The Auschwitz Memorial in Oswięcim, Poland, condemned Republican Rep. Clay Higgins after he filmed a selfie video on his tour of the former Holocaust concentration camp, which included a political message from the gas chamber.
"Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage," the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum tweeted Tuesday.
Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It's not a stage. https://t.co/AN5aA1bYEU— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) July 4, 2017
In the video pubished by the New Orleans news outlet NOLA.com, Higgins, R-La., said the U.S. is more susceptible to genocide in the present day than in the 1940s.
"Slave labor would go into the room and drag the bodies of those poor souls out and bring them and incinerate them in these ovens. There were three sets of ovens like that," Higgins narrated. "This is why homeland security must be squared away — why our military must be invincible."
Later in the video, Higgins said the world is "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 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," said Higgins, a former police officer and member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
An estimated 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz, about 1 million of them Jews.