Auschwitz Memorial fact-checks MSNBC guest's Hitler claim

'Rachel Maddow Show' guest criticized by Auschwitz Memorial for comparing Putin to Hitler

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The official Auschwitz Memorial and Museum fact-checked an MSNBC guest for his inaccurate comments Friday evening comparing Russian President Vladimir Putin and genocidal German dictator Adolph Hitler.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was interviewed on "The Rachel Maddow Show" about the violent invasion of Ukraine by Putin's administration. 

McFaul falsely claimed to stand-in host Ali Velshi that Putin was showing increased aggression compared to Hitler because the Russian dictator is killing his own people.

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"One of the Russian journalists said, 'You know, there's one difference between Hitler, when he was coming in, and Putin. Hitler didn't kill ethnic Germans. He didn't kill German-speaking people," McFaul told Velshi.

"I think people need to remember that we're talking about cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol and Kyiv. There are large populations there, you know, up to a third and sometimes as much to a half that are Russian speakers and are ethnic Russians. And yet Putin doesn't seem to care about that. He slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate," McFaul said. 

The Auschwitz Memorial pushed back on McFaul's statements Saturday on social media. 

"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,'" the Auschwitz Memorial account replied to McFaul on Twitter after the interview.

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"He ordered the murder of people with different disabilities & finally the murder of German Jewry," the tweet added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to female flight attendants in comments broadcast on state television March 5, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to female flight attendants in comments broadcast on state television March 5, 2022. (Reuters Video)

McFaul's appearance on MSNBC was torched by critics for making the comparison between Putin and Hitler, many claiming it provided a more favorable view of the Nazi dictator. 

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The former ambassador and Stanford University professor also highlighted "interesting" remarks a commentator made on Ukrainian television about "how horrific" the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has been. 

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul listens to a question while testifying before a House Intelligence Committee hearing titled "Putin's Playbook: The Kremlin's Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond" on Capitol Hill March 28, 2019. 

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul listens to a question while testifying before a House Intelligence Committee hearing titled "Putin's Playbook: The Kremlin's Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond" on Capitol Hill March 28, 2019.  (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.