The remarks by the outspoken Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly questioned the veracity of the Holocaust, came in a letter sent to Merkel in July whose contents have not been disclosed until now. "Is it not a reasonable possibility that some countries that had won the war made up this excuse to constantly embarrass the defeated people ... to bar their progress," Ahmadinejad asked in the letter.
"The question is if these countries, especially Britain, felt responsible for the Holocaust survivors, why they did not settle them in their own countries?" he continued.
It is not the first time Ahmadinejad has voiced doubt about the mass slaughter of Jews under Nazi Germany, previously describing the Holocaust as a "myth" used to justify the creation of Israel. "By promoting the necessity of settlement of Holocaust survivors in the occupied Palestine, they have created a constant threat in the Middle East," he said, referring to Israel.
Merkel on July 21 indicated that she would not formally respond to the letter, saying it contained "totally unacceptable" criticism of Israel and "constantly put in question" the Jewish state's right to exist.