US rabbis defend US lawmaker for Auschwitz video

US Orthodox rabbinic organization says lawmaker slammed for video in gas chamber deserves thanks for speaking about Nazi atrocities.

Gary Willig ,

Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

The Coalition for Jewish Values, an Orthodox rabbinic organization which represents hundreds of Orthodox rabbis in the US, issued a statement in defense of a US Congressman who recorded a video inside a gas chamber at the Auschwitz death camp, the Jewish News Service reported.

The CJV wrote a letter to Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), saying that he “deserves thanks from the Jewish people” for “detailing and dramatizing the atrocities of the Holocaust,” and speaking about the need to ensure “that the United States is protected from the evils of the world.”

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.

“A great sense of dread comes over you in this place,” Higgins said in the video. “Man’s inhumanity to man can be quite shocking.”

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."

Higgins later apologized for the video and removed it.