MOSCOW — The Russian foreign ministry on Thursday issued a complaint to the German ambassador after a German minister reportedly drew parallels between Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and Hitler’s actions in 1938.
On Monday a report in Der Spiegel said that Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble 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, Ruediger 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.”
Schaeuble, an outspoken veteran politician, reportedly told schoolchildren at a ministry 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 republic was occupied by the Nazis.
A Germany finance ministry spokesman did not confirm the comment, but said Schaeuble did not intend to compare Russia with the Third Reich.