The US State Department on December 1 accused Belarus president Aleksandr Lukashenko of harboring "a degree of sympathy" for the Nazi regime, in response to the Belarusian’s president’s comments in the November 23 issue of the Duesseldorf daily Handelsblatt in which he favorably evaluated some of Adolf Hitler’s domestic policies. State Department spokesman Glyn Davies called the remarks" inappropriate and unbecoming" for a head of state, especially in a part of the world that suffered from Nazi aggression and anti-Semitism. (13) Lukashenko’s interview included the remark that "Germany rose from the ruins thanks to very severe rule, and not everything connected with Adolf Hitler in Germany was bad." Belarus’s present historical stage, said Lukashenko, likewise called for iron-fisted leadership and "consolidation around one or a group of persons." The interview had been broadcast in its entirety by Belarusian media. (14) Days later the president’s press office blamed Handelsblatt and Belarusian opposition politicians for conspiring to embarrass him by distorting his remarks. (15) On the other hand, shortly before that interview, Lukashenko had accused certain domestic writers of failing to adequately reflect in their work what Lukashenko described as the struggle of the Belarusian people against Nazi occupation during World War II.
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