One of Russia’s chief rabbis linked the row over Estonia’s removal of a wartime monument to Soviet soldiers to Holocaust revisionism. Berel Lazar made the statement in a news release to Interfax the day before Russia’s annual World War II Victory Day celebration.”The Nazi regime killed 6 million Jews, one-third of the people, and they would have killed every Jew if Allied soldiers, primarily Russian soldier liberators, had not shown courage and heroism,” said Lazar, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.The ongoing row between Russia and Estonia, which sees the monument as a reminder of the postwar Soviet occupation in which hundreds of thousands of ethnic Estonians were killed or deported, reached a fever pitch last week as a government-supported youth organization stormed a newspaper’s offices to disrupt a news conference by the Estonian ambassador.”Graves and monuments to the dead soldiers are sacred to us,” Lazar said. “We call on all countries and peoples to treat them with respect.”
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