Pope repeats concentration camps comparison

Pope Francis repeats assertion that some migrant holding centers in Europe are like concentration camps.

Ben Ariel ,

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Uri Lenz/POOL/Flash 90

Despite previous criticism from Jewish groups, Pope Francis on Saturday repeated his assertion that some migrant holding centers in Europe amount to "concentration camps", The Associated Press reports.

A German reporter asked the Pope if he had made a linguistic slip when he first made the remarks last week, adding that they had been met with shock in Germany.

In response, the Pope appeared to not appreciate the controversy, saying that there are some refugee holding centers where migrants are penned in and prevented from leaving.

"There are refugee camps that are true concentration camps," he said, according to AP.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) last week sharply criticized the Pope's remarks and urged him to use a different choice of words.

“The conditions in which migrants are currently living in some European countries may well be difficult, and deserve still greater international attention, but concentration camps they certainly are not,” said AJC CEO David Harris in a statement.

“The Nazis and their allies erected and used concentration camps for slave labor and the extermination of millions of people during World War II. There is no comparison to the magnitude of that tragedy,” he added.

“We respectfully urge the Pope to reconsider his regrettable choice of words,” continued Harris. “Precision of language and facts is absolutely essential when making any historical reference, all the more so when coming from such a prominent and admired world figure.”