The Russian Foreign Minister has claimed that Hitler had “Jewish origins” in his latest insulting attempt to justify his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov made the false assertion, which is based on a long-discredited and antisemitic theory, on Italian television on Sunday.
Asked why Russia needed to “de-Nazify” Ukraine – as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mr Lavrov have argued repeatedly in recent months – given that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish, Mr Lavrov answered: “Zelenskyy a Jew? Even Hitler had Jewish origins, the main antisemites are Jews themselves.”
Speaking through an Italian interpreter on the Rete 4 channel, Mr Lavrov continued: “For a long time now we’ve been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest antisemites are the Jews themselves.”
The President of Ukraine and the Prime Minister of Israel led a chorus of international condemnation of the remarks, and were joined by the US Secretary of State, Germany’s Antisemitism Commissioner and the Italian and Canadian Prime Ministers.
The Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, observed that portraying Hitler as Jewish and accusing Jews of being the real – and worst – antisemites was the “basest level of racism”.