The speaker of Canada’s House of Commons, who resigned, had previously apologized for honoring a Ukrainian man who fought in a Nazi unit.
Anthony Rota, the speaker of Canada’s House of Commons who apologized on Sunday for honoring a Ukrainian man who fought in a Nazi unit, has resigned, the Associated Press reported.
“Just after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered an address in the House of Commons on Friday, Canadian lawmakers gave 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka a standing ovation when Speaker Anthony Rota drew attention to him,” per the AP. “Rota introduced Hunka as a war hero who fought for the First Ukrainian Division.”
It later emerged that the division in question was Waffen-SS Galicia Division, a voluntary unit under Nazi command.
“I reiterate my profound regret for my error in recognizing an individual in the House during the joint address to Parliament of President Zelenskyy,” Rota said.
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the resignation.
“Although important questions remain as to how this debacle occurred, Anthony Rota’s stepping down is the correct decision in the aftermath of the hurt this incident has caused to Canada’s Jewish community, Holocaust survivors, veterans and other victims of the Nazi regime,” stated Michael Levitt, president and CEO of the FSWC. “It’s also paramount that Parliament investigates this incident and shares the results with all Canadians.”
“This incident also reminds us of Canada’s shameful past in not only failing to hold accountable thousands of Nazi war criminals involved in the Holocaust but granting them safe haven and allowing them to live out their lives in comfort and security in Canada,” Levitt added.
A Polish official is reportedly seeking Hunka’s extradition.