Holocaust Survivor Denounces Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Concentration Camp’ Comparison

Barbed wires surround the cabins of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland. (Isaac Harari/Flash90)

Edward Mosberg, 93-year-old president of the Holocaust memorial group From The Depths, denounced Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s equating of U.S. migrant detention centers to “concentration camps,” and called for her removal from Congress.

“She should be removed from Congress. She’s spreading anti-Semitism, hatred and stupidity,” he told The New York Post. “The people on the border aren’t forced to be there — they go there on their own will. If someone doesn’t know the difference, either they’re playing stupid or they just don’t care. … Her statement is evil. It hurts a lot of people. At the concentration camp, we were not free. We were forced there by the Germans who executed and murdered people — there’s no way you can compare.”

Ocasio-Cortez was criticized by nonpartisan Jewish and Holocaust educational groups over her concentration camp comparison. Many Republicans condemned the freshman Democrat over the rhetoric, while some Democrats defended her.

Mosberg’s group relayed an invitation to Ocasio-Cortez last month to join an educational tour of the Nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Mauthausen and Majdanek during her summer recess.

Ocasio-Cortez, who was urged to participate by Republican Rep. Steve King (Iowa), publicly rejected the offer. Rep. King had previously attended a similar tour.

Mosberg told the Post that he was upset that she declined the invitation, adding that he wanted to show her where his family was murdered by the Nazis.

“If you’re not there, you will never know what happened. She doesn’t want to learn — she’s looking for excuses,” he said.

Ocasio-Cortez flouted criticism of her remarks, which she said came from “shrieking Republicans” who did not know the difference between concentration camps and death camps.

“Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing,” she said, adding that she would “never apologize” for her remarks.

“And she does know the difference between camps detaining people who left their homes on their own – to camps where people were placed forcibly and often sent on to death camps,” detractors hurry to point out.

Polish President Andrzej Duda awarded Mosberg the Order of Merit earlier this year for his activities as a philanthropist and educator. The Order of Merit is Poland’s highest civilian award for distinguished citizens.