A Louisiana congressman filmed himself calling for U.S. military superiority from inside one of the gas chambers at Auschwitz, drawing swift condemnation Tuesday from the group that runs the concentration camp memorial.
Rep. Clay Higgins, Louisiana Republican, posted the five-minute video over the weekend on the YouTube channel of Lee Johnson Media, “A Conservative Podcast looking at America of Today!”
Mr. Higgins, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, filmed himself inside a gas chamber where hundreds of thousands of Jews and others whom Nazi Germany deemed worthy of extermination, saying “a great sense of dread comes over you in this place.”
“It’s hard to walk away from the gas chambers and ovens without a very sober feeling of commitment — unwavering commitment — to make damn sure that the United States of America is protected from the evils of the world,” he says in the video taken at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland.
When the New Orleans Times-Picayune posted the video Tuesday, the Auschwitz Memorial criticized Mr. Higgins for filming himself and for public speaking at the site.
“Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It’s not a stage,” the Memorial tweeted.
One should be aware of atrocities. Yet, the gas chamber should not be a place for such videos. Here is what all visitors see there. pic.twitter.com/Hklq4YBcRH— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) July 4, 2017
It went on to note that the entrance to the gas chambers features a stone engraving asks visitors to “please maintain silence here: remember [the victims’] suffering and show respect for their memory.”
Mr. Higgins’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday evening from the Times-Picayune and other news outlets.
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