Did Adolf Hitler have Jewish roots? Sergei Lavrov’s claims about Nazi leader debunked - and Israel’s reaction

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Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has claimed that Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood”

There has been worldwide condemnation after Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Adolf Hitler “had Jewish blood”.

The comments were made as Lavrov defended Russia for invading Ukraine to “denazify” the country, even though Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish.

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Israel has called Lavrov’s comments “unforgivable,” and urged Russia to apologise.

Hitler, who led the Nazi party in Germany, was responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust in the Second World War.

Lavrov made the comments days after Yom HaShoah, Israel’s holocaust rememberance day.

Here’s everything you need to know about what Sergei Lavrov said.

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What did Sergei Lavrov claim about Hitler?

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Adolf Hitler had, “Jewish Blood"Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Adolf Hitler had, “Jewish Blood"
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Adolf Hitler had, “Jewish Blood" | AFP via Getty Images

In an interview with the Italian media, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that Hitler had “Jewish blood”.

He made the remarks to defend Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which President Putin claimed was to “denazify” the country, hitting out at President Zelenskyy’s Jewish heritage.

Lavrov said:"So what if Zelenskyy is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine.

"I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood. [That Zelensky is Jewish] means absolutely nothing. Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews."

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The comments were made only a few days after Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance day.

Does Hitler have Jewish ancestry?

Historians have yet to find evidence that suggests Hitler had Jewish ancestry.

Questions about Hitler’s ancestry often come up due to his father, Alios, being illegitimate.

Alios’ mother worked for a Jewish family, but there is no evidence to suggest that she wasJewish or Alios’ father was Jewish.

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The claim that Hitler has Jewish ancestry is rooted in anti-semitism, as it is often used to reframe Jewish people as the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

What has Israel said about the comments?

The comments from the Russian foreign minister have caused outrage in Israel.

Israeli foreign minister, Yair Lapid said: “This is an unforgivable and scandalous comment, a terrible historical error and we expect an apology.

“Hitler was not of Jewish origin and the Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust. The lowest form of racism against Jews is blaming the Jews themselves for antisemitism.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet said: "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."

Israel has asked to meet with their Russian ambassador for “clarification” around the comment and has asked Russia to apologise.

Is anti-seminitism on the rise in the UK?

Anti-seminitism is on the rise in the UK, with the Community Security Trust (CST) recording a 34% increase from 2020 to 2021.

In 2021 there were 2,225 incidents of anti-semitism, which included verbal abuse as well as 173 violent assaults.

The figures, which were published in February 2022 were described as “shocking” by the Home Secretary Priti Patel and “truly appalling,” by Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper.

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