European antisemitism envoy: Putin’s ‘denazification’ rhetoric trivializes Holocaust

“The whole idea of talking about denazification and of using language that in the end trivializes the Holocaust is unacceptable and is also dangerous.”

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Europe’s top antisemitism envoy denounced Russia’s claims of “denazifying” Ukraine as “trivializing the Holocaust” on Thursday, Haaretz reported.

Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Commission’s coordinator on combating antisemitism was in Jerusalem for the SECCA (Special Envoys and Coordinators Combating Antisemitism) Forum, organized by the Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Jewish Congress.

Participants representing governments and non-governmental organizations discussed a variety of issues including the denial and distortion of the Holocaust, the situation of Ukrainian Jews and the possibility of using sports to combat hate.

The gathering was scheduled to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that he is “denazifying” Ukraine was “related to antisemitism” and constituted “instrumentalization of the Holocaust,” said von Schnurbein.

“The whole idea of talking about denazification and of using language that in the end trivializes the Holocaust is unacceptable and is also dangerous,” she stressed

However, von Schnurbein separately told Haaretz she doesn’t accept Kyiv’s insistence that Russian atrocities in Ukraine constitute genocide.

“We have seen war crimes [in Ukraine], but the threshold to genocide is very high so I believe that comparing [what is happening to] the Holocaust is problematic,” she explained.

The West does not accept Putin’s claims of denazifying Ukraine, pointing out that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was democratically elected and is Jewish.

Analysts say the claim of Ukrainian atrocities against Russians living in Ukraine’s separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk is disinformation to justify the war to the Russian public.