|Esprit de Corps’ Scott Taylor is accused of spreading a Kremlin propaganda virus by Estonian-Cdn activist, Marcus Kolga. My article in Esprit de Corps (below) exposes deep, Nazi-linked roots of the Estonian Central Council in Canada andEstonian World Council, which Kolga has served as president and vice president.Taylor commends my recent work on fascist links of Canada’s Russophobic, pro-NATO émigré groups, including Latvians, Lithuanians, Slovaks and Ukrainians:“Sanders has compiled an important trove of research into a very little known, and sinister chapter in Canada’s history…. Sanders provides a disturbing insight into how fading memories and lack of education have made Holocaust distortion and denial possible in Canada. He is to be commended for his brave work in bringing this information forward.” My Esprit de Corps article also notes that Chrystia Freeland began her career with right-wing Ukrainian-Canadian publications in Edmonton where her Nazi propagandist grandfather had also worked. The first of these were government-funded jobs for an encyclopedia created by her grandfather’s WWII boss, who led collaboration between Nazi Germany and fascist/antiSemitic/racist/antiRed Ukrainian ethnonationalists.My work on state-funded émigré groups that glorify fascist heroes, is online: Defunding the Myths and Cults of Cold War Canada. (Press for Conversion! #70, Spring 2021)Please share this work, and consider |
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|Estonian activist Marcus Kolga (right), who calls Nazi Estonia’s Legion “freedom fighters,” wrote a Russophobic report for the right-wing MacDonald-Laurier Institute called “Stemming the Virus“ on the “Threat of Russian Disinformation.”Kolga’s fearmongering smears Scott Taylor and Richard Sanders saying we are|
spreading a dangerous Kremlin propaganda virus!Our crime? We expose the ongoing glorification of East European legions
that were trained, financed, armed and led by Nazi Germany, wore Nazi uniforms
and swore solemn oaths to fight to the death for Adolph Hitler in order to
vanquish their enemy, the USSR, which was Canada’s war-time ally.
With the help of their fascist East European allies, the Nazis executed
the Holocaust and killed 27 million Soviet citizens.But, insists Kolga, these antiSoviet WWII veterans were NOT Nazis,
they were praiseworthy
“Ukrainian and Baltic freedom fighters.”Kolga is a key figure in two émigré groups founded and led by Nazi collaborators, including Estonian Waffen SS veterans: the Estonian Central Council in Canada andEstonian World Council. He is president of the Central and Eastern European Council(a Canadian lobbying network of fascist-linked émigré groups that were linked throughout the Cold War to the notoriously Nazi-riddled AntiBolshevik Bloc of Nations and World AntiCommunist League). Kolga is also a senior fellow of a right-wing Canadian think tank, the MacDonald-Laurier Institute. It is funded by large fossil fuel extraction corporations and some foreign governments, including Latvia, which officially glorifies its Nazi WWII veterans as glorious freedom-fighting war heroes.“Is Esprit de Corps on trial for being on target against Nazism?“(Esprit de Corps, May 2021)By Richard SandersReaders of Esprit de Corpsknow Scott Taylor as an outspoken columnist whose trajectory can be controversial. His on-course opposition to Nazis, their collaborators and apologists, in Canada and abroad, should not be contentious, especially to members and veterans of Canada’s armed forces. But when Taylor stood up against the glorification of Nazi SS divisions by modern governments in Eastern Europe he took flak from some, including an Estonian-Canadian activist, Marcus Kolga. As a senior fellow of the right-wing MacDonald-Laurier Institute, Kolga targeted Taylor saying he’d “mischaracterized Ukrainian and Baltic freedom fighters who resisted Soviet occupation as Nazis.” To Kolga, this branded Taylor guilty of spreading the “virus” of “a particularly popular Kremlin narrative.”
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you can email me your postal address in Canada.Kolga’s report, Stemming the Virus, on “the threat of Russian disinformation,” also fired at Esprit de Corps, which, he chastened, “frequently echoes the anti-NATO views common on pro-Russian websites.” I should disclose that Kolga’s report also aimed epithets at my research, which he filed under “pro-Kremlin media and trolls.” Apparently, I spread the Russian virus by exposing how Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s journalism career began with jobs for publications promoting the WWII Ukrainian Waffen SS Galicia as heroic “freedom fighters.” Not knowing I’d be besmirched by Kolga, I posted, in March 2017, a wealth of evidence (still unreported by mainstream media) proving that Freeland and her grandfather, Michael Chomiak, the Nazi news propagandist, had both worked for the same far-right, Ukrainian-Canadian publications in Edmonton.One of these, The Encyclopedia of Ukraine, was the postwar brainchild of Volodymyr Kubijovych. As a top Ukrainian coordinator of Nazi collaboration, Kubijovych pushed the Germans to set up the SS Galicia and oversaw Chomiak’s work, which included publishing his call for Ukrainians to volunteer for this Nazi division.As a teen, Freeland landed two Canadian government summer jobs writing for Kubijovych’s encyclopedia. It romanticises ethnic-cleansing Ukrainian fascists as ethical anticommunists and whitewashes their complicity in the genocide of Jews, Poles, Roma and communist partisans who were backing the Red Army.Visiting Edmonton, Chomiak’s wartime boss signed over his encyclopedia to a government-funded Ukrainian research centre at the University of Alberta, whose chancellor, Peter Savaryn, was a proud veteran of the Ukrainian Waffen SS and a leader of nationalist Ukrainian organizations. The Governor General subsequently awarded Savaryn the Order of Canada for volunteering with these Ukrainian groups.As an apologist for Estonians who welcomed Nazi forces as liberators, Marcus Kolga cheerleads NATO and praises today’s SS-revering European regimes. But they are victims, he says, “targeted by Kremlin aggression.”There is a hearty tradition of vilifying antifascists by disparaging them with offensive insults. Let’s illustrate this with a chapter from the history of the Estonian Central Council (ECC) in Canada, which Kolga served as president from 2016 to 2020.The ECC claims to oppose those two arch-rivals, Nazism and Communism, which it falsely equates as twin evils equally to blame for WWII. But since its creation in 1954, the ECC has only aimed its fire at Reds. This, after all, was the fixation of Nazi collaborators and supporters who created and led the ECC through the Cold War until the present.In 1964, the ECC’s vice president was a German-Estonian named Karl Eerme. An embedded war correspondent for the Nazi-led Estonian SS, Lieutenant Eerme landed in a post-war US POW camp in Germany. Moving to Toronto, he continued anti-Soviet propaganda through the ECC and stated its McCarthyesque purpose as providing “the focal point for … all Estonians in Canada … in their avowed and active opposition to the doctrine of Communism.”In 1960, the USSR — having lost 27 million citizens to the Nazis and their East European supporters — sought to expose some perpetrators. It named ECC leaders, including three former SS-lieutenants, an SS-Legion staff member and two former Gestapo police commissioners. Using German documents, eyewitness accounts and other evidence gathered when forcing the Nazis from Estonia in 1944, the Soviets identified Winnipeg’s Aleksander Laak as an ECC member who represented the most brutal of Estonia’s Nazi collaborators protected in Canada.In August 1960, the Soviets indicted Laak for “organizing extermination camp Jägala and personally shooting Jews” and reported that he’d overseen the murder of 3,000 prisoners.“The Russian story is 99 per cent lies,” said Laak. “It is only Communist propaganda.” Dozens of Canadian journalists agreed. Headlines blaring “Red Story,” “Red Charges” and “Red Claims” rejected it as Russian “propaganda.” The RCMP gave Laak a “clear” record. The government dismissed it as “phony.” Laak’s neighbours, co-workers and employer said he was a victim of Soviet lies. Despite this support, Laak hanged himself a few days later and papers blamed “Communist propaganda” for killing him.Alexander Laak, 1940The ECC joined the fray. One article, “Estonians Fear Smear Campaign,” said Toronto’s 8,000 Estonians were afraid they would “come under a Soviet propaganda barrage.” Although the USSR focused on Laak, the ECC’s leader Enn Salurand said all Estonian-Canadians were “bracing themselves for a Communist campaign designed to discredit them.” How many of Estonia’s tens of thousands of SS men came to Canada is unknown.Salurand helped found the ECC and was its secretary-general for 25 years. In 1931, he helped create and lead an outfit back in the Baltic, the Estonian National Club. Its eugenics-based ethno-nationalism, intolerant of minorities, got it outlawed by the Soviets when they occupied Estonia in 1940. After coming to Canada, Salurand is said to have never missed a board meeting of the Estonian veterans’ publication, Combatant.When Laak’s photo appeared in newspapers, Jewish Holocaust survivors in Canada and the US called the press, identifying him as the slave-labour camp’s commandant. “Laak was wearing the SS uniform and was in charge,” declared Toronto’s Greta Zarkower. “Laak and his men took all our valuables…. I was beaten unmercifully, regularly, with a riding whip by SS men.” The media fell silent on Laak for six months.This silence ended when three top Estonian Nazis went on trial in September 1960. Ralph Gerrets, Laak’s deputy, confessed in Soviet court that they killed thousands, mostly Jews and “Gypsies,” and that Laak took part. Gerrets described shooting small children and dumping them in trenches. Forty witnesses identified Laak as camp commander.“Registration point for the volunteers
of the Estonian Legion” (Sept. 1942)Female survivors recounted being “ordered to undress on arrival at the extermination camp while being examined by Gerrets and Lt. Alexander Laak.” Some testified Laak arranged for “girl inmates” to be “forced to take part in orgies at night and murdered afterward.”Despite this shocking testimony, no Canadian papers mentioned Laak’s name, or previous claims of innocence by the ECC, RCMP, government and media. Instead, most stories blasted the trial as propaganda. When the three Estonian war criminals were sentenced to death, Canadian journalists didn’t mention Laak but concurred the “show trial apparently aimed at discrediting anti-Soviet Estonian refugee groups.”Estonian Canadians also went silent, except for one letter to the editor from an ECC-linked Montreal group. Its vice president, Martin Puhvel, castigated the Gazette for covering the trial at all and defended Estonian collaborators as heroes. Describing the trial as “vicious propagandists fairytales,” he said “the Soviet propaganda machine has … launched a campaign of calumny and vilification against Estonian patriots whose only ‘crime’ lies in defending their homes against murderous, unprovoked aggression by the Russian enslavers.” ——-> Click here to read the rest of this article in Esprit de Corps magazine<——-Or, read the two original Press-for-Conversion! articles (complete with all the references) here:Estonian Central Council in Canada and Estonian World CouncilWatch COAT’s peace documentary
“Mothers’ Day at the War Show”Since this Sunday, May 9, is Mothers’ Day, you may want to watch this documentary that I produced in 1997 for the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT). It’s about a highly-militaristic Ottawa “air show” that was held on Mothers’ Day, a day that was meant to unite women against wars. (Click the image at right, or here to watch it on Youtube.)“Air shows” are at the forefront of a widespread cultural epidemic in which militarism, violence and war technology are glorified and romanticised as family fun and wholesome entertainment for children and youth.The film juxtaposes interviews with children at the Ottawa “air show” describing their favourite war planes zooming overhead with footage of the hoorors caused by these same warplanes during the Iraq War, interviews with US Attorney General Ramsey Clarke surveying destruction in Iraq, paintings from a display of Iraqi children’s original, war-related paintings that was set up by COAT inside the Ottawa air show, interviews with COAT activists attending that protest/art exhibit, and songs performed at the war show by the Raging Grannies. Learn more about the documentary here. This unusual film was narrated by a great voice for peace and a stalwart COAT mentor, Marion Dewar. She was Ottawa’s mayor (1978-1985), an NDP MP (1986-1988), and became Oxfam Canada’s president in 1995.
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