UPDATE: After facing great backlash, Louisiana congressman Clay Higgins apologized on Wednesday for the egregious political video he filmed while inside of a former gas chamber of a Nazi concentration camp.
“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 an official statement according to The Guardian. “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.”
He added that he sincerely apologized "for any unintended pain" he caused with his insensitive and disrespectful footage.
Although he has acknowledged the tastelessness of his actions, how he ever thought such a stunt was appropriate in the first place remains a mystery.
You are not supposed to use former concentration camps as a platform to discuss politics. Period.
One Republican congressman, however, didn't bother to pay heed to this fact when he filmed himself inside Auschwitz talking about homeland security.
Yes, you read that right.
In a bizarre video, posted online to mark Independence Day, Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana talked about how thousands of people were incinerated inside the former gas chamber at the Nazi concentration camp in Poland and then, for some odd reason, started to discuss how U.S. should work on being "invincible."
"This is why homeland security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible," says Higgins, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. "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," he added. "To make damn sure that the United States of America is protected from the evils of the world."
It goes without saying that entire idea behind the video was not only stupid, it was also very disrespectful.
Consequently, Higgins drew a lot of criticism and rightfully so.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum called out Higgins in a tweet, saying Auschwitz was "not a stage" but a place where there should be “mournful silence."
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
The account also tweeted of the entrance to a building in Auschwitz with a sign requesting visitors maintain silence.
One should be aware of atrocities. Yet, the gas chamber should not be a place for such videos. Here is what all visitors see there. pic.twitter.com/Hklq4YBcRH— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) July 4, 2017