A Republican lawmaker has apologized and taken down an online video after officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland denounced the video because it was filmed inside the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Louisiana’s Rep. Clay Higgins, who serves on the House homeland security committee, faced criticism after recording a video published online in a former gas chamber.
In a response to his video, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial’s official account tweeted, “Everyone has the right to personal reflections. However, inside a former gas chamber, there should be mournful silence. It’s not a stage.”
The account then followed up with a photo from the concentration camp that asks visitors to “maintain silence” to “respect the memory” of those who died.
Higgin’s office released a statement on behalf of the lawmaker later Wednesday, where he apologized for making it.
“I filmed the Auschwitz message with great humility. … However, my message has caused pain to some whom I love and respect. For that, my own heart feels sorrow. Out of respect to any who may feel that my video posting was wrong or caused pain, I have retracted my video.”
The statement continued: “My Auschwitz video has been removed, and my sincere apology for any unintended pain is extended.”
In the video, Higgins walks through the property and explains why he thinks it’s important to remember those who died in the chambers.
“A great sense of dread comes over you in this place,” Higgins said in the video while touring the site. “Man’s inhumanity to man can be quite shocking.”
He continued later: “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.”