Tuesday, April 16, 2024

University of Alberta under fire for not acting on over $1-million in donations linked to Waffen-SS unit


University of Alberta Yaroslav Hunka NaziGate Waffen SS endowments donations inaction scandal embarrassment foot dragging stalling rectification Holocaust Ukraine immigration ratlines

The University of Alberta is facing criticism, including from its own academics, for failing to act on more than $1-million in donations and endowments from veterans and people with links to a Ukrainian Waffen SS unit that fought for the Nazi regime in the Second World War.

The critics fear the university is stalling after promising in October to review financial endowments. The pledge came after it returned $30,000 from the family of Yaroslav Hunka, a Waffen SS veteran who received standing ovations in Parliament during a visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last September.

Then-Commons Speaker Anthony Rota pointed Mr. Hunka out in the gallery and paid tribute to him saying he was a Canadian and Ukrainian hero. Mr. Rota was sharply criticized by MPs of all stripes for inviting Mr. Hunka, a constituent, and not vetting him properly. Mr. Rota stepped down, apologizing to the Jewish community and expressing “profound regret” for his error.

Karyn Ball, professor of English and film studies at the university, said she was bemused by the university’s lack of action and had written to deans and other senior university officials months ago to inquire about the progress of the review.

Prof. Ball, who teaches memory studies, which examines how people recall historical events, said she felt “humiliated” to be teaching at a university that had appointed Peter Savryn, a former member of the Waffen SS Galicia Division, as chancellor, and had taken large donations from veterans of the division.  (more...)

University of Alberta under fire for not acting on over $1-million in donations linked to Waffen-SS unit

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