In an interview on the Ukrainian president, the Russian Foreign Minister said: “Zelensky is a Jew? Hitler also had Jewish origins. The greatest antisemites are precisely the Jews.”
Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, went on to say that “the fact that [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky] is a Jew does not negate the Nazi elements in his country.”
“I believe that Adolf Hitler also had Jewish blood,” Lavrov added.
This is 100% false and what makes the Russian claims even more egregious is that Zelensky lost family members to the Nazis.
Israel formally summoned the Russian ambassador to condemn the claims immediately following the foreign minister’s comments..
Israel’s prime minister also issued a strong rebuke, calling the claims “Such lies are meant to blame the Jews themselves for the most terrible crimes in history and thus free the oppressors of the Jews from their responsibility. No war today is the Holocaust or is like the Holocaust.”
The head of Israel’s Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, also condemned Lavrov’s comments, saying they were “dangerous and worthy of every condemnation.” Adding that the Russian foreign minister turned “victims into criminals, on the basis of pushing a completely false claim that Hitler was of Jewish descent.”
Hitler was not Jewish
The claim that Hitler was Jewish is an antisemitic belief used to cast the Jewish people as the perpetrators of the Holocaust in an attempt to deflect blame on the actual actors in the murder of 6 million people.
The conspiracy theory stems from multiple false beliefs and rumors. One suggests that Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish. Historians say this is not true because Hitler’s father, Alios, was registered as an illegitimate child with no father. Furthermore Hitler’s paternal grandmother, Maria, was Catholic.
Another rumor claims that the mother of Hitler’s father worked in the home of a wealthy Jew and she was impregnated by someone in family. Hitler’s grandmother did work for a Jewish family but there is zero evidence that this happened.
Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Alois’s mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, and that the family’s 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger had fathered Alois. No Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, no record has been produced of Leopold Frankenberger’s existence, and Jewish residency in Styria had been illegal for nearly 400 years and would not become legal again until decades after Alois’s birth, so historians dismiss the claim that Alois’s father was Jewish.Wikipedia
Putin, Russia and the Jewish people
Russia has a long, documented history for being extremely antisemitic and Jewish life today in the country is still suppressed. For example, the actions and movements of Russian rabbis are still closely monitored by the government. Just recently Polish authorities helped evacuate a Russian rabbi who was critical of the Russian government.
Professor Michal Bilewicz writes:
Putin follows a typical antisemitic narrative from the Soviet era that preceded anti-Jewish purges, this time in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Propagandist daily Pravda published a screed in 1949 about “unbridled, evil-minded cosmopolitans, profiteers with no roots and no conscience (…) non-indigenous nationals without a motherland, who poison our proletarian culture with their stench.”Putin Is Reviving Soviet-era Antisemitism to Crush Opposition to His War on Ukraine
But the Russian leader is also not beyond playing politics with the Jews.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in July of 2021 Putin denied “Ukrainians’ existence as a distinct national group … insisting that just like Jewish communities around the world, ‘Russians and Ukrainians are a single people.’”
Speaking during his annual televised call-in show, in which the authoritarian leader fields questions from citizens, Putin declared that “the single Russian people” had been divided “under the influence of external factors” and that while “the current authorities of modern Ukraine are clearly unfriendly to us,” this does not mean that the two people are not one.
“See for yourself,” he said. “The Jews come to Israel from Africa, Europe, and other countries. Black people arrive from Africa, right? Those arriving from Europe speak Yiddish, rather than Hebrew. Although they are diverse, the Jewish people, nevertheless, cherished its unity.”
Putin vs Israel and Ukraine
Russia has been increasing its rhetoric against Israel since the Jewish state initiated peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has taken on a “messenger” or intermediary role between Ukraine and Russia, communicating proposals on behalf of the two countries. It seems Bennett is the only world leader who has spoken directly to both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Israeli prime minister even made the rare decision to travel on Shabbat (Bennett is Orthodox) to meet face to face with Putin.
Russia also slammed Israel’s vote at the United Nations condemning the invasion of Ukraine. Putin also condemned on Israel’s actions at the Temple Mount following clashes and riots with pro-Hamas sympathizers. Lavrov also spoke with the head of Hamas following the clashes.
Additionally, Russia’s Ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, warned that his country will respond “accordingly” if Israel supplies Ukraine with defensive gear. “We are carefully checking this information and will respond accordingly if it is confirmed,” Viktorov told Russian state television.
Originally Published May 4 2022 07:04AM EDT