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ADL faults Putin on ‘Third Reich’ allusion

The Anti-Defamation League complained to Russia’s president after he likened modern-day policies to those of the Nazis. “We do not have the right to forget the causes of any war, which must be sought in the mistakes and errors of peacetime,” Vladimir Putin said Wednesday in a Red Square speech to veterans commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. “Moreover, in our time, these threats are not diminishing. They are only transforming, changing their appearance. In these new threats, as during the time of the Third Reich, are the same contempt for human life and the same claims of exceptionality and diktat in the world.” Kremlin spokesmen would not clarify Putin’s remarks, but Russian analysts said he was referring in part to Bush administration foreign policy. “In your speech you powerfully described the horrible impact of the Nazi drive to dominate the world by imposing its fascist ideology through military conquest and the systematic industrialized extermination of six million Jews and millions of others,” ADL National Director Abraham Foxman and Chairman Glen Lewy wrote to Putin. “These acts had no precedent in history and the depths of its evil have no parallel in the world today. Attempts to draw comparisons between the complex and varied conflicts we face today and the horrors of the Nazi regime carried out by the Third Reich diminish the very point you made, demean the memory of those who perished and suffered at the hands of the Nazis and should have no place in the discourse among nations.”