Toronto (September 17, 2019) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is investigating concerning reports surrounding a recent monument commemoration in Sambir, Ukraine that was attended by the Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine and members of the Canadian Forces.
According to a National Post report, the commemoration honoured members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) – two groups linked to the Nazis and the deaths of tens of thousands of Jewish and Polish people – and was held at the edge of a Jewish mass grave holding remains of more than 1,200 Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
According to the same report, after locals replaced a Star of David erected at the site with three large crosses, an agreement was reached to remove the crosses and build a Jewish cemetery and Holocaust memorial at the site in exchange for a nearby memorial to the OUN and UPA members.
“We are currently in contact with the relevant parties to assess the motivation and inclination to participate in this commemoration,” said FSWC president and CEO Avi Benlolo. “It is quite disconcerting that Canada would have involvement in the recognition of members of groups that collaborated with Nazis. If this is proven true, there would be no justification”.