Syria’s Assad claims Holocaust was a lie fabricated to justify creation of Israel

Syrian dictator, who has himself been accused of genocide, says Jews weren’t specifically targeted during WWII, claims US funded Nazi Party’s rise to power

Syrian President Bashar Assad, during the Arab summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 19, 2023. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)
Syrian President Bashar Assad, during the Arab summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 19, 2023. (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

Syrian President Bashar Assad earlier this week declared that there is no evidence that six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust and accused the United States of funding the German Nazi party.

In a video of a speech by Assad translated and published by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Monday, Assad can be seen telling a listening crowd that “there is no evidence that six million Jews were killed” during the Holocaust.

“True, there were concentration camps, but what shows you that this is a politicized issue, not a humanitarian one and not a real one, is that we talk about these six million, but why don’t we talk about the 26 million Soviets who were killed in that war? Are the six million more precious?”

While some 26 million people from the Soviet Union were killed during World War II, the bloc’s population in 1939 equaled roughly 170 million people, compared to some 9.5 million Jews.

Furthermore, more than 8.5 million of the Soviets killed during World War II were killed in military battles.

Continuing his tirade, the Syrian dictator claimed that “there was no specific method of torture or killing specific to the Jews. The Nazis used the same methods everywhere.”

Despite Assad’s claim, other groups targeted by the Nazis were not systematically murdered in the same way that Jewish people were.

The only other ethnic group targeted for genocide in a similar way to Europe’s Jews were the Romani, of whom between 220,000 and 1,500,000 were killed.

According to Assad, the issue of the Holocaust “was politicized in order to falsify the truth and later to prepare for the transfer of Jews from Europe to other areas, to Palestine.”

Reaching the crux of his argument, Assad claimed that “the Jews who came to Palestine are Khazar Jews from the east of the Caspian Sea, they were pagans who converted to Judaism in the eighth century.

“They emigrated to Europe and from there came to this region. They have nothing to do whatsoever with the people of Israel” of antiquity, he added.

The claim that modern Jews are descended from Khazars, a Turkic people who lived in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, is an antisemitic conspiracy theory long used by people trying to discount Jewish claims to the land of Israel.

Genetic studies and research conducted throughout the years have found no substantive evidence to back up the theory.

A trainload of victims destined for Auschwitz concentration camp, lined up on the railway station on arrival at Auschwitz. A picture taken by the Nazis in the early days of WWII. (AP)

During his speech, Assad also claimed that the US had financed the Nazi Party, allowing its leader, Adolf Hitler, to come to power in 1933.

“Most of us do not know that the rise of Nazism between the two world wars happened with American support,” Assad said. “The question on everyone’s mind is “How is it that despite the German collapse and European constraints, Nazism was allowed to rise and build an army? It was done with American support, money, loans and investments.”

Although at least one US banking corporation, the Union Banking Corporation, was found to have financed Germans with ties to Hitler, no official US actions were ever taken to assist the party in its rise to power. The Union Banking Corporation’s assets were seized by the US government in 1942 when their partnerships were uncovered.

An unconscious Syrian child is carried at a hospital in Khan Sheikhoun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Omar haj kadour)

In 2022, the United Nations estimated that more than 306,000 civilians have been killed in Syria during the ongoing civil war, while other human rights groups have placed the number at more than half a million.

The international body in 2021 pointed the finger at Damascus for “heinous violations of international humanitarian and human rights law perpetrated against the civilian population in Syria since March 2011. Such acts are likely to constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes and other international crimes, including genocide.” Damascus has additionally been accused of using chemical weapons against its own citizens.

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