Officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland criticized a U.S. congressman for filming a video while visiting the Nazi death camp.
Clay Higgins, a Republican from Louisiana, recorded himself, selfie-style, inside a former-gas chamber. “A great sense of dread comes over you in this place,” he said. “A great sense of dread comes over you in this place.” Higgins later added, “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. It’s hard to walk away from the 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 — who rose to fame via some viral videos he made when he was a small town cop — also bizarrely offered a play-by-play account of what happened in Auschwitz, where over one million people died between 1940-1945. “Cyanide pellets activated when they hit oxygen,” he said. “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.” Higgins serves on the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.
Once the five-minute video started making the rounds, the museum tweeted, “Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It’s not a stage. This is what all visitors see at the entrance to the building where first homicidal gas chambers of Auschwitz was created by the SS.” Higgins has yet to respond.