Congressman’s video draws criticism from memorial sites


On Monday, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) posted a video of himself at the Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland.

He was initially criticized for the video by officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum on Tuesday, after they saw that part of it was filmed inside a gas chamber. In the video, Higgins said the gas chamber’s show why the U.S. military “must be invincible.”

“The world’s a smaller place now than it was in World War II,” Higgins said. “The United States is more accessible to terror like this, horror like this.”

The museum’s main account tweeted about the video Tuesday, pointing out the fact that visitors are asked to maintain silence in the chamber, they wrote: “Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It’s not a stage.”

On Wednesday, the Anne Frank Center also spoke out against the video, saying the site had been “disrespected.” In a statement, Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, reportedly said, “Congressman Higgins, Auschwitz is not a television studio. It is the site of genocide and tragedy for the Jewish people that you have disrespected.”

In all uppercase letters, the Anne Frank center starts a Facebook post indicating that Congressman Higgins’ doesn’t use the words “Jews, Jewish or The Holocaust” in his video. They accuse him of using the video as a campaign tool. They quote Goldstein as saying:

“When you watch Congressman Higgins’ disgraceful infomercial, you hear him use all sorts of euphemisms for those murdered at Auschwitz by the Nazis. He never refers specifically to the mass murder of Jewish people at Auschwitz, nor uses the words Holocaust or Shoah. And the logo at the end indicates he is using the video as a campaign video for his reelection to Congress. This is disgusting beyond description. He must get sensitivity training or get a new job.”

The Center continued it’s attack against Higgins on Twitter, where they included tweets calling on Higgins to apologize, get “sensitivity training” and referring to his video as an “infomercial.”

They even went after Press Secretary Sean Spicer in one tweet, writing: “Higgins where were you when Spicer said Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons or when [President Trump] excluded Jews in Jan Holocaust remembrance?”

This isn’t the first time the Anne Frank Center attacked Spicer. In April, the Center called for Spicer to be fired after he made the statement: “You had someone as despicable as Hitler, who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

Spicer was denouncing a chemical weapons attack alleged to have been ordered by Syrian leader Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Later Spicer explained his comments, saying, “When it comes to sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

You can see Higgins’ video here:

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