Israel’s and Russia’s plutocrats are at loggerheads about whether Hitler had Jewish ancestry with the former saying a flat ‘no’ and the latter saying ‘yes’.

Russia’s foreign minister has been criticised for claiming Adolf Hitler “had Jewish origins” and “some of the worst antisemites are Jews”.

Sergei Lavrov hit out at Ukraine’s president during an interview with Italian media, saying Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Jewish ancestry “doesn’t mean anything” while trying to justify Vladimir Putin’s call to “denazify” the nation.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, President Putin described it as a “special military operation” to remove leaders he claimed were neo-Nazis.

Israel has called Mr Lavrov’s remarks “unforgiveable” and summoned Russia’s ambassador for an explanation.

Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Lavrov told Italian media: “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.”
Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid said the comments were “scandalous and a horrible historical error”.
He added: “The Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest level of racism against Jews is to blame Jews themselves for antisemitism.”

However, it is an historical fact that some sought to save themselves by not resisting when ordered to participate in the gassing… process:

Israel has tried to hold a position of neutrality during the war and has been measured in its criticism of Russia, who it relies on for security coordination in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has also tried mediating between Russia and Ukraine.

In his bid to legitimise the war to Russian citizens, President Putin has portrayed the battle as a struggle against Nazis in Ukraine, even though the country has a democratically-elected government and a Jewish president whose relatives were killed in the Holocaust.
Just hours into the invasion, Mr Putin appealed directly to Ukrainian troops and said it was “easier to negotiate with you” than the “gang of Nazis that has captured Kyiv”.

In February, Mr Lavrov said “we will do everything possible to ensure that the Ukrainian government is independent”, adding: “At the moment it is under external control with the aim to support or encourage Nazi philosophy and it is under Western control.”

Let’s take a look at the evidence

According to the Jewish Virtual Library DNA tests suggest there is a probability that Hitler had Jewish ancestry.

‘In 2010, the British paper The Daily Telegraph reported that a study had been conducted in which saliva samples were collected from 39 of Hitler’s known relatives to test their DNA origins and found, though inconclusively, that Hitler may have Jewish origins. The paper reported: A chromosome called Haplogroup E1b1b1 which showed up in [the Hitler] samples is rare in Western Europe and is most commonly found in the Berbers of MoroccoAlgeria and Tunisia, as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews … Haplogroup E1b1b1, which accounts for approximately 18 to 20 per cent of Ashkenazi and 8.6 per cent to 30 per cent of Sephardic Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population. This study, though scientific by nature, is inconclusive.’ goes on to state that:

‘The tragic irony of the discovery, of course, is that Hitler’s Nazi regime systematically wiped out an estimated two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population between 1933 and 1945. People of African descent were also considered enemies of the Aryans, whose supposed racial purity and superiority were central to the “Mein Kampf” author’s lethal rhetoric. As Mulders put it in the Knack article, “One can from this postulate that Hitler was related to people whom he despised.”

We are also told that

In 1933, the London Daily Mirror published a picture of a gravestone in a Jewish cemetery in Bucharest inscribed with some Hebrew characters and the name Adolf Hitler, but this Bucharest Hitler could not have been the Nazi leader’s grandfather. At the time, though, this picture sufficiently worried Hitler that he had the Nazi law defining Jewishness written to exclude Jesus Christ and himself.

What can we conclude?

No matter the level of accusations and denials no side can prove conclusively, at this point, one way or the other.

As usual it is all about preserving a convenient reading of history to suit an agenda and playing nation politics.

Douglas James

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