MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) – In a second Nazism-related media scandal in two days, a Russian state television channel fired all its social media staff after a quote by fascist ideologue Joseph Goebbels was used in a Facebook photo album.
The Kremlin-controlled Vesti-24 news channel on Monday put up a collection of illustrated quotes about Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin to mark the 90th anniversary of his death this month.
Along with Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein, the list included Lenin’s successor, Josef Stalin, as well as Goebbels.
The Third Reich’s Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was cited as praising Lenin for “leading [the Russian people] from suffering” and to freedom.
Goebbels was dropped from the list of “great men” after backlash on Facebook mounted on Tuesday night.
The entire social media desk of the VGTRK media holding, which owns the channel, was sacked over the incident, Vesti.ru said on its Facebook page Tuesday.
The Stalin quote remained in place.
Ironically, the conservative VGTRK faced the same criticism of whitewashing Nazism as the ultraliberal online television Dozhd just a day previously.
Dozhd had to apologize and take down an online poll asking whether the Soviet Union should have surrendered Leningrad to the Nazis to avoid the death of 1.5 million people in the brutal siege of 1941-1944.
The channel was blasted by senior lawmakers, and the incident triggered new talk of criminalizing the questioning of Russia’s role in the war.
World War II plays a crucial role in Russian state ideology, which credits the Soviet Union with defeating the Axis powers through unprecedented popular effort. Russia lost up to 27 million people in the war.