The fact the entire Canadian Parliament, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were blindly led into giving a standing ovation to a former Waffen-SS volunteer demonstrates there is evidently a “large knowledge gap” in the West about its own history, but using this as a learning experience could bring some positive results, a Polish government minister told Breitbart News.

Applauding a former Nazi volunteer soldier in Canada’s Parliament is embarrassing but can be a learning experience to help Canada become a better ally to Poland, Secretary of State of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arkadiusz Mularczyk told Breitbart London in the wake of the Canadian Parliament Speaker Anthony Rota stepping down over the scandal.

Rota had introduced Second World War-era Waffen SS soldier Yaroslav Hunka, who is now a 98-year-old Canadian resident, to the Parliamentary chamber on Friday during a special session attended by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Introducing him as a “Ukrainian hero, Canadian hero” who “fought [for] Ukrainian independence against the Russians”, the chamber gave two standing ovations to Hunka.

The applause was despite Ukraine and its history of conflict being foremost in the minds of many today and that Russia fought with the Western Allies against Nazi Germany to 1945 being, at least until recently, common knowledge.

Secretary of State Mularczyk said it was a disgrace that Canadian Parliament officials weren’t “aware of the historical facts concerning the Waffen-SS” and weren’t briefed is a “disgrace”, and that the episode clearly demonstrates there is a “large knowledge gap concerning the Second World War”.

Ignorance of what actually went on in the conflict, particularly in Eastern Europe is something the Minister told Breitbart is something he comes across frequently when speaking to people in the rest of the world, saying few seemed to be aware “about Poland’s war losses and the fact Poland has not received compensation for its losses”.

“I am sad to see such lack of knowledge shown as it was in Canada”, he said, but put a positive light on events, saying this learning experience could help Canada to be a better ally in future, particularly when it comes to helping Poland come to a settlement with Germany over their coordinated 1939 invasion with Russia.

Advancing the cause for seeing the Polish people compensated for the over five million Poles killed, the Holocaust brought to their nation by the German invasion, and the systematic destruction and ethnic cleansing of Polish settlements is part of Secretary of State Mularczyk’s government brief. Earlier this year he said Berlin coming clean and opening a dialogue with Warsaw would set a strong precedent for compensation for Ukraine from Russia for their invasions after the present war ends.

Mularczyk said in July that Germany “has an unavoidable obligation to set an example of how a modern, democratic country should help to resolve conflict; but this latest act sets a perfect example to Russia on how to behave as regards Ukraine.”

This is a push that has been supported by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) who said earlier this month that “80 percent of the buildings of Warsaw were destroyed. Assets of Polish banks, credit institutions and insurance companies were looted or destroyed – the insurance claims of millions of Polish policy holders evaporated with the destruction of those companies.

“…Unfortunately, in central Europe many claims for compensation, from both the Nazi and communist eras, remain unresolved. Most of the states that were caught behind Russia’s ‘Iron Curtain,’ including Poland, have imperfect records in this respect. Some claims require governments to consider difficult questions – yet that can’t be an excuse for inaction.”

The German government considers the matter closed due to a Cold War-era, Moscow-backed pronouncement while both Eastern Germany and Poland were under Soviet occupation. Poland rejects the validity of this move in the post-communist world.