The Minister of foreign Affairs of Canada Chrystia Freeland (Chrystia Freeland) more than 20 years, knew that her Ukrainian maternal grandfather worked in occupied Poland, the chief editor of the Nazi newspaper, which during the Second world war, strongly denounced the Jews.
The family history of Freeland became a target for the Russian, seeking to discredit one of the most senior defenders of Ukraine in Canada.
Freeland, to give tribute to their grandfather and grandmother on the maternal line in articles and books, and in 1996 edited a scientific article in the Journal of Ukrainian Studies, where it is said that her grandfather Mikhail Hamster was a Nazi propagandist in the newspaper Visti Krakivski (“Krakow news”).
This newspaper was established in 1940 by the German army, and was in charge of it an officer of the German intelligence Gassert Emil (Emil Gassert). Printing presses and room for revision, the Germans took away from the publisher-Jew who was later killed in the Belzec concentration camp.
An article titled “”Krakow news” and the Jews: Ukrainian-Jewish relations during the Second world war,” wrote uncle Freeland John-Paul Himka (John-Paul Himka), now Emeritus Professor at the University of Alberta.
In the Preface to the article, Professor Himka is grateful to Freeland for the fact that it “revealed the problems and gave clarifications”. Freeland has never admitted that her grandfather collaborated with the Nazis, said Monday that the allegations are an integral part of the Russian disinformation campaign.
In 1996, Professor Himka wrote on the work Hamster edition published in Krakow in the Ukrainian language newspaper “Krakow news”, which often published anti-Semitic invective materials. “In some of the articles were favorable statements about what the Nazis did with the Jews,” he said.
But in the same article, edited by Freeland Himka announced as the Hamster told his family that the post of editor of the newspaper he is playing a double game.
“The daughter of the chief editor, who took his father’s interview about his impressions of wartime, informed me that Mikhail Hamster and editors in General to some extent collaborated with the antifascist resistance. In particular, they passed the forged documents to the members of the underground”, — he wrote.
The Professor noted that he had not been able to verify this information, which he called “fragmentary and one-sided”.
Giving Tuesday interview, Himka said he did not know about the work of the Hamster on the Nazis, while his father-in-law died, and he found copies of “Krakow news” in his personal papers.
Himka recognized that the Hamster was a collaborator, but said that all editorial decisions about articles anti-Semitic and other propaganda made by the Germans.
“Yes, he was the editor of legal newspaper in Nazi-occupied Poland. In the newspaper he never signed. He never took any important decisions. It was not part of his duties, — said the Professor Himka Globe and Mail. — This newspaper has also made a contribution to Ukrainian culture and supported the Ukrainian intelligentsia, paying her article. There were not only anti-Semitic articles, but also articles about Ukrainian culture. It was all mixed together.”
The office Freeland made a brief statement when appealed to journalists to comment on the materials Khimki on “Krakow news” about her grandfather.
“Many years ago, the Minister helped his uncle to collect and publish materials about this difficult period in the past of her late grandfather,” wrote Tuesday night in an email, press Secretary Freeland Alexander Lawrence (Lawrence Alexander).
On Monday, Freeland has accused Russia of spreading misinformation, when reporters asked her about appearing on Pro-Russian sites messages on the topic of the Nazi past Hamster.
“I don’t think it’s a secret. American officials have openly stated, and even [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel has publicly said that the Russian side is trying to destabilize Western democracy. It seems to me, there is no surprise that these same actions are carried out against Canada,” said Freeland.
But she did not answer directly to the question of whether the true message about the Hamster. When on Monday the correspondent of the Globe and Mail asked her office to make a rebuttal made a statement, Lawrence said, “People should ask, where did such information and that it is”.
Conservative critic Peter Kent (Peter Kent) called the apparent Russian attempt to dig up some details about the past Hamster, to vilify the Minister of Freeland.
“This is unacceptable. Looks like they are trying to blacken the Minister’s historic details that might be misrepresented, he said. — It is unfair, and the same thing we see in other countries. It is irrelevant to her ability to represent Canada”.
Freeland sharply criticized Moscow for the annexation of the Crimea, and in 2014 she and 12 Canadians was denied entry to Russia for what they urged the West to impose sanctions against the Putin regime.
Published on Pro-Russian sites material is said that strong performances Freeland against Russian aggression in Ukraine connected with the past of her grandfather.
Freeland wrote that her grandfather and the maternal grandmother fled Ukraine in 1939. She called them political refugees, who “responsibly tried to keep the idea of independence of Ukraine”.