Dr Mike Evans

Putin’s Victory Day?

Putin celebrated Victory Day Monday, May 9. The date marks the time that Russians celebrate their victory over Nazi Germany during World War II.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently told an Italian television show, “I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood. [That Zelensky is Jewish] means absolutely nothing.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called Lavrov’s comments “unforgivable and scandalous, and a horrible historical error.”

“The Jews did not murder themselves in the Holocaust,” Lapid said. “The lowest level of racism against Jews is to blame Jews themselves for antisemitism.”

What is the endgame for all of this with Putin? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Putin has become a 21st century Hitler in spreading the Big Lie of blaming Ukraine for Nazism.

I have been in Ukraine three times in the last seven weeks, bringing 60 tons of food to the Jewish communities and bringing Holocaust survivors out. For a decade now, I’ve been serving impoverished Holocaust survivors in Ukraine. I began when I visited the gravesite of my great grandfather, Rabbi Michael Katznelson, whom I was named after. He was burned to death in his synagogue with 2,000 Jews.

The ninth president of Israel, the late Shimon Peres, told me over dinner after we had met with the Pope that his grandfather was the cantor rabbi in that same synagogue and was also burned to death.

My mother told me it wasn’t Nazis who lit the synagogue on fire. It was Christians screaming, “Christ killer!” She told me, “Christians killed Jews and Christians hate Jews. Jesus died. Don’t dig him up.” My mother had never met a real Christian.

Mother Teresa told me a real Christian would love Jewish people because Jesus was Jewish. The only Christian she knew was my father, a Jew-hater who believed she had an affair with a Jewish man. He would come home drunk every Friday night or early Saturday morning early from the Twilight Cafe and sit in a chair and slap her in the face calling her a Jewish whore. He believed I was a bastard and not his son. He never called me son. He never said I love you or affirmed me. He abused me unspeakably, almost killing me twice and strangling me at 11, leaving me for dead after I attempted to defend my mother from his beatings.

I had the privilege of being one of the leaders of The March of the Living to Auschwitz. At the factory of Oskar Schindler where we had an event the night before many Holocaust survivors came up to me thanking me for going into Ukraine and bringing Holocaust survivors out to the land of Israel.

I told them, “Don’t thank me. The key to happiness is committing your life to a cause greater than yourself. And I’ve found such a cause.”

I actually found it at 11 when I woke up from my father’s strangulation in a fetal position, having vomited all over myself. I screamed in a rage at God in the dark, “Why was I born?” And then I knew the answer. I couldn’t defend one Jew from a Jew-hater. My life’s call was to defend all the Jews.

I was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by Bobby Brown, the Vice President of Ariel University in Israel in January, for my lifetime of work of combating antisemitism. You would think that antisemitism would have been defeated. But this virus mutates like the plague.

Putin is the greatest spreader of it now. His Victory Day parade celebrating the birth of the USSR and what he calls the defeat of the Nazis is complete theater. While I was in Poland during The March of the Living, many people told me that the Russians were more evil to them than the Nazis and that what is happening in Ukraine with children being raped and civilians being murdered and thrown in mass graves is exactly what the Russians did to them after what they called the liberation.