At a press conference last January, the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Canada of having been “a refuge for Nazi criminals”. /p>
Despite his criminal past, [Ferdinand Eckhardt] escaped punishment by moving to Canada in 1953, where he ran an art gallery in Winnipeg for 20 years.
A quote by Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry
From the first days of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia explained that what it called a special military operation aimed to denazify the regime of Volodymyr Zelensky.
Since the start of the war on February 24, 2022, Canada has been one of the main military supporters of the Ukrainian army.
We consider Canada to be an extremely hostile state, whose authorities have demonstrated complicity with Nazism by betraying their own history. We will therefore structure our policy adequately, announced Maria Zakharova in her speech on January 31.
In the logic of Moscow, please supports Ukraine, so Canada opposes the so-called denazification project.
There is an association of ideas, and that puts Canada directly in the crosshairs of Russia and its foreign policy, analyzes Pierre Jolicoeur, dean of the faculty of humanities and social sciences at the Royal Military College of Canada , in Kingston.
Ferdinand Eckhardt was the director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery from 1953 to 1974.
Already in September, the invitation of former Nazi fighter Yaroslav Hunka to the House of Commons during the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was widely mentioned by Russian authorities to denigrate Canada.
The moment was served on a silver platter for the Russian authorities, explains Pierre Jolicoeur. Certainly Canada has failed in its duties, there are corrective measures that must be made to properly evaluate the pedigrees or the history of the people we invite to Parliament.
The journalist behind the investigation revealing Ferdinand Eckhardt's past, Conrad Sweatman, says he did not expect his work to be mentioned all the way to Moscow. However, I am not surprised that the Kremlin is using everything at its disposal to paint Canada as pro-Nazi, he adds.
The use of this event by Moscow should not, however, erase the errors made by the Canadian authorities, according to Mr. Sweatman.
We must face the reality of Nazi immigration to Canada. We should recognize that our institutions have sometimes proven too welcoming to pro-Nazi expatriates like Hunka, Eckhardt and others.
The Winnipeg Art Gallery has removed the name of its former director from its lobby.
Since the revelations of Walrus, the name of the former director who died in 1995 was removed from various places in Winnipeg where it was displayed, such as in the entrance hall of the National Gallery as well as in several buildings at the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.
In early January, Prime Minister Wab Kinew announced that he had dismissed Ferdinand Eckhardt from his Membership of the Order of the Bison Hunt, Manitoba's highest honor.
For her part, Charlotte MacLeod, spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada, assures in an email that the federal government is trying to fight against disinformation.
Canada will continue to use its communications platforms, including social media, to raise awareness about how the Russian regime is using lies to justify its illegal, unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, and to x27;focus on tools and tactics to build resistance to disinformation tactics.
At the time of publishing this article, the Museum of Fine Arts arts of Winnipeg (WAG) did not respond to requests for comment from CBC/Radio-Canada.
- Corentin Mittet-Magnan (View profile)Corentin Mittet-MagnanFollow