Minister Freeland's Grandfather,
"It takes a village to raise a Nazi" (old African proverb, slightly modified)
Here is a photo of
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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."
Let's look more closely at that chapter in Chystia Freeland's family history that she has always redacted from the glowing accounts of her grandfather's inspiring wartime life. When the Soviet Red Army entered Ukraine in 1939, Freeland's Ukrainian grandfather (or dido) escaped to a safe haven for Ukrainian ιmigrιs in Krakow, the capital of German-occupied Poland. During the war, Michael Chomiak worked on at least two Nazi-created Ukrainian-language periodicals: a daily newspaper called Krakivs'ki visti (Krakow News) and a weekly, Kholmska zemlia (Cholmer Land). But Chomiak did not merely pen fake news stories to feed the voracious appetite of these organs of the Nazi regime's propaganda machine. Listed as the chief editor for these newspapers, his duties included liaising with Nazi press officials, and managing the office which produced, printed and distributed proNazi Ukrainian publications across Europe.
Canada's foreign minister also knows that throughout WWII her beloved dido answered directly to Volodymyr Kubijovych, who was chief shareholder of the Ukrainian Publishing House and president of the Ukrainian Central Committee. This Committee was a quasi-governmental Ukrainian organisation that operated within the Nazi's General Government. Under the protective wing of the Third Reich, this committee had sole responsibility for coordinating all official Ukrainian relations with the German authorities. The Committee's main offices were based in Krakow. Not coincidentally, they were located in the same building as the Abwehr, the Nazi's military intelligence agency.
Kubijovych was the most powerful Ukrainian in Nazi-controlled Europe. He led all of the Committee's negotiations and agreements with the Nazi government that ruled Poland with an iron fist. As such, Chomiak's boss, Kubijovych, was the Ukrainian point man responsible for maintaining contact with Hans Frank, Hitler's personal lawyer, who was appointed to rule as governor of the Nazi's General Government. In 1946, Frank ‑ also rightly known as "The Butcher of Poland" ‑ was executed by the international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg.
By the end of the war, with Chomiak still at its helm, the circulation of the Ukrainian community's flagship paper, Krakivs'ki visti, had tripled and was churning out some 22,400 copies per day. For five years, the Nazis had used this newspaper to build much-needed Ukrainian support in the monumental war to liquidate their common foe, the much fabled Judeo-Bolshevik conspirators, who supposedly plotted from their Russia headquarters in Moscow's Kremlin to exploit and kill the poor innocent people of Europe.
Krakivs'ki visti was the most widely-read Ukrainian-language publication in Greater Germany, German-allied countries and Nazi-occupied Europe, if not the world. It was the official news organ of the Ukrainian Central Committee. In its official capacity as the Ukrainian community's official media outlet, Krakivs'ki visti was sometimes used as a crude instrument to stir up hatred against the alleged Moscow-based conspiracy of Jews and Russians. This imaginary bogeyman was the main enemy fixated upon by Germany's rulers and their fascist Ukrainian allies. Their shared myth of a monstrous Judeo-Bolshevik beast was provocatively packaged in countless fake news stories that were used as the main pretext for justifying not only the Holocaust, but the main enemy target of the devastating Nazi war, the Soviet Union.
The pages of Krakivs'ki visti also included the infamous plea from Chomiak's boss, Kubijovych, in which he urged all patriotic Ukrainian nationalists to enlist in the Nazi's Waffen SS Galicia. His impassioned "Appeal to Ukrainian Citizens and Youth" appeared in Krakivs'ki visti on May 16, 1943. Here is an excerpt:
"The long-awaited moment has arrived when the Ukrainian people will again have the opportunity to come out with gun in hand to do battle against its most grievous foe Bolshevism. The Fόhrer of the Greater German Reich has agreed to the formation of a separate Ukrainian volunteer military unit under the name of SS Infantry Division 'Galicia.' .... You must stand shoulder to shoulder with the invincible German army and destroy, once and for all, the Bolshevik beast ...."[i]
The above photograph shows Michael Chomiak's boss (Kubijovych) giving the Nazi salute at the inaugural parade of Waffen SS Galicia Division. Nazi General Otto Wachter, Governor of Galicia (photo at right), who is standing beside and slightly in front of Volodymyr Kubijovych at the parade (photo above).
(Note the lion-crown crests of the Ukrainian Waffen SS Division framing the Nazi eagle with swastika on the wall, above. Many other examples of the Ukrainian Waffen SS symbols can be seen here.)
Below is a photograph taken at the same event. Carrying their distinctive SS and lion-crown picket signs, the Ukrainian volunteers for the Waffen SS Galicia Division march past the assembled German and Ukrainian dignitaries.
Kubijovych's rallying cry for volunteers in Krakivski visti, the UCC's daily propaganda organ edited by Freeland's maternal grandfather, made it abundantly clear who good Ukrainians were supposed to see as comrades in arms fighting the epic struggle against communism. His call to join the Nazi SS concluded that this "historic day" was
"a worthy opportunity for the Ukrainians of Galicia, to ﬁght arm in arm with the heroic German soldiers of the Army and the Waffen-SS against Bolshevism, your and our deadly enemy.... Of course we ought to thank the Great Fόhrer of the united Europe for recognizing our participation in the war, that he approved your initiative and agreed to the creation of the Galicia division."[iii]
Ukrainian nationalists were so eager to answer the call to arms from the Nazis, the Ukrainian newspapers and their Catholic and Orthodox church leaders, that within a month more than 80,000 Ukrainians had volunteered. While the judges at Nuremberg later declared this Nazi military formation of ultranationalist Ukrainians to be a criminal organisation, Canada's government, despite public opposition, allowed thousands of its members to emigrate here after the war.
A second newspaper for which Michael Chomiak took editorial responsibility was Kholmska zemlia. This weekly churned out proNazi news for Ukrainian readers living in an important area of German-occupied eastern Poland around the city of Chelm. Andrzej Rybak, a Polish historian, has said that the basic goal of Kholmska zemlia was to integrate the Ukrainian community living in and around Chelm into the nationalist movement by building their collaboration with Nazi Germany as well by as encouraging them to oppose the Soviet and Polish populace in the area.[iv]
Kholmska zemlia's pages also included many hateful screeds targeting Jews, Poles and communists, including edited speeches by the Nazi's top leaders. For example its November 14, 1943, issue featured a speech by Hitler that spanned a full two and a half pages.[v] The front page of the January 16, 1944, issue was given over to Christmas/New Year's speeches by Hitler, Hans Frank and Otto Wδchter. Hitler's speech rants about the Soviet "Bolshevik devil," the "International Jew," "Jewish world dictatorship," and their British and American allies.
Frank's speech on the heroic battle between good and evil puts "German soldiers" on the side of "morality" fighting for "Christian-European ... culture and civilisation." Meanwhile, the forces of evil are embodied by the "dark nihilistic chaos" of the "Bolsheviks in the east" and "Moscow's imperialism." Frank basically calls on Ukrainians to make a New Year's resolution to put the "whole strength of your heart, and all the work of your hands" into the fight with Germany for the "freedom" of Europe through "the final destruction of our common enemies."
For his part Wachter, the Nazi Governor of Galicia, former Governor of Krakow, and the Major General in charge of the Ukrainian Waffen SS Galicia, praised Ukrainian troops for fighting "at the side of the German soldier" to "defend Europe." He also calls on Ukrainians to "quietly do their work ... without succumbing to enemy propaganda."[vi]
And, there are at least four speeches by Goebbels that I could find in Kholmska zemlia, including his infamous "Total War" speech. This vicious two-hour tirade against the usual JudeoBolshevik enemy was titled "Nation, Rise Up, and Let the Storm Break Loose." For the benefit of Kholmska zemlia readers, the Nazi propaganda minister's vicious diatribe was translated in Ukrainian, carefully edited and summarised so as to fill two and third pages of the newspaper on February 28, 1943.[vii]
Sources and Notes
Volodomyr Kubijovych, "Appeal
to Ukrainian Citizens and Youth,"
May 6, 1943.
(This appeal was published in
Krakivski visti, on May 16, 1943.) Cited by
Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the
Second Republic, 1918-1947,
1998, p.226, and footnote 359 on p.372.
[ii] "Creation of the Galician SS Infantry Division, Proclamation of the Act by the Governor of Lviv," Kholmska zemlia, May 2, 1943, p.1. (Top of page and centre.)
[iii] Cited by Per Anders Rudling, "'They Defended Ukraine': The 14. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (Galizische Nr. 1) Revisited," The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, 25:3, 2012, p.340.
[iv] Andrzej Rybak, "Czasopisma chelmskie okresu II wojny ŷiatowej (1 Wrzesnia 1939 - 9 maja 1945)." Rocznik Chelmski, vol.5, 1999, p.207.
Thanks to Polish historian Pawel Markiewicz for providing me with his notes about this article.
[v] Kholmska zemlia, November 14, 1943, pp.3-5.
Excerpts from this Hitler speech from November 8, 1943, can be read inThe Essential Hitler Speeches and Commentary (Max Domarus), 2007.
The author comments that it "demonstrated his paranoid obsession with his fear of the Jews controlling everything..." https://archive.org/stream/TheEssentialHitlerSpeechesAndCommentary/TheEssentialHitler-SpeechesAndCommentary_djvu.txt
Note: At the
bottom of the last page of this and other issues of
M.Chomiak is listed as the editor and under the header on the
first page the publisher and address are the same as those listed
for Krakivs'ki visti.