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Claim that Soviets had role in Holocaust enrages Russian ambassador

Russian ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy

A school headmaster who reportedly claimed that the Soviet Union also played a role in the Holocaust prompted the Russian ambassador to storm out of a Holocaust remembrance event earlier this week, Politis reported on Friday.

The headmaster in question is Loizos Sepos who last September courted controversy when he demanded that a Muslim student at his school, Apostolos Varnavas lyceum in Nicosia, remove her headscarf.

According to a statement issued by Akel, Sepos argued that it was not only Hitler’s Nazi Germany which bears responsibility for the Holocaust but also the Soviet Union.

The incident unfolded on Wednesday at a Holocaust memorial event held at the Pancyprian Gymnasium museum organised by the education ministry and the Israeli embassy.

The headmaster reportedly argued that the Soviet Union also played a role in the Holocaust, at which point the Russian ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy left the event in protest.

Despite an early deal, commonly referred to as the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939, the two sides were fierce rivals in the Second World War.

While exact numbers are difficult to pin down, it is commonly accepted that the Soviet Union suffered about 20 million casualties as a result of the war with Nazi Germany.

It was also the Soviet army that liberated Auschwitz concentration camp on January 27, 1945. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is now marked on that day.

About 1.1 million Jews were murdered at the Nazi death camp.

 

 

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