Nazi collaborator monuments in Canada
This list is part of an ongoing investigative project the Forward first published in January 2021 documenting hundreds of monuments around the world to people involved in the Holocaust. We are continuing to update each country’s list; if you know of any not included here, or of statues that have been removed or streets renamed, please email [email protected], subject line: Nazi monument project.
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. — A 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. — A monument to the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) aka SS Galichina. 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. — A 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. — A 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.
Note: the entry below was added during the January 2022 project update.
Toronto – The city has a Catholic elementary school named for Iosif Slipyi (1892–1984), archbishop in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Ukraine, kicking off a series of pogroms that would lead to the annihilation of 1.5 million Jews thanks to the Nazis and their willing collaborators. Slipyi was part of a self-proclaimed government that pledged allegiance to Hitler.
In 1943, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church played an important role in the creation of SS Galichina (see earlier entries). Slipyi coordinated the church’s aid to the Waffen-SS – he not only assigned chaplains to the unit but personally celebrated mass at the division’s official creation. SS Galichina went on to commit war crimes such as the Huta Pieniacka massacre.
In 1983, forty years later, Slipyi praised SS Galichina when commemorating the division’s founding. “Let the memory of Ukrainian Galichian Division live with us forever as a testament to nations that we strive for freedom, statehood and are prepared for the greatest sacrifices for truth, fairness and peace to be in our land,” he proclaimed, calling on the faithful to pray for SS men. Above right, SS-Sturmbannführer Vasyl Laba, the head chaplain of SS Galichina, conducting services.
See the Italy, Ukraine and U.S. sections for more Slipyi glorification. See the JTA on Nazi symbols that are a regular part of SS Galichina commemorations, condemnations from the German ambassador to Ukraine and the Israeli foreign ministry, and the AP on a former SS Galichina officer in the U.S.
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.