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Poland seeks extradition of Nazi soldier who was honoured in Canadian Parliament, wants him to face prosecution for war crimes

Additionally, the Polish Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czamek wrote a letter to Karol Nawrockl, President of the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, Warsaw. 

On Tuesday (26 September), Poland upped its ante against Canada for honouring the Nazi soldier, Yaroslav Hunka, and giving him a standing ovation in their Parliament on 22 September. Notably, the Polish ambassador to Canada lambasted the Canadian government for missing out on mentioning the Polish people in their apologies and asserted that neither Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nor the Parliament speaker Anthony Rota has done enough on this issue. 

He emphasised that the Nazi soldier should be prosecuted for the war crimes his unit committed against the Jewish and Polish communities.  

Additionally, the Polish Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czamek wrote a letter to Karol Nawrockl, President of the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, Warsaw. 

Taking to X, the Polish Minister shared the letter and conveyed that he has taken steps to possibly extradite the Nazi soldier to Poland. 

In the post, he said, “In view of the scandalous events in the Canadian Parliament, which involved honouring, in the presence of President Zelenskiy, a member of the criminal Nazi SS Galizien formation, I have taken steps towards the possible extradition of this man to Poland.” 

In his letter to the Commission’s President, the Polish Education Minister narrated the entire episode that transpired in the Canadian Parliament on 22 September. 

It added, “I am appealing to the President to urgently examine the documents whether Yaroslaw Hunka is wanted for crimes against the Polish Nation and Poles of Jewish origin. The features of such crimes constitute the basis for requesting his extradition to Canada.” 

Polish Ambassador seeks apology from Canadian Prime Minister and asserts that the Nazi soldier should be prosecuted

On Monday (25 September), Polish Ambassador to Canada Witold Dzielski told Canadian media CTV National News that the act of honouring the Nazi soldier Yaroslav Hunka was “deeply hurtful”. 

He added that statements by both Rota (Canadian parliament Speaker) and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau don’t go far enough. It is to be noted that following the outrage, Canadian Parliament speaker Anthony Rota apologised for celebrating a Nazi collaborator. 

He said, “Days after members of Parliament gave a standing ovation to a man who fought for a Nazi division in the Second World War, House Speaker Anthony Rota has issued a public apology – but it doesn’t go far enough to address atrocities this division performed on Polish citizens during the war.” 

He criticised the Canadian government for leaving out Poland from their apology statements. He said, “It’s wrong that Poland has been left out of these apologies considering the Nazi division in question committed mass killings of Polish citizens.”

Dzielski added, “It’s important that allies working together need to have their facts right. In some of the commentary from the leaders, from the Canadian leaders, including the recent comment on the side of Prime Minister Trudeau, the Poles were omitted from the equation.” 

He also took to X to demand an apology from the Justin Trudeau-led-government saying, “I expect an apology.”

Going ahead, the Polish ambassador argued that the Nazi soldier should be prosecuted. Regarding this, he said, “This is a person (Hunka) who participated in an organisation that was targeting Poles, was committing mass murders of Poles, not only the military personnel but also civilians. For me, such people should not be present in public life and probably should be prosecuted.”

He also reiterated that the Canadian side should get its facts right. Demanding an apology from the Canadian side, he reminded Ottawa that during the Second World War, six million Poles were murdered. Six million Poles died. Half of that group, three million, were Polish Jews. 

Regarding Yaroslav Hunka – the Nazi soldier honoured in the Canadian parliament – and his Nazi unit (SS Galicia), the Polish ambassador noted that members of this division were involved in the mass murder of Jews, Poles, and Ukrainians during World War Two. 

According to him, this division, or members of this division, were involved in the massacre of almost 1000 Polish civilians in the village of Huta Pieniacka in the Galicia region in Ukraine.

He asserted that the fact that Canada is missing out on Polish people from the apology and tragic history is deeply hurtful. 

He said, “For the Polish communities in Poland and Canada, which is one million people, this is omitting Poles, omitting Poland, and that tragic history is deeply hurtful.” 

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