Officials with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum criticized a Republican lawmaker Tuesday after he shot a video at the Polish museum, including a segment filmed inside a Nazi gas chamber.
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Louisiana, advocates for strengthening U.S. national security in the 5-minute video, saying at one point that gas chamber killings show why America’s military “must be invincible.”
“A great sense of dread comes over you in this place,” Higgins says in the video. “This is why homeland security must be squared away … 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.”
The video was first posted Saturday on YouTube, NOLA.com reported.
Museum officials responded to the video Tuesday in a pair of tweets that admonished Higgins for failing to show proper respect for Holocaust victims.
“Everyone has the right to personal reflections,” said a tweet posted Tuesday on the museum’s official Twitter page. “However, inside a former gas chamber there should be mournful silence. It’s not a stage.”
The Holocaust memorial museum later shared an image of a plaque that greets visitors to the museum, which says “You are in a building where the SS murdered thousands of people. Please maintain silence here: remember their suffering and show respect for their memory.”
Higgins did not immediately respond to the criticism.