Prince Charles compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler
this week, referring to the ex-KGB agent's actions in the Ukraine with regards to Russia's recent acquisition of Crimea.
The controversial comparison was reportedly made Monday as Prince Charles visited the National Museum of Immigration during his three-day tour of Canada with the Duchess of Cornwall. During the tour, Charles met a Polish refugee, Marienne Ferguson, who emigrated to Canada in 1939 just before the Nazis occupied her homeland, ABC News reported
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"I had finished showing him the exhibit and talked with him about my own family background and how I came to Canada," the woman told the Daily Mail
. "I told the prince that, while my family and I were lucky to get a permit to travel, many of my other relatives had permits but were unable to get out before war broke out on September 1. They were sent to the concentration camps and died."
"The prince then said, 'And now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler,'" referring to Russia's disputed annexation of Crimea. Prince Charles' remarks were reportedly overheard by several witnesses.
"I must say that I agree with him and am sure a lot of people do," Ferguson added. "I was very surprised that he made the comment as I know they aren't meant to say these things but it was very heartfelt and honest."
When asked to confirm the statement, England's Clarence House said, "We do not comment on private conversations. But we would like to stress that the Prince of Wales would not seek to make a public political statement during a private conversation," ABC News noted.
The remark by Charles was reminiscent of one made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
, who in March while criticizing Moscow's plan to issue passports to ethnic Russians in Crimea said, "Now, if this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the 1930s."
According to the Daily Mail, Charles is expected to meet the Russian president on June 6 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France.
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