UASU Calls on University to Address Waffen-SS Memorial Endowments

News Staff - Tue Oct 03, 2023

The University of Alberta Students' Union (UASU) calls on the University to uphold the principles of its recent statement about closing a memorial endowment for Yaroslav Hunka, who was a soldier in the 14th Division 'Galician' (also known as the 1st Ukrainian Division) of the Nazi regime's Waffen-SS. Based on UASU reviews of University of Alberta archives, the University may be in possession of at least $927,000 in additional public memorial endowments tied to the 14th Waffen-SS.

The UASU echoes the many community members who have called for the University to close the $437,700 Volodymyr and Daria Kubijovyc Memorial Endowment Fund, which commemorates a co-founder of the 14th Waffen-SS.

Meanwhile, biographies found in archived newsletters from the University's Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) suggest that at least $490,000 in endowments memorialize at least six 14th Waffen-SS soldiers by name, including at least one officer. These men were often labeled as belonging to the 'Galician Division' or '1st Ukrainian Division' during the Second World War, with oblique or absent references to that division's wartime allegiance.

"Endowments named for Waffen-SS soldiers are public memorials," said Christian Fotang, UASU President. "We call on the University to verify and remove the rest of the memorial endowments for Waffen-SS soldiers, publicly recognize and account for its long and complex history with these soldiers, meaningfully apologize for how its fundraising and memorial practices have contributed to obscuring history, and transparently review all its endowments. If the University is willing to close one memorial for a 14th Waffen-SS soldier as a matter of principle, it should be willing to close them all."

About the University of Alberta Students’ Union

The UASU is the official representative of 35,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. It advocates for students’ needs and priorities to the University of Alberta and at all levels of government.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Ari Campbell

External Relations Specialist

University of Alberta Students’ Union

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