Hitler ‘had Jewish origins’ says Sergei Lavrov
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Mr Lavrov has sparked outrage with the claim that Adolf Hitler had Jewish roots. The Kremlin’s foreign chief has been slammed by Israel for the remarks with came in response to questions over Russia’s supposed need to “denazify” Ukraine militarily when the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is himself Jewish.
Mr Lavrov told Italian tv: “So what if Zelenskyy is Jewish?
The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine.
“Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn’t mean anything.
“Some of the worst antisemites are Jews.”
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The Israeli foreign ministry summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an apology for the remarks.
“Such lies are intended to accuse the Jews themselves of the most horrific crimes in history that were committed against them,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.
“The use of the Holocaust of the Jewish people for political purposes must stop immediately,” he added.
Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, said the Russian minister’s remarks were “an insult and a severe blow to the victims of the real Nazism”.
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Speaking on Kan radio, Dayan said Lavrov was spreading “an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory with no basis in fact”.
The identity of one of Hitler’s grandfathers is not known but there has been some speculation, never backed up by any evidence, that he might have been a Jew.
There was no immediate response for comment from the Russian embassy to Israel or from Lavrov in Moscow.
Kyiv condemned Lavrov’s words, saying his “heinous remarks” were offensive to Zelensky, to Israel, Ukraine and Jews.
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“More broadly, they demonstrate that today’s Russia is full of hatred towards other nations,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Yair Lapid, whose grandfather died in the Holocaust, said that accusing Jews of being anti-Semites was “the basest level of racism”. He also dismissed Lavrov’s assertion that pro-Nazi elements held sway over the Ukrainian government and military.
“The Ukrainians aren’t Nazis. Only the Nazis were Nazis and only they dealt with the systematic destruction of the Jewish people,” Lapid told the YNet news website.
A German government spokesperson said the idea Hitler had Jewish heritage was “absurd” propaganda.
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