Anne Frank Center calls GOP lawmaker's Auschwitz video a 'global disgrace'

The Anne Frank Center on Wednesday slammed a GOP lawmaker for filming a video inside a former gas chamber in the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, calling his action "a global disgrace."

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) already had faced criticism for his video from officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

"Congressman Higgins, Auschwitz is not a television studio," Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, said Wednesday in a statement. "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."

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“The world’s a smaller place now than it was in World War II,” Higgins said in the almost 5-minute video. “The United States is more accessible to terror like this, horror like this."

Memorial officials also called the video disrespectful, noting that there was a sign in the building that asks visitors to "maintain silence," the Associated Press reported.

“Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage,” the museum's main account tweeted Tuesday, along with a link to the congressman’s video.

The Anne Frank Center pointed out Wednesday that Higgins did not mention Jewish people or the Holocaust. 

 

Shortly after the Anne Frank Center's denouncement, Higgins retracted the video.

"My Auschwitz video has been removed, and my sincere apology for any unintended pain is extended," Higgins wrote in a statement.
 
“I filmed the Auschwitz message with great humility. My intent was to offer a reverent homage to those who were murdered in Auschwitz and to remind the world that evil exists, that free nations must remember, and stand strong," Higgins said in part. "Out of respect to any who may feel that my video posting was wrong or caused pain, I have retracted my video."
 

Memorial officials had also called the video disrespectful, noting that there was a sign in the building that asks visitors to "maintain silence," the Associated Press reported.

“Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage,” the museum's main account tweeted Tuesday, along with a link to the congressman’s video.

Updated 5 p.m. E.T.