OSCE and U.S. Mission to the OSCE Condemn Anti-Semitic Remarks by Russian Foreign Minister

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: May 6, 2022; 17:36 ♦ (Vindobona)

The OSCE and the U.S. Mission to the OSCE recently condemned the statements of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, who claimed that Adolf Hitler was of Jewish origin, sparking an outcry in the Jewish faith community. The two statements describe the falsity of the statement and convey a lack of understanding of such obviously provocative statements.

Sergey Lavrov caused a stir with his anti-Semitic statements. / Picture: © English: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Wikimedia Commons / English: Foreign and Commonwealth Office, OGL v1.0OGL v1.0

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently drew attention to himself with a statement of dubious content. When asked why Volodymyr Selensky was a Nazi even though he was Jewish, Lavrov replied: "Adolf Hitler also had Jewish blood. That does not mean anything. The wise Jewish people say that the most zealous anti-Semites are usually Jews," causing an international outcry. Now the OSCE and the U.S. Mission to the OSCE are also speaking out.

The interview in which Lavrov resorted to the outrageous statement was recorded and broadcast by the Italian channel Rete 4. In it, Lavrov had tried to justify Russia's war crimes by saying that Russia was merely trying to "denazify" Ukraine - the common propagandistic excuse Russia invokes.

In the course of the conversation, Lavrov was reminded of the Ukrainian president's Jewish origins, which he commented on with the above quote according to the Standard.

The theory that Hitler himself was a Jew has been circulating for some time, although there is no scientific evidence to support it.

The Israeli government was outraged and immediately demanded an apology from Lavrov, which failed to materialize.

In addition to supporters of the Jewish faith community, many international organizations also criticized Lavrov's statements. The OSCE published a statement by the Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Rabbi Andrew Baker and Regina Polak, who strongly condemned the choice of words used.

It was "shocking and distressing that Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, would draw on one of the most sinister anti-Semitic myths in his efforts to discredit the President of Ukraine and his government. We had hoped the distorted notion that Jews are responsible for their own misfortune and that they were the architects of the Holocaust itself, was relegated to the darkest corners of society. But Mr. Lavrov has now brought international attention and new life to this anti-Semitic falsehood."

The U.S. Mission to the OSCE also released a statement by Ambassador Michael Carpenter.

He emphasized the absurdity of the accusations, highlighting, "When the Israeli government demanded an apology, Russia accused Israel – that’s right, Israel – of supporting Neo-Nazis.  Though patently absurd to all of us in this Council, the Kremlin’s dehumanizing lies about Nazism and Ukraine are specifically intended to lead to one preposterous conclusion: that anyone who recognizes the legitimacy of the Ukrainian state and the distinct identity and will of its people – in other words, anyone who supports a sovereign, democratic, inclusive, and independent Ukraine – must somehow also be supporting Nazis.  Not even the Israeli government is immune from this twisted logic."

OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

US Mission to the OSCE