TORONTO (Feb. 26)
A member of the Alberta Assembly was forced to retract a statement he made to a reporters last week questioning the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Bohdan Zip, a conservative representing Calgary’s Mountainview district, was apparently reprimanded by Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed after he was quoted as telling a reporter that Jews inflated the number of deaths in order to win sympathy for Israel. Following a meeting with Lougheed, Zip said: “I hereby retract all statements by myself made Wednesday, February 22 regarding events during the second World War.”
He insisted, however, that the reporter had quoted him out of context. He said the reporter came to him for information about Eastern European history because Zip is of Ukrainian descent. Zip is the second member of the Alberta Assembly who retracted remarks questioning the Holocaust within the past 12 months.
Last year, Stephen Stiles, another conservative, apologized publicly for similar statements. Both Stiles and Zip made their comments against the background of the upcoming trial of Jim Keegstra, former mayor of Eckville, Alberta, who is charged with violating Canada’s anti-hate laws, a criminal offense.
Keegstra was removed from his teaching post at the Eckville high school last year after parents complained that he was indoctrinating his pupils with anti-Semitism. It was Keegstra’s contentention that the Holocaust was a hoax and that Jews are the root of all evil in the world. The date for his trial is expected to be announced in court this Wednesday.