Former US Ambassador to Russia Apologizes for Saying Hitler Didn’t Kill Germans

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  • Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul apologized for saying Hitler didn’t kill Germans.
  • Between 160,000 and 180,000 German Jews are estimated to have been killed in the Holocaust.
  • On MSNBC’s “Rachael Maddow Live,” McFaul incorrectly said Hitler “didn’t kill ethnic Germans.”

A former US ambassador to Russia apologized on Saturday for making an incorrect statement about Adolf Hitler during a television interview. 

Speaking Friday night on MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Live,” former ambassador Michael McFaul asserted that Hitler “didn’t kill ethnic Germans.”

“One of the Russian journalists said, ‘You know there’s one difference between Hitler, when he was coming in, and Putin: Hitler didn’t kill ethnic Germans. He didn’t kill German-speaking people,'” McFaul said. In that interview, McFaul also drew a comparison to Putin, who he said was in fact killing Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.

The incorrect claim was reiterated verbatim by Maddow Blog, a Twitter account managed by staff for the show.

In response to Maddow Blog’s tweet, The Auschwitz Memorial said on its official Twitter that Hitler “did kill ethnic Germans & German-speaking people: those who opposed the Nazi regime, those who resisted.” 

Between 160,000 and 180,000 German Jews are estimated to have been killed in the Holocaust, according to the United States Holocaust Museum.

McFaul, in a series of tweets, emphasized that he had been quoting a Ukrainian journalist.

“I was repeating what a Ukrainian — a brave Ukrainian journalist reporting from Kyiv — was saying, because they are trying to undermine the Putin lie that Russian soldiers are liberating Ukraine,” he said. “That’s all. Of course, all killing is horrible, especially the murder of civilians.”

He later apologized for his comments.

“I made a mistake. I apologize,” he said in a tweet. “I will never make comparisons to Hitler again. Without historical analogizing, I will keep my analysis and comments focused on the present evil ― Putin.”

The Maddow Blog also ran a correction on Twitter.

“The historical record is clear,” Maddow Blog tweeted. “Hitler killed millions of Germans. We tweeted out part of an inaccurate statement made last night by former Ambassador Michael McFaul without attribution, and we regret doing so. We have since removed the tweet.”


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