Spilnota Detector Media

Fake Ursula von der Leyen's grandmother allegedly occupied Hitler, and her great-grandfather was the “chief Nazi”

Propagandists published a photograph on social networks showing Adolf Hitler allegedly hugging the grandmother of Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission. They also claim that Ursula von der Leyen's grandfather, Karl Albrecht Oberg, was allegedly the “chief SS man and policeman” and sent 100,000 people to concentration camps. However, these statements are false.

Specialists from the Georgian project MythDetector drew attention to them. They found that these claims originated as a joke by American researcher Norman Finkelstein. The identity of the actual person in the photograph has not been confirmed by publicly available sources. Additionally, the claim that Ursula von der Leyen's grandfather, Karl Albrecht Oberg, was an SS general is false. In fact, the great-grandfather of the President of the European Commission was named Friedrich Karl Albrecht and he was an entrepreneur.

The photo circulating on social media is a screenshot of a message posted by Norman Finkelstein on his X network page on November 23, 2023. Finkelstein captioned the post as a joke, calling it “Photo from Ursulie von der Leyen's family album” and adding a made-up quote to the politician: “My dear grandmother did not wash her hands for a month after this wonderful incident”.

The real person in the photo remains unknown. According to the description of the American photo agency Getty Images, the photo was taken in 1937 in the city of Buckeburg, where Hitler shakes hands with a “traditionally dressed girl”.

Propagandists spread such fakes to discredit Western partners and justify Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Fake Ukrainian Nazis are allegedly preparing young Ukrainians to fight in specialized camps

Russian telegram channels are disseminating information that Kyiv has allegedly begun to prepare young men for confrontation with Russian troops during the upcoming defense in the Sumy direction. According to propagandists, “young men will have to form partisan movements and begin sabotage”. In addition, Russian propaganda says that Kyiv has allegedly already begun to use such a detachment in one of the directions. And as a result, a sixteen-year-old Ukrainian medic of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the 67th DUK Mechanized Infantry Brigade with the call sign “Troy” allegedly died.

The Center for Countering Disinformation under the National Security and Defense Council denied this information. In fact, the statement about the training of “young Ukrainian partisans” to fight the Russians is an invention of Russian propagandists that does not correspond to reality. There is also fake information about the death of a Ukrainian combat medic precisely as a result of the partisan movement again. Unfortunately, Anastasia Marianchuk with the call sign “Troy” actually died on March 18, 2024, but from enemy shelling, and not because she joined one of the so-called “detachments”. In addition, she was not 16, but 22 years old.

This fake nourishes the propaganda narrative that Nazism rules in Ukraine, so the country needs to be “denazified”. However, this is only one of the justifications for unprovoked Russian aggression. In the end, propagandists seek to demonize both the Ukrainian authorities and the Ukrainian Armed Forces, since they have allegedly already begun to involve children in physical confrontation with Russia. Previously, we refuted the information that in Kyiv they allegedly distribute “propaganda” to women, elderly people and children so that they could be mobilized into the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Newspeak How Russia blurs reality with fictitious words: “Denazification”

One of the tasks of the “special military operation”, that is, Russia's large-scale war on the territory of Ukraine, was the so-called “denazification of the Ukrainian people”. That is what President Putin said when he addressed the nation hours before the full-scale invasion. In order to justify Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Russian propaganda uses the term “denazification”.

“Denazification” is a term used by Russian propaganda to refer to the goals of a large-scale invasion. In other words, the eradication of supposedly Nazis from the territory of Ukraine in order to achieve global peace.

Russian propaganda actively compares Ukrainians precisely with the Nazis in order to evoke corresponding associations among Russians with the Second World War (the so-called Great Patriotic War), in which the people of the USSR liberated the world from the Nazis. However, the propagandists appropriated all the achievements to the Russian people, but omitted the fact that other Ukrainians also participated in the Second World War.

Consequently, a halo of particularity, significance and importance of Russians in historical discourse is being built. Allegedly, the Russian people had a special task to save humanity from the Nazi invasion. And now, it seems, they should do the same: to save the world from the invasion of other Nazis - Ukrainian ones. Speaking of the so-called denazification, the propagandists are playing with the emotions of the Russians, who once again get a chance to save humanity. At the same time, Ukrainians appear as evil Nazis who need to be destroyed.

Thus, Russia is trying to justify its invasion and, masquerading as “denazification”, commits genocide of Ukrainians, rapes and kills civilians. The real goal of Russia is the extermination of the Ukrainian people.

This is the third text for the new section “Newspeak”, which Detector Media launched as part of the “Disinformation Chronicles” project, in which it will tell and explain new lexemes used by Russian propaganda to distort reality.

We recall that the newspeak is an artificial language from George Orwell's dystopian novel “1984”. In the novel, Newspeak names words that lose their original meaning and have a completely opposite connotation. For example: war - peace. According to the plot of the novel, such a technique was used by the totalitarian party. It was it that gained popularity among representatives of real totalitarian regimes. In particular, Nazi and Russian.