Nazi victims of communism

From time to time you hear about so-called memorials to the “victims of communism.” Such monuments have been established in various countries and apparently now Canada is considering one. I have never heard of a memorial to the victims of capitalism, or to the victims of Western colonialism and imperialism. Of course, to do the job properly, such a monument would have to be enormous in size, maybe even visible from outer space. Constructing it might bankrupt a whole nation.

Sometimes the “victims of communism” turn out to be Nazi war criminals. A recent example is from Canada, as told  in the excellent article “A Nazi Skeleton in the Family Closet” on

The current Canadian foreign minister is one Christia Freeland, described as a former journalist with proud Ukrainian roots who is known for being fiercely anti-Russian: “Her views fit with the intense Ukrainian nationalism of her maternal grandparents who immigrated to Canada after World War II and whom she has portrayed as victims of Josef Stalin and the Red Army.”

Freeland has confected a touching story of a family fleeing the terrors of communism:

My maternal grandparents fled western Ukraine after Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact in 1939. They never dared to go back, but they stayed in close touch with their brothers and sisters and their families, who remained behind.

She describes her grandfather was a lawyer and a journalist. After the war, she says, her mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany before the family emigrated to Canada.

But wait: a moment’s thought might raise some questions. Freeland’s grandparents “fled” Ukraine at just about exactly the time Germany invaded Poland, starting World War Two. Where did they flee? How did they end up in a German “refugee” camp after the war?

Here are the answers:

  • At the start of World War Two, Freeland’s grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, “moved from Ukraine to Nazi-occupied Poland in order to work for the Third Reich under the command of Governor-General Hans Frank, the man who organized the Holocaust in Poland.”
  • “Rather than being a helpless victim, Chomiak was given a prestigious job to spread Nazi propaganda, praising Hitler from a publishing house stolen from Jews and given to Ukrainians who shared the values of Nazism.”
  • Chomiak was appointed editor of a newspaper which throughout the war extolled Hitler and vilified Jews. It described Poland as “infected by Jews” while gloating  that the Jews had gotten their comeuppance: “There is not a single one left in Kiev today, while there were 350,000 under the Bolsheviks.”
  • “As the Third Reich crumbled, Chomiak left with the retreating German Army and surrendered to the Americans in Bavaria, where he was placed with his family in a special U.S. military intelligence facility, [a cluster of hotels at a spa town] in the foothills of the Alps. The Chomiak family was given accommodations, living expenses and health care.” This is what Freeland refers to as “a refugee camp.”
  • In May 1948, this facility was closed and the Chomiak family departed for Canada.

Chomiak and his family became part of a contingent of former Nazi supporters allowed into the US and Canada after World War Two. Here they effortlessly converted to the cause of Cold War anticommunism while tactfully dropping references to Jews. During the Cold War these Ukrainian nationalists served much the same purpose as the Cuban “exiles” in Florida by supporting fierce anti-communist policies. These nationalists are among the chief promoters of the fantastically dishonest and disproven Holodomor myth: that Josef Stalin deliberately created a famine in the Ukraine and staved millions to crush Ukrainian nationalism.

Today, Chomiak’s granddaughter Christia Freeland continues the family tradition of militant hostility to Russia. She has celebrated the violent overthrow of the elected multi-ethnic Ukrainian government and its replacement by a fiercely anti-Russian clique which includes openly fascist and neo-Nazi elements. As foreign minister, she advocates for an aggressive and confrontational stance with Russia.

The anticommunist lie—the “Black Legend”—is that communism produces victims and not much else. Freeland’s grandparents were victims of communism, fleeing persecution and possible death at the hands of Josef Stalin and his communist minions. The truth, however, is this:

Chrystia Freeland’s dark family secret is that her grandfather, Mykhailo Chomiak, faithfully served Nazi Germany right up to its surrender, and Chomiak’s family only moved to Canada after the Third Reich was defeated by the Soviet Union’s Red Army and its allies.

Mykhailo Chomiak was not a victim of the war – he was on the side of the German aggressors who collaborated with Ukrainian nationalists in killing Russians, Jews, Poles and other minorities. Former journalist Freeland chose to whitewash her family history to leave out her grandfather’s service to Adolf Hitler.

This conversion of war criminal to victim of communism would seem to be quite a trick, going it one better than putting lipstick on a pig. But in a pervasively anticommunist atmosphere, it’s not so hard to do.

In my next post, I will give more examples of Nazis who became celebrated and memorialized “victims of communism.”

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Categories: Communism, Politics

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