Congressman apologizes over Auschwitz video

Congressman Clay Higgins apologizes for recording a video while visiting Auschwitz concentration camp.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


U.S. congressman Clay Higgins apologized Wednesday for recording a video while visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

Higgins, a first-term House Republican and former police officer, produced an edited, five-minute video of himself touring parts of the camp and narrating in somber tones, including inside one of the former gas chambers.

"The guards would drop zyklon, cyanide gas from above, through hatches," Higgins said from inside the chamber.

"It's hard to walk away from 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," Higgins said.

The video was criticized by some as being political.

Among those to criticize was the Auschwitz Memorial, which tweeted, "Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage."

A later tweet by the Memorial included a picture of a plaque that reads, “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.”

Higgins explained later that he filmed the "Auschwitz message with great humility" and in "reverent homage" to the estimated 1.1 million people murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

"However, my message has caused pain to some whom I love and respect. For that, my own heart feels sorrow," he said, offering a "sincere apology" and announcing his video has been removed.

Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, called the video "disgusting beyond description."

"He never refers specifically to mass murder of the Jewish people at Auschwitz," nor uses the word Holocaust, Goldstein added.

AFP contributed to this report.