Russia rebukes Germany over ‘Hitler’ remark

The Russian foreign ministry on Thursday complained to Germany's ambassador after its finance minister reportedly drew parallels between Moscow's annexation of Crimea and Hitler's actions in 1938.

Russia rebukes Germany over 'Hitler' remark
Finance Minister Schäuble said the remark was taken out of context. Photo: DPA

On Monday Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble reportedly compared Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region last month to Nazi aggression in Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that such historical parallels were "unacceptable" and that it had handed Germany's ambassador to Moscow, Rüdiger von Fritsch, an official complaint over the matter.
"We consider such pseudo-historical digressions by the German minister to be provocative," the Russian ministry said.
"His analogies are a crude manipulation of historical events and facts."
Schäuble on Thursday denied having compared Crimea's annexation to that of the mainly ethnic German Sudetenland by Nazi Germany.
"I'm not stupid enough to compare Hitler to anybody, others can do that but German politicians don't do that, we don't do that," Schäuble said when questioned on German television late Thursday.
Schäuble did not deny making the controversial remark but added: "The next sentence was 'we do not compare'".
He said the media reports on the ministry event where he had spoken and the fact that "half a sentence was reported out of context" were "not serious".
Schäuble, an outspoken veteran politician, reportedly told schoolchildren at the event: "Such methods were already adopted by Hitler in Sudetenland," referring to Russia's annexation of Crimea.
The German-speaking part of Bohemia, the Sudetenland, was ceded to Germany in 1938 before the outbreak of World War II when the Czech part of Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Nazis and Slovakia became a puppet state.

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