Clarification of yesterday’s historical analogy
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Tuesday drew parallels between the aggressive actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Ukraine and those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930′s.
She made the comments while speaking at a private event, according to the Press-Telegram of Long Beach, California.
Putin’s desire to protect minority Russians in Ukraine is reminiscent of Hitler’s actions to protect ethnic Germans outside Germany, she [Clinton] said.
Putin has been on a campaign to give Russian passports to anyone who has Russian connections, Clinton said.
The Russian leader has recently done so in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, which, Clinton said, is similar to what happened in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Hitler resettled tens of thousands of ethnic Germans who were living in parts of Europe to Nazi Germany.
Clinton made her comments at a private event benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach.
“Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s,” she said. “All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”
[...] “So everybody is hoping that there will be a negotiation but a negotiation that respects Ukraine and doesn’t ratify a reoccupation by Russia of Crimea,” she said. “So it’s a real nail-biter, right now, but nobody wants to up the rhetoric. Everybody wants to cool it in order to find a diplomatic solution and that’s what we should be trying to do.”
(Full comments at Press-Telegram)
On Wednesday, Clinton explained her earlier remarks to an audience in Los Angeles, saying that she wasn’t drawing a comparison but offering historic perspective.
“I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before,” Clinton said during a question and answer session with Lynn Vavreck, a professor of political science and communication studies at UCLA.
“What I said yesterday is that the claims by President Putin and other Russians that they had to go into Crimea and maybe further into eastern Ukraine because they had to protect the Russian minorities … is reminiscent of claims that were made back in the 1930s when Germany under the Nazis kept talking about how they had to protect German minorities in Poland, in Czechoslovakia and elsewhere throughout Europe.”
In her answer to Vavreck’s question, Clinton did not use the name Hitler and instead used the phrase “Germany under the Nazis.”
Full remarks from Wednesday available at CNN.