Russian Foreign Minister Says Hitler Was Part Jewish
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sparked outrage when discussing Russia's 'denazification' of Ukraine, as he claimed Adolf Hitler had 'Jewish blood'.
Lavrov made the comments during an interview with an Italian news channel on Sunday, 1 May, just days after Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day in honour of the six million Jews who were murdered under Hitler's Nazi Germany in World War II.
During the interview, the foreign minister was asked to clarify exactly how Russia's President Vladimir Putin could argue he was trying to 'denazify' Ukraine through his ongoing war when the country's leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is himself Jewish.
Putin made the claim in his speech announcing the start of the operation on February 24, saying: "To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, as well as bring to trial those who perpetrated numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including against citizens of the Russian Federation."
In response to the interviewer's question on the Rete 4 channel, as Reuters reports, Lavrov responded: "So what if Zelensky is Jewish?
"The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood. Some of the worst antisemites are Jews."
The comment quickly sparked backlash, with Israel's foreign ministry summoning Russia's ambassador for 'clarification' and demanding an apology for the allegation.
Israel's foreign minister, Yair Lapid, described Lavrov's claim as 'both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error'.
Foreign Minister Lavrov’s remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error. Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism.— יאיר לפיד - Yair Lapid🟠 (@yairlapid) May 2, 2022
"Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to accuse Jews themselves of antisemitism," he continued.
The head of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, Dani Dayan, also criticised Lavrov’s remarks in a post on Twitter in which he described them as 'absurd, delusional, dangerous and deserving of any condemnation'.
Dayan added: "Lavrov is propagating the inversion of the Holocaust – turning the victims into the criminals on the basis of promoting a completely unfounded claim that Hitler was of Jewish descent. Equally serious is calling the Ukrainians in general, and President Zelenskyy in particular, Nazis. This, among other things, is a complete distortion of the history and a serious affront to the victims of Nazism."
Rumours have long circulated about Hitler's unidentified paternal grandfather being Jewish, with Hitler's lawyer Hans Frank claiming he uncovered evidence to suggest that was true. However, rumours about his Jewish ancestry have been repeatedly debunked by historians.
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