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Canadian Museum of Human Rights


Also Read new article by Dr. Luciuk of Ukrainain Caandain Civil Liberties Association

Here's a new article by Charles Lewis, March 31, 2011 originally in the National Post about the results of the Nanos poll being relied on by the  Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association:

A debate over how the Canadian Museum of Human Rights balances the Holocaust and other genocides has a new flashpoint: a poll that purports to oppose giving the Holocaust primacy of place, though even the pollster himself says the poll has been misinterpreted.

The federally-funded museum, originally the dream of the late Israel Asper and set to open in about two years in Winnipeg, will have an area dedicated to the murder of six million Jews during the Second World War.

Other mass atrocities — including the Rwandan massacres, the Cambodian Killing Fields and the planned starvation and execution of at least 3.2 million Ukrainians in the 1930s under Stalin — will be housed together in an adjacent area. 

To read more of this article, click here:


by Lubomyr Luciuk, Professor, political geography, Royal Military College of Canada.

First Posted: Apr 01 2011 on

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights focuses on the Holocaust at the expense of other important issues.
It’s Canada’s first national museum outside the National Capital Region. That’s fine. It’s at the Forks in Winnipeg, where the Assiniboine and Red rivers meet. Great. It’s called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Alas, it’s not actually that. Instead it’s shaping up as a museum focused on the Shoah – the extermination of Jews in the Second World War.

If this were a privately funded project, that would be fine. But, since March 13, 2008, the CMHR has become a national institution funded from the public purse. Already over-budget and having failed to secure its projected donations, the museum’s ongoing operating costs will be borne by those who pay taxes. Since that includes me, I reckon I have a stake in what this museum is all about. As you can probably guess, I’m out of sorts, possibly because I’m sure I’ve been had.

Like many, I took the late Israel Asper, the museum’s biggest proponent, at his word when he claimed on May 29, 2003: “This museum will be totally apolitical and antiseptic in terms of trying to preach a message of one kind of inhumanity over another.” I also reckoned that his daughter, Gail, and the executive director of the Asper Foundation, Moe Levy, meant it as they rebroadcast that soothing message.

For example, on Jan. 9, 2004, in the Winnipeg Free Press, they affirmed the CMHR would not promote any “hierarchy of suffering.” Nor, they claimed, would any community be “asked to contribute any specific amount in order to tell their story,” since professionals working in “close consultation with all of the groups whose stories will be told” would be responsible for the museum’s contents.

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by Lubomyr Luciuk, director of research for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Dec 14, 2010 originally posted on

Two songs keep coming to mind. The first is by Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth.” I’ve always liked its haunting refrain: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.” That ditty describes precisely my take on what’s happening with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

In the beginning it was all about Israel Asper. He wanted a public space for a Holocaust gallery in the nation’s capital, specifically in the Canadian War Museum. Since CanWest’s conductor once enjoyed the ear of Prime Minister Jean Chretien the trade seemed certain. But after Canadian veterans objected, and Liberal fortunes fell, those best-laid plans of the mice and the men were prostrated.

Showing chutzpah, the project’s boosters regrouped, launching a well-financed campaign promoting a museum for Winnipeg, not un-coincidentally the home of the Asper Foundation. Since CanWest outlets obligingly tooted a pro-Conservative lullaby, and we all know that he who pays the piper calls the tune, this artifice worked. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s team rewarded their fealty by funding this Canadian Museum for Human Rights, permanently attached to the public teat.

If this national museum was really committed to telling human rights stories, particularly Canadian ones or those less well known, it might be worth it. But it’s not. The final report of its Content Advisory Committee confirms that a disproportionate share of the museum’s permanent exhibit space will emphasize Jewish suffering in the Second World War, elevating that horror above all other crimes against humanity. That partiality is demonstrated by 48 references to the Holocaust compared to 1 on the genocidal Great Famine of 1932-1933 in Soviet Ukraine. Adding insult to injury Holodomor is misspelled as Holodomar. Just a typo? Perhaps.

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