Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has been criticised for alleging that the founder of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, may have “had Jewish blood”.
Hitler and his fellow Nazis were anti-Semites (who were prejudiced against Jewish people) and murdered six million Jews in Europe between 1933 and 1945.
According to a transcript posted on the Russian foreign ministry website, Lavrov told Italian outlet Mediaset’s Rete 4 channel in an interview released Sunday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “puts forward an argument of what kind of Nazism can they have if he himself is Jewish”. He added:
I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Monday, 2 May summoned Moscow’s ambassador for “clarifications”.
In a statement from the foreign ministry, Lapid condemned Lavrov’s remarks as “an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error”. He said:
Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also castigated Lavrov’s “lies” that he said effectively “accuse the Jews themselves of the most awful crimes in history”, perpetrated against themselves. Said, Bennett:
No war in our time is like the Holocaust or is comparable to the Holocaust.
The use of the Holocaust on the Jewish people as a political tool must cease immediately.
Zelensky, who himself drew criticism from some Israeli officials in March for comparing Russian aggression in Ukraine to the Holocaust, denounced Lavrov’s comments in his nightly address on Monday. He said:
These words mean that Russia’s top diplomat is blaming the Jewish people for Nazi crimes… no words.
… The question is will the Israeli ambassador stay in Moscow knowing their new position?
Will relations with Russia remain as usual? Because (Lavrov’s remarks are) not accidental.
The office of the US State Department envoy on combatting antisemitism wrote on Twitter:
To invoke the lie of “denazification” in Ukraine, a country with a Jewish president and a significant Jewish population living in peace among their fellow citizens is baseless and cruelly deranged.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, whose country has led international support for Ukraine, tweeted:
It is incumbent on the world to speak out against such vile, dangerous rhetoric and support our Ukrainian partners in the face of the Kremlin’s vicious assault.
In Berlin, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit told reporters:
I think the Russian propaganda being spread here by Foreign Minister Lavrov needs no comment… it’s absurd.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, it said it wants to “de-militarise” and “de-Nazify” Ukraine.
According to Britannica Dictionary, a Nazi is an evil person who wants to use power to control and harm other people especially because of their race, religion, etc…