James E. Motluk
In 1945, as the Second World War neared its end, the Allied powers, led by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin, signed the Yalta Accord, an agreement that, among other things, allowed the USSR to forcibly repatriate any person the Soviets deemed to be a former national. This included over a million Ukrainian refugees stranded in DP (Displaced Person) camps in Germany, many of whom feared that returning to the USSR would mean a one way trip to Siberia. But a group of Canadian soldiers, led by Flight Lieutenant Bohdan Panchuk, lobbied the Allied powers to override Yalta and allow these refugees to resettle in the west. Their efforts were Herculean. Panchuk himself flew to Ottawa in 1945 to make an impassioned plea before the Canadian Senate. Even Eleanor Roosevelt got involved. In the end, hundreds of thousands of refugees were able to escape the grip of the USSR.