Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul claimed on the network that Hitler ‘didn’t kill ethnic Germans’
MSNBC’s top-rated news program, The Rachel Maddow Show, had to delete a tweet and issue a correction after the Auschwitz Memorial pointed out that it contained a false claim about the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
The tweet in question, which was deleted late on Friday, included a quote from McFaul, a Stanford University professor in international studies and US ambassador to Moscow between 2012 and 2014, who had earlier appeared on the program.
While criticizing Moscow’s recent military attack on Ukraine, McFaul drew comparisons between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, with Hitler apparently coming off more favorably.
“One difference between Putin and Hitler is that Hitler didn’t kill ethnic Germans, German-speaking people. Putin slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate,” McFaul said.
There were no quote marks to accompany the statement posted on the ‘Maddow Blog’ Twitter account, but the tweet included a video clip of McFaul making the comment.
The tweet remained on The Rachel Maddow Show’s page for hours and drew harsh reactions from many in the replies.
Eventually, the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland stepped in to set the record straight.
“On a factual note: Hitler did kill ethnic Germans & German-speaking people: those who opposed the Nazi regime, those who resisted, those who did not fit into the ‘Weltanschauung’ (world-view). He ordered the murder of people with different disabilities & finally the murder of German Jewry,” the institution wrote.
That comment prompted the show to delete the initial tweet and issue a correction. It acknowledged sharing “an inaccurate statement” and expressed regret over the blunder.
McFaul himself tweeted that he “deeply regrets” his comment and acknowledged that “German Jews were a vibrant part of the German population.”
He promised to “never make comparisons to Hitler again” and insisted he would focus only on Putin “the present evil” from now on.