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Kissinger apologises for 1973 'gassing Jews in Soviet Union' remarks

December 25, 2010 - Washington

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has apologized for his remarks he made in 1973 during a conversation with the then US President Richard Nixon, when he had said that it would not be an American concern if the Soviet Union sent its Jews to the gas chambers.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Kissinger made the apology in a Washington Post opinion piece and said: "References to gas chambers have no place in political discourse, and I am sorry I made that remark 37 years ago."

Kissinger's conversation with Nixon was recorded and he could be heard saying that the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy.

"And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern," he had said.

However Kissinger's piece on Friday claimed that his comment was largely taken out of context, while emphasizing that the Nixon administration had worked at helping Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.

"For someone who lost in the Holocaust many members of my immediate family and a large proportion of those with whom I grew up, it is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions and to my convictions, which were profoundly shaped by these events," Kissinger wrote.

Referring to his conversation with Nixon, where his gas chambers remark was made, Kissinger wrote "the conversation at issue arose not as a policy statement by me but in response to a request by the President that I should appeal to Senators Javits and Jackson and explain why we thought their approach unwise."


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