling to Russia in 2014 so too was Paul Grod. In saying she was proud of this she referred to Grod as her "friend."

[xiv] Chrystia Freeland, "Ukraine rifles its history for heroes, Financial Times, June 13, 2008.

[xv] Grzegorz Rossolinski, Stepan Bandera: The Life and Afterlife of a Ukrainian Nationalist: Fascism, Genocide and Cult, 2014.

[xvi] This declassified "SECRET" letter was written to A.N. Abajian, US Department of State, from CIA Deputy Director, Plans. Subject: "Yaroslav STETSKO aka Wasyl Darkiw," July 1, 1957, p.3.,%20YAROSLAV_0092.pdf

[xvii] In a declassified "SECRET" document detailing Project QRDYNAMIC (a CIA "covert action" project targeting the USSR using Ukrainian nationalists), the CIA listed this newspaper, Toronto's Ukrainian Echo, as a publication of the OUN(B). 

Major Ukrainian Political Organizations, August 3, 1971.

[xviii] About LUC, At the Forefront of Ukrainian Issues

[xix] Here is a photo of Paul Grod (sitting front and centre) at this Bandera youth organization meeting in Etobicoke Ontario, March 5, 2013. This group memorialises Stepan Bandera and the OUN(B) which he led. 

A whole album of photographs from that youth conference can be seen here:

[xx] This photograph and the ones immediately before and after it (in the gallery link below), show a portrait of Stetsko on the wall overlooking the youth in their meetings.

[xxi] After his death, the ABN was led by his wife Slava Stetsko (1986-2000).  She also led the OUN(B) between 1991 and 2003.

[xxii] The photos also show children carrying flags of the Ukraine and the battle flag of the OUN(B)

"100th anniversary of OUN-B chairperson Yaroslav Stetsko" (translation)

[xxiii] Yaroslav Stetsko, "My Biography," July 1941. (Translated by Karel Berkhoff and Marco Carynnyk)

See the original document here

Stetsko also denounced Jews in this document

Zynovii Karbovych [Iaroslav Stets’ko], “Zhydivstvo i my,” ("We and Jewry"), Novyi shliakh, 8 May 1939, p.3. 

See the original document here: