Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Canada’s Nazi Monuments

Ukraine Canada Nazi Waffen SS immigration memorial historical revisionism

“Graffiti on monument commemorating Nazi SS division being investigated as a hate crime by police.” Ordinarily, you’d assume a headline about Nazis as victims came from The Onion (and indeed, they’ve been prescient on this). But it’s 2020; we’re well down the rabbit hole of the American president who calls neo-Nazis “good people,” and this all-too-real article is from the Ottawa Citizen, a major Canadian newspaper. Indeed, the news that Canada has a monument commemorating Third Reich soldiers is just the outer layer of a nesting doll of progressively shocking facts.

First, Canada has not one but several memorials to Nazi collaborators. Second, even though Canada, like the United States, is in the midst of a reckoning about statues to monsters, the chances of Ottawa’s doing anything, even speaking out, on this are next to none. Finally, Canadian-Jewish organizations—people you might think have an interest in denouncing monuments celebrating butchers of Jews—have been distinctly silent about this. That’s both stunning and unsurprising.

The story of how a monument to Nazi collaborators ended up in Canada—a nation that lost over 45,000 men fighting against the Nazis—is both dark and complex, involving geopolitics, historical revisionism, propaganda, anti-Semitism, and the quiet continuation of a war that for most people ended 75 years ago.

The story about Jewish organizations appeasing Holocaust distortion is far simpler. It’s a story about silence. And cowardice.  (more...)

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