Author: Lubomyr Luciuk
Source: Winnipeg Free Press
They called themselves Chekists -- the sword and shield of the Soviet Union. They were proud of what they were. Some served as concentration camp guards. Others were executioners. Many were just clerks or cooks or those ordinary guys who mop up the mess after the torturers are done.
Over the years they had different names -- Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, SMERSH and, most notoriously, KGB. Yet their job description didn't change. They were killers. They murdered whomever their masters wanted dead. Their victims numbered in the many millions.
There were decades when they were more active, years when they were less so, but they were always there. Some of their leaders were sadists, like Nikolai Yezhov, a bisexual dwarf who told Nikita Khrushchev during a Kremlin meeting that his shirtsleeves were speckled because he had spent the night torturing an "enemy of the people." Yezhov was later shot, at Stalin's command.
In Yalta, chatting with President Roosevelt, Stalin described Lavrentii Beria, Yezhov's successor, as "our Himmler." Beria was later executed on Khrushchev's orders.
Those who live by the sword die by the sword is a sharp saying. Unfortunately, it's not always true. Not only are some veterans of Stalin's secret police alive, but they are in Canada. One could be your neighbour.
Their presence among us is not news. It has been known for years. How many there are is not certain. Probably not hundreds. Yet even one is one too many.
Remarkably, they haven't been hiding. A few have boasted publicly about what they did. One wrote a book, obligingly including a photograph posing in his NKVD lieutenant's uniform. Another described her role in a SMERSH execution squad.
An intrepid journalist broke this story in a national Canadian newspaper in April 2005. Yet after that original exposé, all followup stories were spiked. Even more intriguing is that the RCMP's war crimes unit, asked to investigate allegations about Communist collaborators in Canada, responded with the rather limp finding that they had insufficient evidence upon which to act.
That reply took more than three years to draft. Apparently when a man admits he was in the NKVD and brags about the people he did in and provides his memoirs in English in a book available in libraries across the land, the Mounties don't define that as proof of any wrongdoing. Maybe they're waiting for Hollywood to turn the manuscript into a movie.
After the Second World War, screening procedures were supposed to exclude Nazis and Communists from Canada, with no exceptions. So if a man declares he was in the NKVD and broadcasts that fact from Toronto, either he is a liar or else he lied to get into Canada, probably disguising his own complicity in war crimes by pretending to be a victim. The only other explanation for him being here is that Ottawa allowed such ruffians to immigrate. In any case, we know some Communist killers are here. Legally, they shouldn't be.
All of Stalin's minions are now elderly. Yet it's not too late to see justice done. They deserve no more mercy than they meted out. And remember, they were not forced to serve -- they volunteered. Since they have no right to be here, they should be expelled to whence they came. They can then finish out their lives as burdens upon those they served. I'd bet they won't find Moscow or Minsk as comfortable as Montreal.
Canadians are a compassionate people. Not only do we strive to do what's right, we also honour the righteous. We did in 1985, when Canada conferred honourary citizenship on Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. Yet it was not the Nazis who did him in. SMERSH agents abducted Wallenberg in Budapest in January 1945, then carted him off to the notorious Lubyanka prison.
Probably no one now here was directly involved, yet all who served Stalin in those days are complicit. Whatever they did elsewhere indirectly made it possible for their comrades to kidnap and kill Wallenberg. No one wants such scoundrels here. You'd think a Conservative government would get that. Apparently they don't. They will.