Yad Vashem Condemns Russian Invasion, Denazification Rhetoric

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial museum in Yerushalayim. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine along with wrongful references to Nazism by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Yad Vashem deplores the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which will inevitably lead to dire consequences. We fear in particular for the wellbeing of innocent civilians and deplore any deliberate endangerment of their safety,” the museum said in a statement on Sunday.

Yad Vashem further denounced the “propagandist discourse” which it said is “saturated with irresponsible statements and completely inaccurate comparisons with Nazi ideology and actions before and during the Holocaust.”

In a speech intended to justify the invasion, Putin claimed that his country was doing so in order to “denazify” Ukraine.

“Yad Vashem condemns this trivialization and distortion of the historical facts of the Holocaust,” it said.

Meanwhile, it was reported that prior to the invasion Yad Vashem took part in an effort to spare Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich from American sanctions, according to Channel 12.

In a letter to the U.S. ambassador to Israel, the museum joined Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel David Lau and representatives of several other major Israeli organizations and charities saying that financial measures against Abramovich would cause great harm to Israel and the Jewish world. They cited Abramovich’s investments, philanthropy, and significant contributions to Israel.

The billionaire is one of Russia’s highest-profile oligarchs and has been highlighted in the past for links to President Vladimir Putin.

Last week, Yad Vashem announced that Abramovich had made a multi-million shekel donation “that will significantly strengthen Yad Vashem’s mission.”

A spokesman did not disclose the specific amount donated by Abramovich, but said that it is “an eight-figure donation.”

“With this contribution, Roman Abramovich will become the second-largest private donor to Yad Vashem, after Miri and Sheldon Adelson,” he said.

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