Monday, September 9, 2019
Our soldiers should not be used as symbolic props
There was a bizarre little story last week out of Ukraine, which was picked up by Radio-Canada International. It centred on Canada’s official participation in the dedication of a monument at a Jewish cemetery in the town of Sambir.
Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, Roman Waschuk, and at least three uniformed Canadian military personnel took part in the formal ceremony. The premise of this event was to promote a reconciliatory path forward for Ukrainians and Jewish people. This, of course, is a very delicate subject given the history of violent anti-Semitism in this region of western Ukraine.
In fact, the Aug. 21 memorial dedication in Sambir itself served to clearly illustrate these divisions.
While the site of the ceremony was on the edge of a Jewish cemetery, which also served as a mass grave for some 1,200 Jews slaughtered in 1943 during the Holocaust, the monument was not dedicated to those victims.
Instead, it featured a large granite cross and was erected in honour of 17 members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists allegedly executed by the German Gestapo in 1944. For the record, the OUN members were Nazi collaborators who were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews and 100,000 Poles. (more...)