In a Sunday interview with Zona Bianca, an Italian political talk show, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said he wasn’t impressed by the fact that Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky was Jewish – it didn’t mean his country wasn’t being run by Nazi elements. He then added that some of the worst antisemites in history were Jews.
Yes, if you give an antisemite enough time, their inner Jew-hatred will eventually come out.
The host asked Lavrov about President Putin’s declared attempt to de-nazify Ukraine when Zelensky himself is Jewish. The foreign minister responded: “So what if Zelensky is Jewish. It doesn’t disprove the Nazi elements in Ukraine. I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood,” and “some of the worst antisemites are Jews.”
FM Lavrov then said Zelensky could end the war if he “stopped giving criminal orders to his Nazi forces.”
But wait, there’s more: among the first to condemn Lavrov’s stunning comparison between Jews and Nazis was Deputy Minister of the Economy, Yair Golan (Meretz), who once lost his bid to become IDF chief of staff for comparing Israelis to Nazis (Deputy Chief of Staff Compares IDF to Nazis).
“This is a shocking, essentially antisemitic and false statement,” Golan told Reshet Bet radio Monday morning. “It reflects what the Russian government really is – a violent regime that does not hesitate to eliminate its rivals from within, invade a foreign country, and blame it for reviving Nazism.”
If ever the adage “it takes one to know one” fit…
Yad Vashem Chairman Danny Dayan told Reshet Bet: “It’s a reversal of the Holocaust. They take the victims and turned them into the aggressors. Evil deserves every condemnation. Suggesting that Zelensky is a Nazi is an insult to the victims of real Nazism and spreading an antisemitic conspiracy theory without basis in facts.”
But was Hitler the descendant of Jews? A Nazi official named Hans Frank was the source of the rumor, according to a 1998 book by historian-journalist Ron Rosenbaum (Explaining Hitler: The Search for the Origins of His Evil). Frank suggested that Adolf’s father Alois’s mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, in southern Austria, and the family’s 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger fathered Alois. Except no Frankenberger was registered in Graz in that period, and there’s no record of Leopold Frankenberger ever existing. Also, Jews had not been allowed to reside in the area for close to 400 years, all of which convinced most historians that Adolf’s father was not Jewish.
Of course, this won’t deter you if you’re a true conspiracy theorist, because what could have stopped Adolf Hitler from extinguishing the records of his Jewish origins once he invaded Austria? Ask Sergey Lavrov.
The ADL announced that Lavrov’s crazy statement was part of his “transparently desperate efforts to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” and “FM Lavrov turns to highly offensive analogies and false comparisons. This misuse of Nazis, Hitler and the Holocaust must stop.”