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"Galicia Division"

Members of the "Galicia Division" were interned after the end of the Second World War near Rimini, Italy. There, they were screened by the British, Americans, Canadians, and even the Soviets, with no evidence of wartime criminality uncovered. Later relocated to the United Kingdom, they were kept working for several more years before being “civilianized,” following which a number emigrated to other countries.

Concerns expressed when veterans of this Division were finally granted permission to come to Canada, in 1950, were investigated by the High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom. He dismissed these accusations as nothing more than “Communist propaganda.”

Starting in the late 1970s, the KGB successfully orchestrated a disinformation campaign, Operation Payback, deliberately stoking tensions between the Jewish and Ukrainian diasporas over the alleged presence of “thousands” of “Nazi war criminals” in Canada and the United States. These charges were thoroughly examined from 1984 to 1987 by the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, headed by Mr. Justice Jules Deschênes. He concluded that reports about “thousands of Nazi war criminals in Canada” were “grossly exaggerated,” and noted how there was no evidence of wartime wrongdoing on the part of the veterans of the “Galicia Division.”

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