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29 May, 2024 15:17

British king accepted award from Ukrainian Nazi – media

The royal received an honorary degree from a former member of a Ukrainian Waffen-SS unit in 1983, a UK media outlet has revealed
British king accepted award from Ukrainian Nazi – media

Britain’s King Charles received an award from a Ukrainian Nazi veteran while still Prince of Wales in 1983, an investigation by the media outlet Declassified UK has found.

The outlet has discovered a photograph showing the then Prince Charles receiving an honorary law degree during a ceremony at the University of Alberta in Canada from Peter Savaryn, a former member of the Waffen-SS, who served as the university’s chancellor from 1982 to 1986.

According to the report, in his acceptance speech Charles praised those who had “sacrificed their lives 40 years ago” in the fight against Adolf Hitler, yet the award was conferred on him by a veteran who fought for Nazi Germany.

Originally from what was then eastern Poland, Savaryn served in a Ukrainian Waffen-SS unit during World War II.

Millions of Ukrainians served in the Soviet Red Army during the war, but thousands of others fought on the German side under the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, known as the Galicia Division.

The division, formed in 1943, attracted volunteers from what is now western Ukraine. Its members took a personal oath to Adolf Hitler and have been accused of atrocities against Jews as well as other Polish and Soviet civilians.

Commenting on the revelation, Buckingham Palace confirmed that during a royal visit in 1983, Charles received the award from the University of Alberta, describing it as a “highly respected Canadian institution.”

“As is customary, the University’s Chancellor bestowed the honor,” the Palace told Declassified. “As all normal vetting procedures had been followed by his hosts it was recommended that The King accepted the honor at the time.”

The outlet suggested that Britain’s Foreign Office, which organizes royal trips abroad, could have known about Savaryn’s Nazi past.

Savaryn was among thousands of Waffen-SS Galicia men who escaped to the West after 1945, often with British assistance, the report claimed.

In 1987, Savaryn was bestowed a Royal honor, the Order of Canada. Canadian Governor General Mary Simon last year apologized and expressed “regret” that her office awarded the second-highest merit in the country to a former Nazi soldier.

Last year, the University of Alberta was caught in the middle of another Nazi scandal after it held an endowment named after Yaroslav Hunka, the 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian who also served in the Nazi Galicia Division.

Hunka was given standing ovations by Canadian lawmakers during Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to the country’s parliament. The incident became an international embarrassment for Ottawa, leading to the resignation of House Speaker Anthony Rota, a public apology from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and an admission from Germany that its ambassador had applauded a former member of the Waffen SS.

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