Distortion of history - stupidity and arrogance, the Russian president said yesterday at a meeting with a delegation of rabbis from abroad - Israel, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and France, about Holocaust deniers. Also present were the Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar and the head of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Beard. U.S. was represented by the human rights organization "America without Nazism" head, Leonid Bard. The meeting discussed the struggle against neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and the Holocaust.
"We meet with you before very sorrowful date - in 1942 in Sevastopol thousands of Jews and members of the Turkic-speaking peoples," were killed, Vladimir Putin opened his speech. "We in Russia are very familiar with the tragedy of the Holocaust as six million Jews were killed in the Soviet Union and the countries of Europe," he recalled. Representatives of the Jewish people fought against Nazism in the Red Army and made a worthy contribution to the fight with him.
"The tragedy of the Jewish people takes, of course, a special place in the number of crimes committed by the Nazis during the Second World War," the Russian leader said.
"I repeat, we are in Russia know about it and feel the pain like no other, because, you know, more than 20 million Soviet people, the vast majority of them Russian, were killed during the struggle against Nazism," he added.
The Russian Head of State recalled his visit to the museum of "Yad Vashem" in Israel. "It made me very impressed," he shared his memories - all is done so skillfully and so shrill, that it does not leave anyone indifferent."
"I want to assure you that we in Russia will not only always remember these tragedies, but will always cherish the memory of the dead, and we will do everything possible to prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies in the future," said Vladimir Putin.
Of particular concern is the reviving idea of Nazism, the president stressed. "I want to thank the Jewish community, and non-governmental organizations that are actively and courageously (fight against this), I mean some of the entities in the world today, continue to wage an uncompromising struggle against all manifestations and any attempt to revive the Nazi ideology," he said. "We consider you in this regard our closest allies, and I ask you to treat us as such," added Vladimir Putin.