"Germany's Central Council of Jews accused Liechtenstein's Prince Hans-Adam II of making a 'mockery' of the Holocaust by saying bank secrecy in his principality had helped save many Jews during the Second World War, Reuters reported.
The prince ruling the tiny European country made the comments in an interview with the local Liechtensteiner Volksblatt, where he said Liechtenstein and Switzerland had 'saved the lives of many people, especially Jews' thanks to their bank secrecy laws.
The top body of Germany's Jews sharply criticized the comments Monday, calling them a distortion of the historical record.
'The comments make a mockery of the Holocaust and those that survived it,' Stephan Kramer, general secretary of the Council, told the Bild daily.
'It is an attempt to use the Holocaust as a defense for the prince's political failures. Portraying Liechtenstein as a merciful helper of the Jews does not chime with the historical facts.'
Prince Hans-Adam, 64, said in the newspaper interview that during the Nazi era, Jewish families had been able to use money kept in secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland to buy their freedom."
The Prince's attack is clearly directed at Germany, which is upset at how Liechtenstein banking secrecy protects German tax cheats. You have to read a lot into it to see it as an attack on the Jews, namely that there was in fact some truth to Nazi allegations about the financial shenanigans of rich German Jews and how some such people selfishly used their hidden assets to look after themselves while leaving the rest behind. There is still a lot of Jewish guilt over the events of the mid-20th century, and it reveals itself in the oddest ways.