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German government aware of Nazi atrocities in USSR during WWII – spokesman

April 04, 2014, 18:42 UTC+3 BERLIN
Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert commented on remarks by Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble comparing Crimea’s reunification with Russia to Adolf Hitler seizing the Sudetenland
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German government

German government

© EPA/MAURIZIO GAMBARINI

BERLIN, April 04. /ITAR-TASS/. All members of Germany’s government “are fully aware” of the “enormous atrocities” committed by the Nazis in the Soviet Union during World War Two, Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday, commenting on recent remarks by Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble comparing Crimea’s reunification with Russia to Adolf Hitler seizing the Sudetenland in 1938.

“Everything has been said already. We have nothing to add,” Seibert said, referring to the minister’s words that remarks had been taken out of context.

“I'm not stupid enough to compare anyone to Hitler,” Schaeuble told German public broadcaster ARD on Thursday, adding that just one sentence had been extracted from his talk to a student group in Berlin. The events in Crimea were discussed among other things.

Russia protested to Germany on Thursday over Schaeuble’s remarks.

"We consider such pseudo-historical references by a German government minister as provocative," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement. "His comparisons are a gross manipulation of historical facts.”

“A government official holding a senior ministerial position in Germany must be fully aware of what he says,” the ministry added.

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