Argentina’s envoy to Haiti glorifies Nazis, angers local Jewish groups

By JTA
June 3, 2019 12:25
1 minute read.
Argentina’s envoy to Haiti glorifies Nazis, angers local Jewish groups

Hitler and Hermann Göring saluting at a 1928 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. (photo credit: PUBLIC DOMAIN / HEINRICH HOFFMANN / US NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION)

 
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BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Argentina’s ambassador to Haiti glorified the Nazis in a tweet in which he saluted his country’s military on its National Army Day, angering Jewish institutions and a national lawmaker.

Ambassador Pedro Von Eyken saluted Argentina’s national army on May 29, Argentina’s National Army Day, in a tweet which read, in Spanish: “Today is the Day of the Argentine Army, that of General José de San Martín and many others who gave it glory and honor. Created more than 200 years ago, it had many more illustrious moments than controversial ones. As the son of a German officer of World War II, I salute the Army on its day.”



The mention of Germany’s army during WWII and its comparison to Argentina’s upset Jewish groups.



The Argentinean Zionist Organization or OSA, in a statement expressed “astonishment” for the comparison “with an army that brought death, destruction and racism to all of Europe, killing six million Jews in the death camps.”



OSA clarified the role of San Martin, “who liberated three countries,” namely Argentina, Chile and Peru.



The Argentinean Jewish political umbrella organization, DAIA, said Sunday that “it is untenable that an ambassador of a democracy compare the Nazi regime that killed six million Jews during the Shoah” with San Martin, who led a “libertarian army.”



Argentine lawmaker Waldo Wolff, a member of the government coalition Cambiemos (or Let Us Change) party, announced that he will ask to the Foreign Ministry for an explanation about that expression because it “seems to vindicate a regime that professed values that do not conform with those of our republic.”



Von Eyken closed his Twitter account immediately following the scandal. Von Eyken has had a 35-year diplomatic career, including representing Argentina in Germany, Cuba and Finland. He has been the ambassador to Haiti since 2017.



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