Globe and Mail | 25Apr2005 | Roman Serbyn
Letter to Editor

"Debate over war crimes gets heated"

I wish to commend Kirk Makin for his excellent article (Debate over war crimes gets heated. April 25, 2005). Canada could have avoided the unpleasant debate, which has poisoned relations between the Jewish and Ukrainian communities for twenty years, if the Mulroney government had given Justice Deschenes a mandate to seek out and investigate all war criminals. By limiting the inquiry to alleged Nazi war criminals, Mr. Mulroney opted for selective justice and in this way introduced a divisive issue into the Canadian society.

When, two months into the life of the Deschenes Commission, I wrote to point out to the Prime Minister that justice would not be served, if the inquiry focused only on alleged Nazi war criminals, the Mr. Mulroney replied: "As the Commission is now well into its mandate, suggestions that it be extended at this time would not be practical." (letter 15 July, 1985) Now, after all the unnecessary annoyance, we are going back to correct the error that government stubbornness forced on the Canadian society twenty years ago.

Roman Serbyn, Ph.D.
Montreal, PQ