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Israel condemns top Russian diplomat for claim that Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood

By Ashley Williams
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Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was condemned for remarks given to an Italian television station in which he claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood. Photo by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service/EPA-EFE
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was condemned for remarks given to an Italian television station in which he claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood. Photo by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service/EPA-EFE

May 2 (UPI) -- Top Israeli officials on Monday condemned remarks from Russia's chief diplomat that claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was Jewish and implied that Jewish captives during World War II were responsible for their own deaths in the Holocaust.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov made the remarks in an interview with an Italian news channel when asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin's claims that his war in Ukraine is "deNazifying" the country.

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"In my opinion, Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it doesn't mean absolutely anything," he said in the interview. "For some time we have heard from the Jewish people that the biggest anti-Semites were Jewish."

In the interview, Lavrov also compared Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Hitler.

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid, in a tweet, called the remarks "the lowest level of racism against Jews."

Israeli President Isaac Herzog pays tribute during a wreath-laying ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Warsaw Ghetto Square at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem, Israel, last Thursday. Pool Photo by Amir Cohen/UPI
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"Foreign minister Lavrov's remarks are both an unforgivable and outrageous statement as well as a terrible historical error," Lapid also said in his tweet. "Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust."

In response to the comments, Israel summoned its Russian ambassador and called for a clarification meeting with the deputy director-general for Eurasian affairs.

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Historians have debunked theories that Hilter had Jewish ancestry that could have played a role in his anti-Semitism.

Dani Dayan, the head of Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, also spoke out against Lavrov's remarks, which occurred during Israel's week of Holocaust commemorations.

Dayan said the remarks were "false, delusional and dangerous, and worthy of all condemnation," according to the Times of Israel.

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Israel marks Holocaust Remembrance Day

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his wife, Galit Bennett, stand with President Isaac Herzog during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem on Thursday. Pool Photo by Amir Cohen/UPI | License Photo

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