Vladimir Putin's Quotes On Nazi Germany Are Up There With His Most Offensive Comments
Oh, you, President Putin. Will you never cease to say shockingly bizarre statements for no apparent reason? Not only has the Russian head of state gone on 40-minute anti-U.S. rants, he's now feeding his amateur historian side by revisiting World War II: Putin is suggesting that Nazi Germany’s march into Eastern Europe was partly due to Britain and France. Another gem? The Nazi-Soviet pact — which he'd in the past called "immoral" — was actually no big.
There can be no doubt that the Russian leader says things, fairly often, that cause the world to facepalm. For example:
- When asked about his attitude towards gays right before the Olympics, he said: "One can feel calm and at ease. Just leave kids alone, please."
- On Hillary Clinton, he said: "When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the worst quality for a woman."
- When there was speculation about his upcoming marriage, he said: “In other publications of the same type, the names of other successful, beautiful young women from Russia are mentioned. I think it won’t be unexpected if I say that I like them all — just as I like all Russian women.”
- On President Obama's claim that the Russian leader had fibbed about his country's role in the Ukraine crisis: “Who is he to judge?Who is he to judge, seriously? If he wants to judge people, why doesn’t he get a job in court somewhere?"
Now, though, he's involved the Nazis: specifically, the Nazi-Soviet pact. A quick history recap, in case you (like me) snoozed through your AP history lessons: the Nazi-Soviet pact, signed by Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, was basically a (secret) plan in 1939 to carve up of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Romania and not go to war with other; during that time, the Soviet secret police killed 20,000 Polish officers and intellectuals. Generally speaking, the pact is seen as one of the major catalysts for the deaths of the millions of Jews in Poland during the Holocaust. Which is why, several years ago, Putin called the pact "immoral."
Except, now, he's changed his mind. It was just, after all, how things were done back then. During a meeting with young historians in Moscow, he said:
The Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty with Germany. People say: ‘Ach, that’s bad.’ But what’s bad about that if the Soviet Union didn’t want to fight, what’s bad about it?
Uh, we'll get back to that one, because the Russian president didn't stop there. According to Putin, the division of Eastern Europe actually can be traced back to the 1938 Munich Agreement, which ceded Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to the Nazis. Said he:
We had the so-called Munich Agreement in 1938. And what is it? Incidentally, your colleagues in western nations hush it up.
Chamberlain came, waved a piece of paper and said, ‘I’ve brought you peace’ when he returned to London after the talks. To which Churchill, I think, said somewhere to a small group of people, ‘That’s it, now war is inevitable’. Because compromise with an aggressor in the form of Hitlerite Germany was clearly leading to a large-scale future military conflict, and some people understood that.
In short? It totally wasn't all Russia's fault, guys. So, uh...yah. Do with that what you will.
Images: Getty Images (3)