GOP Congressman Faces Backlash For Auschwitz Clip (Video)

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A Louisiana congressman has come under fire for taking a video in a gas chamber at Auschwitz-Berkinau Memorial and Museum (video below).

Republican Clay Higgins recorded a video of himself at the former concentration camp in Poland, reflecting on the events of World War II, UpRoxx reports.

"A great sense of dread comes over you in this place," said Higgins.

"The world’s a smaller place now than it was in World War II. The United States is more accessible to terror like this, horror like this," added the congressman. "It's hard to walk away from the gas chambers and ovens without a very sober feeling of commitment -- unwavering commitment -- to make d*** sure that the United States of America is protected from the evils of the world."

He also described the method that people were killed at the camp.

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"Cyanide pellets activated when they hit oxygen," said Higgins. "After about 20 minutes, everyone was dead and then slave labor would go into the room and drag the bodies of those poor souls out and bring them and incinerate them.

"This is why homeland security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible," added Higgins, who is on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.

The Auschwitz Memorial responded to the clip on Twitter, saying, "Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage."

It added a photo of a sign, reading, "You are in a building where the SS murdered thousands of people. Please maintain silence here: remember their suffering and show respect for their memory."

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"This is what all visitors see at the entrance to the building where first homicidal gas chambers of Auschwitz was created by the SS," tweeted the memorial.

Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect called for Higgins to apologize, according to USA Today.

"Congressman Higgins, Auschwitz is not a television studio," Goldstein said. "It is the site of genocide and tragedy for the Jewish people that you have disrespected. Not only must you apologize, but you must also get the sensitivity training appropriate for your continued service in the U.S. Congress."

The incident is not the first time Higgins has courted controversy online. In June, Higgins called for Islamic radicals to be "killed," reports The Washington Post.

"The free world ... all of Christendom ... is at war with Islamic horror," wrote the congressman. "Not a single radicalized Islamic suspect should be granted any measure of quarter. Their intended entry to the American homeland should be summarily denied. Every conceivable measure should be engaged to hunt them down. Hunt them, identify them, and kill them."

"Kill them all," he continued. "For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all."

The post led to a backlash online, with commenters accusing Higgins of calling for genocide.

Sources: UpRoxx, The Washington Post, USA Today / Photo credit: United States Congress via Wikimedia Commons, Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr, Auschwitz Memorial/Twitter via UpRoxx

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