Toronto (December 21, 2022) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) is shocked by the Ottawa Citizen's decision to publish a disgraceful opinion piece that distorts the Holocaust and spreads disinformation about it, and is calling on the newspaper to retract the article.
In an opinion piece published on December 19, titled "Ottawa's National Holocaust Monument must include Ukrainians," Royal Military College of Canada professor Lubomyr Luciuk says "the National Holocaust Monument intentionally ignores the suffering of millions of people" by emphasizing the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust, something he claims is "discriminatory messaging" and "perpetrating a prejudice."
These unfounded claims were made despite the Monument's memorial plaque reading, "The National Holocaust Monument commemorates the six million Jewish men, women and children murdered during the Holocaust and the millions of other victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators." Luciuk disinforms readers by falsely claiming the plaque only mentions Jewish victims of Nazi Germany and its collaborators.
The term Holocaust is defined by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as "the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million European Jews by the Nazi German regime and its allies and collaborators." According to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, using the term "Holocaust" to refer to events unrelated to the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators is a form of Holocaust distortion.
FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt released the following statement in response to the Ottawa Citizen piece:
"It is shameful that the Ottawa Citizen would provide Lubomyr Luciuk a platform to spread his noxious and ahistorical views and disinform readers on the facts of the Holocaust. At a time when Holocaust memory is under a sustained assault, it's disgraceful that a university professor would misrepresent one of the darkest chapters in human history, and that a major newspaper would publish it. The National Holocaust Monument does not ignore 'the suffering of millions of people,' as Luciuk alleges. Rather, its focus is informed by the historical realities of the Nazi Party's attempt to exterminate European Jewry, as outlined in its Final Solution. That focus does not cheapen or ignore the memory of the millions of other victims of the Nazis and their collaborators. Holocaust distortion is dangerous disinformation that manipulates an emotive subject for political gain, and it causes active harm to Canada's Jewish community, particularly the sadly diminishing numbers of Holocaust survivors."
FSWC sent a letter today to Postmedia President and CEO Andrew MacLeod and to the Ottawa Citizen calling for Luciuk's piece to be retracted for spreading disinformation about the Holocaust and to provide space for a response in the newspaper that sets the record straight and explains the harm of Luciuk's words.