“Back then, before World War II, Hitler behaved in exactly the same way as Putin is behaving now with regard to Ukraine,” the ex-general said at a pro-Ukraine demonstration in Prague on Saturday evening.
Czech President-elect Petr Pavel has drawn parallels between the actions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler.
“Back then, before World War II, Hitler behaved in exactly the same way as Putin is behaving now with regard to Ukraine,” the ex-general said at a pro-Ukraine demonstration in Prague on Saturday evening, according to Czech News Agency (CTK).
Pavel said Hitler abused the German minority in the Sudeten territories of what was then Czechoslovakia to stir up emotions and incite violence.
Nazi Germany annexed the predominantly German-populated Sudeten territories under the Munich Agreement of September 1938.
A few months later, in March 1939, its forces invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia. World War II finally broke out with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1 that year.
The rally was attended by several personalities. Among the speakers was Interior Minister Vit Rakusan, the British, German and US ambassadors to Prague and Ukraine’s Chargé d’Affaires Vitaly Usatyj.
It was organized by the civic association Million Moments for Democracy, Memory of the Nation, the Ukrainian Embassy and the Gift for Putin initiative.
Pavel will take over from current Czech President Milos Zeman on March 9.
The former NATO general defeated ex-Prime Minister Andrej Babis in a runoff election in late January with 58.3% of the vote.