There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. The Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For a guide to each country’s memorials click here.
Monuments to French collaborators
Border of Alberta and British Columbia and Nova Scotia — Mount Pétain in the Canadian Rockies, named after French collaborator Philippe Pétain (1856–1951) who led the Vichy Regime which deported around 76,000 Jews to their deaths.
Pétain was once a WWI hero; the peak was named in his honor in 1918, long before he became a traitor. Landscape features around the mountain — Pétain Glacier, Pétain Basin, Pétain Creek and Pétain Falls — are named after him as well. Canada also has Petain Station Road in Nova Scotia. (Thanks to David P. Jones for the use of his photo of Mt. Pétain.)
Above left, Pétain’s annotations on Vichy anti-Jewish laws, a crucial step on the way to dehumanizing and eventually deporting France’s Jews. In 2018, the French government caused a scandal after announcing plans to honor Pétain. After the backlash, Paris cancelled the events, yet the fact that a major Western nation planned to honor a traitor whose regime participated in the Holocaust is a disturbing sign.
Below left, Pétain with Hitler, 1940; below right, Pétain on trial for treason, 1945.
For more locations named after Pétain and debates over his honors, see the U.S. section.
Monuments to Serbian collaborators
Hamilton, Ont. — Statue of Dragoljub “Draža” Mihailović (1893–1946) leader of the Chetniks, a Serbian nationalist and Yugoslavian royalist militia which collaborated with the Nazis and their Serbian puppets. At another point during the war, Mihailović cooperated with the Allies, using his troops to help rescue over 400 American airmen shot down in enemy territory. Above is Mihailović (center) with his commanders in 1943. (Many thanks to Milijana Pavlović for aid in locating Chetnik statues outside Serbia.)
Monuments to Ukrainian collaborators
Edmonton, Alta. — A bust of Nazi collaborator Roman Shukhevych (1907–1950), a leader in a Third Reich auxiliary battalion involved in lethal antisemitic violence and anti-partisan suppression. Shukhevych also led the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which massacred thousands of Jews and 70,000-100,000 Poles. On the left is Shukhevych (sitting, second from left) among the commanders of the Third Reich auxiliary police battalion in 1941–1942. (Thanks to Duncan Kinney of Progress Alberta for the monument photo. Thanks also to Per Anders Rudling for his invaluable advice and encyclopedic knowledge about both the collaborators and the history of Canada’s monuments.)
Oakville, Ont. — Monument to the SS Galichina division of the Waffen-SS. Above left is an SS Galichina ceremony in 1943–1944; note the division’s lion and crowns insignia which is also found on the monument.
This pillar honoring SS fighters has been at the center of 2020’s debate over Nazi collaborator statues in Canada. The scandal began when the monument was vandalized and local police initially declared the vandalism to be a “hate crime,” meaning the Waffen-SS were the victims (see end of section for more information).
Oakville, Ont. — Monument honoring the Ukrainian Insurgent Army paramilitary led by Roman Shukhevych. On the left is Shukhevych (far left) in 1943, when the UPA carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing, systematically slaughtering 70,000-100,000 Poles. The paramilitary also killed thousands of Jews. Due in part to the actions of local collaborators in militias and Nazi auxiliary police units, a quarter of all Jews killed in the Holocaust were from Ukraine.
Edmonton, Alta. — Ukrainian war veterans’ memorial in honor of the UPA and SS Galichina, among other groups. Above left is an SS Galichina recruitment poster calling on Ukrainians to fight alongside “the finest warriors in the world.” (Thanks to Duncan Kinney of Progress Alberta for the monument photo.)
In 1997, Canada admitted to taking in 2,000 Ukrainian SS Galichina soldiers after WWII. Below, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, meets to inspect and rally SS Galichina troops on May 6, 1944 in Neuhammer (now Świętoszów), Poland.
For more on Canada’s monuments, see this academic paper by Prof. Per Anders Rudling of Lund University; coverage in the Ottawa Citizen, Espirit de Corps, and The Nation; Simon Wiesenthal Center condemnation; B’nai Brith Canada’s press release condemning the monuments; and Defending History’s page on the 2020 debate.
Nazi collaborator monuments around the world
Lev Golinkin is the author of A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, Amazon’s Debut of the Month, a Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program selection, and winner of the Premio Salerno Libro d’Europa. Mr. Golinkin, a graduate of Boston College, came to the US as a child refugee from the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov (now called Kharkiv) in 1990. His writing on the Ukraine crisis, Russia, the far right, and immigrant and refugee identity has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CNN, NBC, The Boston Globe, Politico Europe, and Time.com, among others; he has been interviewed by MSNBC, NPR, ABC Radio, WSJ Live and HuffPost Live.