In Israel, Modern Medicine Grapples With Ghosts of the Third Reich

Interesting account of the ethnical and personal issues involved and their sensible resolution:

The explosion flung him skyward, legs first, before he crashed to the ground.

It was June 2002, at the height of the second Palestinian intifada. Dvir Musai, then a 13-year-old Israeli schoolboy from a religious Jewish settlement, was on a class cherry-picking trip in the southern West Bank. On his way back to the bus, he stepped on a mine laid by Palestinian militants and was gravely wounded, along with two other boys.

“There was a lot of smoke, clumps of earth falling, a smell of burning and gunpowder,” Mr. Musai, now 31, recalled.

Decades of agony followed. Mr. Musai’s right foot felt as if it were permanently afire. And then last year, a surgeon offered him hope — and a disquieting disclosure.

In pre-op at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, Dr. Madi el-Haj told his patient that the anatomical atlas he would use to guide him through the intricate nerve pathways had been produced by Nazis. Its illustrations are believed to be based on the dissected victims of the Nazi court system under Hitler’s Third Reich.

If there were objections, Dr. el-Haj told the Musai family, he could operate without it — but it would be harder. He noted that there was rabbinical approval for the book’s use.

Mr. Musai’s mother, Chana, had lost relatives in the Holocaust.

“She said, ‘If it can help now, we’ll use it,’” Mr. Musai recalled.

That gut-wrenching decision went to the heart of a longstanding debate about the ethics of drawing on knowledge derived from the Nazis’ expansive medical and scientific experimentation — and in this case, the ethics of using the textbook, “Atlas of Topographical and Applied Human Anatomy.”

The book, by Eduard Pernkopf, stands out for its accuracy and detail, and even in an age of state-of-the-art imaging, some surgeons, among them those who perform peripheral nerve procedures, still find its drawings invaluable.

In a perverse twist, the more advanced the relatively new field of peripheral nerve surgery becomes, the more reliant on the atlas some of its practitioners say they find themselves. That is because even high-tech imaging is of limited use to the complex discipline, in which doctors treat problems like chronic pain caused by nerves that are damaged or trapped.

Pernkopf began work on the atlas at the University of Vienna, where he became chairman of anatomy in 1933, the year he joined the Nazi party. With Hitler’s 1938 annexation of Austria, he became dean of the medical faculty, then president of the university.

The illustrators to whom Pernkopf turned to produce the atlas were also Nazi enthusiasts. Three of the four illustrators incorporated swastikas, SS lightning bolts and other Nazi insignia into their signatures — hallmarks of evil airbrushed out of later editions.

Less is clear about the people whose bodies were dissected so that the illustrators could produce their work. Over the years, there have been questions about whether some had been killed in Hitler’s death camps. Those questions remain unresolved, but many experts believe that most of the prisoners were Austrians condemned in the courts.

After the war, Pernkopf spent three years in an Allied prison camp but was not charged with war crimes. He continued work on the atlas until his death in 1955.

A two-volume edition was published in five languages, with the first American edition coming out in 1963. Elsevier, a European scientific publisher that currently holds the copyright, stopped printing it on ethical grounds, but the volumes can be found in private collections and purchased on eBay and Amazon.

Scholars first raised questions about the origins of the atlas in the 1980s as the Cold War’s “Great Silence” about the Nazis’ medical legacy began to crack.

By the 1990s, the controversy was drawing wider public attention.

Dr. Howard Israel, an oral surgeon at Columbia University who had routinely used the atlas, exposed the Nazi symbols in the artists’ signatures included in early editions of the book.

Then Dr. Israel and Dr. William Seidelman, a Toronto physician, turned for help to Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, asking it to press the University of Vienna to investigate the background of the atlas — and of the dissected cadavers its authors used. After some initial reluctance, the university agreed.

“Things started to unravel,” recounted Dr. Seidelman, who now lives in Jerusalem.

From 1938 to 1945, the university’s anatomical institute received more than 1,370 bodies of prisoners executed by the Vienna court system, according to the findings of an investigative committee. More than half had been political prisoners — people targeted by the Nazi regime. At that time in Austria, joking about Hitler was enough to warrant execution, often by decapitation.

Dr. el-Haj, the Hadassah surgeon, said he was first introduced to the atlas while studying under Dr. Susan Mackinnon, a pioneer in peripheral nerve surgery, at Washington University in St. Louis.

“She knew I came from Israel — she thought I was a Jewish guy,” he recalled.

That he was, in fact, an Arab Muslim from the Galilee changed nothing.

“I was shocked,” he said. “It’s a matter of humanity.”

Dr. Mackinnon bought her first copy in the early 1980s as a young plastic surgeon in Baltimore, and used it to guide many of her surgical procedures.

But troubled by the provenance of the illustrations, Dr. Mackinnon photocopied the first scholarly articles about Pernkopf’s past a few years later and tucked them into the book as a constant reminder.

In 2015, Dr. Mackinnon and her longtime associate Andrew Yee wanted to share drawings from the atlas on an online teaching platform, and sought an opinion from Dr. Sabine Hildebrandt, a Boston physician who has studied the Third Reich.

An international effort was already underway to determine how to handle unearthed human remains and medical specimens from the Holocaust era.

Dr. Hildebrandt took on Dr. Mackinnon’s query and consulted with other experts, giving rise to a special set of recommendations regarding the Pernkopf atlas in a document known as the “Vienna Protocol.” It was written by a prominent American rabbi and ethicist, Joseph A. Polak, and formally adopted by a 2017 symposium of experts at Yad Vashem. Under the protocol, the atlas can be used if there is full disclosure about its origins.

In a recent survey of an international group of nerve surgeons, Dr. Mackinnon and Mr. Yee found that 59 percent of the 182 respondents were aware of the Pernkopf atlas, 41 percent had used it at some point and 13 percent were currently using it.

But the debate is hardly settled.

Dr. Justin M. Sacks, chief of the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Washington University, said he had never come across the atlas until he arrived at the department this year. He argued that it was morally and ethically wrong to use it and that there were perfectly adequate substitutes available in print or online.

“I’m not looking to stir a controversy,” he said in an interview, “but I’m looking to put it where it belongs: in a museum.”

Dr. el-Haj said that while the alternatives might be good enough in other medical fields, when it came to peripheral nerve surgery, they were no match for Pernkopf.

One of eight siblings, Dr. el-Haj grew up in a farming village and aspired to become a nerve surgeon, he said, in the hope of helping his father, who as a young man was left with a paralyzed arm and leg by a work accident. After studying in the United States, Dr. el-Haj returned to Jerusalem with his own Pernkopf volumes in August 2018.

Around the same time, Mr. Musai, who had undergone dozens of operations since his injury, returned to his doctors. Now a married father of two, he could barely walk. His foot could not bear the weight of a sheet at night.

He was referred to Dr. el-Haj.

From his days as a medical student at Hadassah, Dr. el-Haj, 40, remembered Mr. Musai as an angry teenager in terrible pain who harbored a hatred of Arabs.

Mr. Musai acknowledges that was the case.

In Amazon’s Bookstore, No Second Chances for the Third Reich The retailer once said it would sell “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Now it has banished objectionable volumes — and agreed to erasing the swastikas from a photo book about a Nazi takeover.

Some transparency on their criteria needed, given the size and impact of Amazon. Strikes me as over-reach with the respect to the scrubbing of Nazi symbols in the “The Man in the High Castle” tribute book given that they are so central to the original novel and television series.

Other examples more clear cut:

Amazon is quietly canceling its Nazis.

Over the past 18 months, the retailer has removed two books by David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as several titles by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. Amazon has also prohibited volumes like “The Ruling Elite: The Zionist Seizure of World Power” and “A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind.”

While few may lament the disappearance of these hate-filled books, the increasing number of banished titles has set off concern among some of the third-party booksellers who stock Amazon’s vast virtual shelves. Amazon, they said, seems to operate under vague or nonexistent rules.

“Amazon reserves the right to determine whether content provides an acceptable experience,” said one recent removal notice that the company sent to a bookseller.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been roiled in recent years by controversies that pit freedom of speech against offensive content. Amazon has largely escaped this debate. But with millions of third-party merchants supplying much of what Amazon sells to tens of millions of customers, that ability to maintain a low profile may be reaching its end.

Amazon began as a bookstore and, even as it has moved on to many more lucrative projects, now controls at least two-thirds of the market for new, used and digital volumes in the United States. With its profusion of reader reviews, ability to cut prices without worrying about profitability and its control of the electronic book landscape, to name only three advantages, Amazon has immense power to shape what information people are consuming.

Yet the retailer declines to provide a list of prohibited books, say how they were chosen or even discuss the topic. “Booksellers make decisions every day about what selection of books they choose to offer,” it said in a statement.

Gregory Delzer is a Tennessee bookseller whose Amazon listings account for about a third of his sales. “They don’t tell us the rules and don’t let us have a say,” he said. “But they squeeze us for every penny.”

Nazi-themed items regularly crop up on Amazon, where they are removed under its policy on “offensive and controversial materials.” Those rules pointedly do not apply to books. Amazon merely says that books for sale on its site “should provide a positive customer experience.”

Now Amazon is becoming increasingly proactive in removing Nazi material. It even allowed its own Nazi-themed show, “The Man in the High Castle,” to be cleaned up for a tribute book. The series, which began in 2015 and concluded in November, is set in a parallel United States where the Germans and the Japanese won World War II.

“High Castle” is lavish in its use of National Socialist symbols. “There’s nothing that there isn’t a swastika on,” the actor Rufus Sewell, who played the Nazi antihero, said in a promotional video. The series promoted its portrayal of “the controlling aesthetic of Hitler” in its nomination for a special effects Emmy.

But in “The Man in the High Castle: Creating the Alt World,” published in November by Titan Books, the swastikas and eagle-and-crosses were digitally erased from Mr. Sewell’s uniform, from Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, even from scenes set in Berlin. A note on the copyright page said, “We respect, in this book, the legal and ethical responsibility of not perpetuating the distribution of the symbols of oppression.”

An Amazon spokeswoman said, “We did not make editorial edits to the images.” Titan, which wanted to market the book in Germany, where laws on Nazi imagery are strict, said Amazon approved the changes.

Some fans of the series said they found reading the book as dystopian as the show itself. “If you can’t even have swastikas shown in a book about Nazis taking over America, please do not make books ever again,” wrote one reviewer.

When Amazon drops a book from its store, it is as if it never existed. A recent Google search for David Duke’s “My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding” on Amazon yielded a link to a picture of an Amazon employee’s dog. Amazon sellers call these dead ends “dog pages.”

Some booksellers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said they had no problem with the retailer converting as many offensive books to dog pages as it wished.

Mr. Delzer, the proprietor of a secondhand store in Nashville called Defunct Books, has a different view. “If Amazon executives are so proud of their moral high ground, they should issue memos about which books they are banning instead of keeping sellers and readers in the dark,” he said.

The bookseller said he only knew Amazon was forbidding titles because he received an automated message from the retailer, saying two used books he sold seven years ago — “Conspiracy of the Six-Pointed Star: Eye-Opening Revelations and Forbidden Knowledge About Israel, the Jews, Zionism, and the Rothschilds” and “Toward the White Republic” — were now proscribed.

“This product was identified as one that is prohibited for sale,” Amazon told him. Failure to immediately delete listings for these books, the company said, “may result in the deactivation of your selling account” and possible confiscation of any money he was owed.

Amazon said it didn’t really mean any of that about “Toward the White Republic.” “We did not intend to imply the book itself could not be listed for sale,” it said in a statement.

As for “Conspiracy of the Six-Pointed Star,” which is widely available from other online booksellers, Amazon said the book did not comply with its “content guidelines.”

Mr. Delzer said the email, which he posted on an Amazon forum,was clear and Amazon was dissembling about “White Republic.”

A bookseller since 2001, Mr. Delzer said he does not condone white supremacist material but believes people should be free to read what they want. The biggest seller in his shop at the moment is by Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist.

“Amazon wants its customers to trust Amazon,” he said. “The place that sells books doesn’t want much critical thinking.”

In 1998, when Amazon was an ambitious start-up, its founder, Jeff Bezos, said, “We want to make every book available — the good, the bad and the ugly.” Customers reviews, he said, would “let truth loose.”

That expansive philosophy narrowed over the years. In 2010, when the news media discovered the self-published “Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure” on the site, the retailer’s first reaction was to hang tough.

“Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable,” it said at the time.

That resolution wilted in the face of a barrage of hostility and boycott threats. Amazon pulled the book.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said Amazon has the same First Amendment right as any retailer.

“Amazon has a First Amendment right to pick and choose the materials they offer,” she said. “Despite its size, it does not have to sponsor speech it finds unacceptable.”

Physical bookstores rarely stock supremacist literature, for no other reason than it would alienate many customers. The question is whether Amazon, because of its size and power, should behave differently.

“I’m not going to argue for the wider distribution of Nazi material,” said Danny Caine of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kan., who is the author of a critical pamphlet, “How to Resist Amazon and Why.” “But I still don’t trust Amazon to be the arbiters of free speech. What if Amazon decided to pull books representing a less despicable political viewpoint? Or books critical of Amazon’s practices?”

Amazon’s newfound zeal to remove “the ugly” extends beyond the Nazis. The order page for the e-book of The Nation of Islam’s “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews” stated last week, “This title not currently available for purchase.”

“The Man in the High Castle” was based on a 1962 novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, whose stories are often about the slippery nature of reality and how it will be controlled in the future by governments and corporations. One character in the streaming series was Mr. Rockwell, the American Nazi Party founder.

In photos in “Creating the Alt World,” the tribute book, the swastika around Mr. Rockwell’s neck was removed. The real life Mr. Rockwell has been largely removed from Amazon’s bookstore as well.

After a complaint by a member of Congress in 2018, a children’s book that Mr. Rockwell wrote disappeared from Amazon. So did his book “White Power.” Other Rockwell material, like The Stormtrooper Magazine, is described as “currently unavailable.”

Some sellers circumvent the blocks by listing titles with a word or two changed, other booksellers said. One seller said he recently received a message from Amazon that several titles by Savitri Devi, also known as “Hitler’s Priestess,” were forbidden. But they are now on the site. And a copy of “Toward the White Republic” recently popped up on Amazon, for $973 plus postage.

There is still an abundance of other Nazi material available on Amazon, much of it with favorable reviews. There is the “SS Leadership Guide,” many editions of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and Joseph Goebbels’s “Nature and Form of National Socialism,” to name just a few.

That only underlines how hard it can be to tell exactly what Amazon’s rules are. The confusion is reinforced by AbeBooks, the biggest secondhand book platform outside of Amazon itself.

Some of the books dropped from Amazon are available on Abe. Recently, there were 18 copies of Mr. Duke’s books on Abe, at prices up to $150. Amazon, which owns Abe, declined to comment.

Source: In Amazon’s Bookstore, No Second Chances for the Third ReichThe retailer once said it would sell “the good, the bad and the ugly.” Now it has banished objectionable volumes — and agreed to erasing the swastikas from a photo book about a Nazi takeover.By David Streitfeld

Germany eases citizenship rules, but Jewish roadblocks remain – Monash Lens

One of the more lengthy and comprehensive analyses:

Germany’s constitution contains a provision that permits citizenship to be granted to descendants of persons stripped of their German citizenship by the former Nazi regime for political, racial or religious reasons.

In practice, this provision, Article 116(2), is mostly – although not exclusively – directed at descendants of Jewish refugees from Germany. Approximately 7000 German Jews fled to Australia before World War II, due to the policies of the Nazi regime, and there are many descendants in Australia who now wish to become German citizens.

However, the German parliament has not properly implemented Article 116(2) in its citizenship law. German legislation precludes the granting of citizenship to various groups of descendants of Jewish refugees.

Many applicants have been denied citizenship on the basis that the affected family member was female, because citizenship passed only through the father at the time the German constitution was enacted.

Other applications are denied because German authorities contend that the applicant’s female ancestor willingly gave up German citizenship by marrying a non-German man after escaping Germany.

In other cases, the authorities have denied applications to the descendants of those who the authorities argue left Germany “voluntarily” during the Nazi reign and willingly relinquished their German citizenship — a position that flies in the face of historical realities. And some applicants have been denied citizenship on the basis that their parents were unmarried, or that the applicant was adopted.

We can see no rational reason why these groups of descendants are excluded for eligibility for German citizenship. As Article 116(2) of the constitution seeks to provide a form of restitution for past injustices, it’s imperative that this provision is interpreted in a generous fashion, without drawing arbitrary distinctions between descendants.

An inconsistent law

A very strong argument can be made that the law is inconsistent with the right to equality under the German constitution, not to mention Germany’s obligations of non-discrimination and the right to private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Germany is a party.

On 30 August, the German government issued a decree that attempts to rectify some of the discriminatory aspects of the law. The decree addresses some aspects of the gender discrimination in the current law, and extends citizenship rights to those born before 1949, who were until now precluded from eligibility by a 2012 decree.

However, the decree does not completely remedy the discrimination in the law.

For example, children born out of wedlock to a German mother would be excluded, whereas children born out of wedlock to a German father would be eligible. Moreover, citizenship won’t be granted unconditionally to those who become eligible. Rather, applicants will need to demonstrate German language competence and knowledge of Germany’s legal and social order.

The determination of whether these criteria are satisfied in an individual case is to a large degree discretionary, based on a subjective assessment made by German consular officials. In light of Germany’s track record in relation to granting citizenship under Article 116(2) of the constitution, there’s a need for greater transparency and more objective decision-making criteria to ensure the decree is given effect to in the manner it was intended.

Another issue is that by requiring certain groups to pass the above tests but not others, the law perpetuates gender discrimination. For example, descendants of female ancestors need to demonstrate German language skills, but descendants of male ancestors do not.

Moreover, the generation born after 31 December, 1999, would be the last generation to be eligible under this decree to obtain German citizenship. Although an argument can be made that the rationale for restitution lessens with the passage of time, we can see no justification for limiting eligibility to this timeframe.

There are also serious questions as to whether this type of rule-making by decree is appropriate, not to mention constitutionally valid.

The difference between a decree and legislation isn’t merely symbolic. A future government could revoke the decree with the stroke of a pen, whereas changing legislation requires that the proposed law be debated by parliament.

A law, properly debated and enacted through Germany’s parliamentary procedures, faces much higher hurdles for reversal.

Another provision of Germany’s constitution requires that certain “essential” decisions must be made by parliament, rather than by the executive branch of government in the form of a decree.

In our view, there’s a strong argument that this issue is one that can only be dealt with by parliament.

Germany has a largely commendable track record in confronting its Nazi past. It should do right by the descendants of those who had to flee to save their lives.

Germany has a largely commendable track record in confronting its Nazi past. It should do right by the descendants of those who had to flee to save their lives – end decades of protracted, unjustifiable and arbitrary discrimination by enacting a law that provides for a simple path to citizenship for all descendants.

Requiring descendants to fight for their rights in the courts would add insult to injury, and would be particularly difficult for descendants in countries on the other side of the globe such as Australia.

Source: Germany eases citizenship rules, but Jewish roadblocks remain – Monash Lens

Canadian government comes to the defence of Nazi SS and Nazi collaborators but why?

Good question:

In late April more than 50 members of the U.S. Congress condemned the government of Ukraine’s ongoing efforts to glorify “Nazi collaborators.”

The letter, signed by both Republicans and Democrats, outlined concerns about ongoing ceremonies to glorify leaders of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army as well as 14th SS Galizien Division (aka 1stGalician/Galizien or the 1st Ukrainian Division). “It’s particularly troubling that much of the Nazi glorification in Ukraine is government-supported,” noted the letter to U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. The letter was initiated by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island.

Contrast that to how the Canadian government handled a related issue last year when the Russian Embassy in Ottawa tweeted out that, “There are monumets (sic) to Nazi collaborators in Canada and nobody is doing anything about it.”

A monument in Oakville commemorates those who served with the 14th SS Galizien Division. Another monument in Edmonton honors Roman Shukhevych, the leader of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

As my Postmedia colleague Marie-Danielle Smith discovered, the Russian tweet sent bureaucrats at Global Affairs Canada into overdrive as they tried to defend the SS unit and Ukrainian Nazi collaborators. Documents she received through the Access to Information law show government officials were under a lot of pressure from the “Centre” (the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister’s Office) to counter the news about the monuments to Nazi collaborators. The bureaucrats came up with a strategy. The would label the tweet as “disinformation” and they came up with a plan to spread the word to the news media as part of their efforts to defend Ukraine’s Nazi collaborators.

Now as I have written before, the Russians are more than happy to try to embarrass the Canadian government, which has steadfastly stood behind the Ukrainian government in the ongoing conflict in the region. Suggesting that Canada allows monuments to Nazi collaborators seems to fit that bill.

But in this case the Russian tweets aren’t “fake news” or “disinformation.” They are accurate.

As those members of the U.S. Congress have pointed out, the Ukrainians who served in the SS Galizien Division were indeed Nazi collaborators.

So too was Roman Shukhevych.

Before going to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Shukhevych was commander of the Ukrainian battalion called Nachtigall. The men of Nachtigall rounded up Jews in Lviv in June 1941, massacring men, women and children. The Simon Wiesenthal Center estimates that the Nachtigall Battalion, along with their German military counterparts, managed to murder around 4,000 Jews in Lviv. Other historians put the estimate at around 6,000.

Shukhevych was later assigned to a new unit whose role in Germany’s war, according to one Holocaust expert, was “fighting partisans and killing Jews.” Shukhevych later turned against the Nazis.

Then there is the SS Galizien Division. They were eager Nazi collaborators. Some 80,000 Ukrainians volunteered to join the SS but only those who could meet the strict requirements were selected.

The SS used some of its most seasoned killers to oversee the development of its new division. SS Gen. Jurgen Stroop, who would later be executed as a war criminal for his brutal destruction of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, was brought on as an advisor.

Other commanders of the division were all versed in the murder of Jews throughout occupied territories in eastern Europe. “Many of the Ukrainian officers, like SS- Haupsturmfuhrer Michael Brygidryr, had previously served in SS Schuma battalions, routinely used to kill partisans, burn down villages and, when the opportunity arose, murder Jews,” wrote award-winning author Christopher Hale in his 2011 ground-breaking book, Hitler’s Foreign Executioners.

SS Galizien Division was used by the Nazis in a variety of operations, one of the most controversial being the 1944 destruction of the village of Huta Pieniacka. Huta Pieniacka was considered a “Polish” village that just months before had been the shelter for several hundred Jews, Hale noted. The SS units surrounded the village. Men, women and children, who had taken refuge in the village church, were taken outside in groups and murdered. Kids were executed in front of their parents, their heads smashed against tree trunks, one witness testified. Others were burned alive in houses. Around 850 people were murdered.

Some Ukrainians dispute that the SS Galizien Division took part in the killings or they argue that only small elements from the unit – and under Nazi command – were involved.

A Ukrainian military board heard testimony in 1944 that members of the Galizien Division did take part in the attack. But that action was justified, the board was told since the inhabitants of Huta Pieniacka had been killing Ukrainian peasants. “By the way, the Jews were hiding in the village,” a Ukrainian officer added in his testimony describing the destruction of the village inhabitants.

Some Ukrainians see Shukhevych and SS Galizien Division members as heroes. They argue that those individuals served the Nazis because they saw them as liberators from the Russians. Their ultimate goal was an independent Ukraine.

But to claim that these individuals were not Nazi collaborators is something else. They served Hitler.

In May 1944, SS leader Heinrich Himmler addressed the Ukrainian SS recruits in a speech.  “Your homeland has become more beautiful since you have lost – on our initiative, I must say – the residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia’s good name – namely the Jews,” said Himmler. “I know that if I ordered you to liquidate the Poles, I would be giving you permission to do what you are eager to do anyway.”

Himmler speech was greeted with cheers from the Ukrainian recruits.

Equally disturbing are the details contained in the book, The Holocaust Chronicle, published in 2003 and written by 7 top scholars in the field of Holocaust studies. They noted that Ukrainian SS were also sent to help kill Jews during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. The Chronicle published a photo of two of Ukrainian SS members standing over the bodies of Jews murdered during that uprising. See the photo below:

But this issue of Ukrainian collaboration with the Nazis is not new. Since 1986 the Nazi-hunters with The Simon Wiesenthal Center have warned about efforts from those in Ukraine and in the Ukrainian community in Canada who want to deny involvement of the SS Galizien Division with the Nazis.

The Latvian government is also trying to use the “fake news” label to whitewash the reality of Latvian collaboration with the Nazis.

My colleague Scott Taylor has recently written several articles about the Latvian Legion (15th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Latvian) et al) and Latvian killers like war criminal Herberts Cukurs as well as the members of the Arajs Kommando, who murdered an estimated 26,000 Jews.

According to Karlis Eihenbaums, Latvia’s Ambassador to Canada, Taylor is spreading “fake news” and “disinformation.” Eihenbaums has also tried to smear Taylor by suggesting that he is under the “influence” of the Russian government.

Taylor’s research into the Latvian SS Legion and the Latvian murderers of Jewish men, women and children is solid.  It is a well-documented historical fact that many of the killers from the Arajs Kommando went to the Latvian Legion. These Latvians served Hitler. No number of claims of “fake news” can change that fact.

Photo below shows Latvian SS:

The controversy over the Latvian Legion and the annual parade held in Riga to celebrate these Nazi collaborators is well known and has been going on for two decades, long before the term “fake news” was even coined. In 1998 the parade caused a storm of protests around the world, particularly in Israel, where Holocaust survivors couldn’t understand Latvia’s desire to celebrate such ruthless killers. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Jacques Chirac were among those that year to protest the Latvian parade. The Times of Israel reported on this year’s Latvian SS parade in Riga, which took place mid-March.

So much for “fake news.” Did Helmut Kohl and Jacques Chirac spread “disinformation” when they denounced the SS parade in Latvia? Of course not.

This whole issue isn’t about “fake news” or Russian “disinformation.” It is about nations trying to whitewash their Nazi collaboration and rewrite history, while attacking journalists who don’t want to let that happen.

It is a positive development that members of the U.S. Congress could see through these efforts to glorify members of the SS. They are speaking out.

But in Canada, the federal government is more than happy to play along with defending Himmler’s SS divisions and Nazi collaborators.

What would our soldiers who fought during the Second World War to help rid the world of this scourge think about that?

Source: Canadian government comes to the defence of Nazi SS and Nazi collaborators but why?