Anthony Rota, the speaker of the House of Commons, invited [Yaroslav] Hunka, a constituent in his Ontario legislative district, to the joint session of Parliament last week. Rota called Hunka ‘a Ukrainian hero’ and ‘a Canadian hero,’ prompting a standing ovation from the crowd and a raised fist from [Volodymyr] Zelensky…. Hunka had served with the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division, a unit of the Waffen-SS made up of ethnic Ukrainians. The Waffen-SS was a Nazi paramilitary force formed by key Holocaust organizer Heinrich Himmler.

Washington Post, September 27, 2023

Yaroslav Hunka gets the call.
He’s put on a ten-country tour.
In the lower house of the Republic of Botulismia,
Hunka gets two standing ovations.
Then the obligatory scandal, alla Canada.
But this time, not such a big a deal.
The Speaker is suspended for a week.

In the Commonwealth of Psoriatica,
The Speaker gets sent home for the day.
In Chilbainia, Diverticulos, East Colia, Fibromyalgy:
A few complaints in the media;
A couple op-eds mewling about
“Questionable judgement.”

And Hunka is a phenomenon
On both sides of the Atlantic.
The press dubs it “Hunkamania.”
(Also, Le Hunkamania, Das Hunkamania, etc.)
Everyone seemed to have forgotten
That Nazism was, like, a bad thing.
Everywhere are tattoos and sports caps displaying
The Trident, Wolfsangel, Black Sun, Swastika.

Then almost overnight
It all vanishes like a bad dream.
Fascist symbols disappear.
No one remembers Yaroslav Hunka.
And no one remembers the old war,
Or which side was which.

And so it comes to pass…

Cylindrical smokestacks
Dot the landscapes of two continents.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,
A fetid smoke belches from the stacks:
Black snakes undulating in the air.

All is quiet in the Fatherland.

Roger Stoll lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has published articles, book reviews and political poetry in Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360, Jewschool, Marxism-Leninism Today, MintPress News, MRonline, New Verse News, Orinoco Tribune, Popular Resistance, Resumen Latinoamericano, San Francisco Examiner, and ZNet. Read other articles by Roger.