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Putin praises author who said Jews were “hastening a second Holocaust”

Vladimir Putin has praised the antisemitic Russian author Alexander Prokhanov in a birthday message.

Putin praised the “social, literary and journalistic activities” of Prokhanov, who edits an ultra-nationalist newspaper that has called for a new cold war, on the occasion of Prokhanov’s 80th birthday.

“You have taken a great professional path, you have found your calling in your columns and in your social, literary and journalistic activities. You have always remained committed to your civic principles and ideals… I wish you good health and hope that your plans will be realized”, Putin wrote.

Prokhanov has said that Jews who protested against Russia’s actions in Ukraine were “hastening a second Holocaust”. He then claimed that Jews also “brought about the first”. Blaming Jews for the Holocaust is amongst the most profoundly antisemitic statements that one can conceivably make.

At the same time he said to the New York Times: “I am afraid that I am interested in a Cold War with the West”. More recently he wrote that he “worked day and night” towards such a conflict.

A character in one of his books, “Mr Hexogen”, claimed that Russian Jews were harvesting organs to sell to Israel, a claim that mirrors medieval blood libel, and which is frequently voiced as a conspiracy theory about contemporary Jews.