Subject: Wasyl Odynsky - response to Keith Landy comments on Worthington
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 13:59:51 -0700 (PDT)
From: Roman Hrycyshyn
This letter was sent to the Toronto Sun.
April 11, 2001
Dear Editor, Toronto Sun Publishing:
In his letter to the editor, with respect to Peter Worthington's column on April 5, 2001, "Ukrainian guard wasn't a Nazi", Keith Landy, Chair of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region, purposely distorted absolute facts to gain public sympathy irrespective of the known truth.
The Governor General in Council and Judge Andrew MacKay found absolutely "no evidence of any incident in which he [Wasyl Odynsky] was involved that could be considered as directed wrongfully at any other individual, whether a forced labourer-prisoner, or any other person"  2) Docket T-2669-97, Neutral citation: 2001 FCT 138. Mr. Odynsky is not guilty of any crimes, period! He was found guilty of possibly falsely representing or concealing the fact that he was a terrified teenager captured by the Nazi's at gunpoint. At threats of execution of his family he was conscripted by the Germans, not knowing of his future role, to be a perimeter guard, never in contact with any prisoners. His sentence was one of an outside security guard. This man stands without any moral blemishes - he perpetrated no crime, did nothing wrong.
Keith Landy refers to an "accepted standard of proof" by our Federal Court. Let us all understand that is a subjective ruling. The public should note that Wasyl Odynsky is being pursued under the rules of civil court not criminal. Unlike criminal proceedings where the burden of proof is very high and the courts will provide you with lawyers if you cannot afford them, civil proceedings are based on the balance of probabilities, what one thinks probably occurred, and further the defendant must pay for his own defense - if you can't afford it, too bad. This development in proceedings was implemented after the Deschenes Commission, which managed to produce absolutely nothing other than waste tax dollars and falsely smear veterans, who deserve our humility. However it did serve to discredit Sol Littman, Simon Wiesenthal, Robert Kaplan and Neal Sher for facilitating false information. How ironic.
Judge MacKay subjectively ruled that he thinks Wasyl Odynsky must have misrepresented his application to Canada, even though the Immigration Officer who interviewed Wasyl Odynsky in 1952, Andrew Kaarsberg, testified in the current proceedings that Odynsky was satisfactorily passed based on his application and interview. The exact discourse from 50 years ago is somewhat sketchy. And even so, Mr. Landy maliciously claims Wasyl Odynsky would not have been allowed to enter Canada if it were known that he was forced into the war. Mr. Odynsky was not a collaborator, he himself was a victim of the war. Under Canadian immigration laws he would have been granted entry to Canada and rightfully so.
Mr. Landy also refers to Judge MacKay's ruling as justice, it not being callous. How do you compare Wasyl Odynsky to the Jewish Ghetto Police or the Jewish prison guards at concentration camps who ignored the Jews and Christians being murdered. Did they have a choice? It would appear by Mr. Landy's comments that they did. Did any of them apply for Canadian citizenship? If they did then their hands were stained - Wasyl Odynsky's were not. Should we look for them before the last of the 70 and 80-year-olds pass away and we miss the media shot?
Keith Landy's mandate to smear Wasyl Odynsky and in turn Ukrainians is shameful. I say Ukrainians as a whole because Wasyl Odynsky was not accused as a man but he stood as Wasyl Odynsky, Ukrainian. To the point, no other nation endured more human losses than we did. The number of German armed forces in WWII killed or missing in action on lands of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia was over 2.4 million, ten times the number on all other fronts including Poland, Norway, France, the Balkans, North Africa, Italy and NW Europe. Who does he think selflessly sacrificed in order to defeat the Nazis? Where is our retribution or remuneration? Has anyone paid homage to all Eastern European lives cut short by both Hitler and Stalin? Even before WWII broke out eight million Ukrainians were starved to death in a famine engineered by Stalin in 1932. Millions more sacrificed during WWII and millions more succumb to Communism in the modern dark ages of the last half century. 7,000 trees whether they sprout in Jerusalem or anywhere else, fall short to acknowledge their Righteousness.
Wasyl Odynsky deserves justice. History cannot be rewritten nor will it be forgotten irrespective of the efforts of Mr. Landy and the congress he chairs.