World

Refugee Says Prince Charles Compared Putin To Hitler

A Holocaust refugee says Prince Charles spoke to her about Russia's recent actions and compared Putin to Germany's former Nazi leader.

Refugee Says Prince Charles Compared Putin To Hitler
Wikimedia Commons / Dan Marsh
SMS

Prince Charles is taking a lot of heat for comments he apparently made comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Dan MarshPresident of the Russian FederationUnknown)

The Prince of Wales and his wife traveled to Canada Monday where they visited an immigration museum in Nova Scotia. (Via Sky News)

According to Daily Mail, Prince Charles was speaking to museum volunteer Marienne Ferguson, a Jewish refugee who fled to Canada just before the Nazi occupation of Poland. The 78-year-old told the British tabloid Prince Charles said to her, "And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler." — this, regarding Putin's actions in Ukraine.

Ferguson, who lost relatives in the Holocaust, told BBC they were discussing Hitler's occupation of various countries during World War II. Although she says she was surprised to hear the comparison, she says she agreed and didn't think the comment would "make such a big uproar." 

According to the Daily Mail, the Royal Family avoids commenting on political affairs, but this particular comment was made in a private conversation. (Via  ITN)

Still, others see it differently. Labour Party leader Ed Miliband defended the prince somewhat to the BBC.

ED MILIBAND, LABOUR LEADER: "I think he has got a point about President Putin's actions, and I think he's absolutely entitled to say that there are real concerns about that." (Via BBC)

Russia's annexation of Crimea and involvement in Ukraine has caused tensions between Putin and the U.S. and its European allies. (Via Euronews)

Prince Charles is scheduled to meet with Putin in Normandy next month and some question how the comment will affect that visit.

"It presumably will put the U.K. in a difficult position vis-a-vis Russia in having to explain why a member of the Royal Family seems to be conducting a sort of off-the-cuff foreign policy." (Via CTV)

British Member of Parliament Mike Gapes echoed that view — tweeting: "Monarchy should be seen and not heard. ... If you are heir to [the] throne or monarch what you say matters. ... Prince [Charles] should stop [freelance] foreign policy." (Via Twitter / @MikeGapes)

Because the statement was made in a private conversation, a spokesman for the Royal Family said it would not comment publicly on the matter.