Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared border detention facilities to Nazi concentration camps, upsetting a Holocaust survivor and the surviving family members of those who perished in actual concentration camps during World War II—enough for him to publicly call for her to be removed from Congress.
One of a few Holocaust survivors left, 93-year-old Ed Mosberg, who lost his entire family during the Holocaust—himself a survivor from the Plaszow and Mauthausen concentration camps—gave The New York Post a compelling testimony.
Mosberg succinctly pointed out that people could not leave concentration camps.
In fact, illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime in the United States are free to apply for voluntary departure.
Mosberg said, “The people on the border aren’t forced to be there. They go there on their own will.” … Her (Ocasio-Cortez’s) 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.”
“She should be removed from Congress. She’s spreading anti-Semitism, hatred, and stupidity,” Mosberg said, referring to what Ocasio-Cortez said in a video she posted to Twitter.
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On June 18, Ocasio-Cortez posted a video on Instagram. She was casually dressed, perhaps sitting in her apartment. On the video, she appeared only a little bit moved about the humanitarian crisis at the border.
Her tone was casual, and she took to the platform to vent her thoughts, off the cuff.
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border. That is exactly what they are, they are concentration camps. If that doesn’t bother you, I don’t… (gestures and stammers) … whatever … I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not, that “Never Again” means something, and that ummm, the fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing. And we need to do something about it.”
“This week, children, immigrant children were moved to the same internment camps where the Japanese were held in the earlier 20th century,” she continued. She is referring to the plan to house up to 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children in an Oklahoma military base that once served as a Japanese internment camp during World War II.
Japanese Americans were isolated in the internment camps after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed executive order 9066 with the intention of preventing espionage on American shores. It is now considered one of the most atrocious violations against American citizens in the 20th century, according to historians.
The facilities at the military base are now used in emergency situations and do not resemble the internment camps that were there long ago.
“This is not even about a crisis for … this is not just about immigrant communities being held in concentration camps being a crisis, this is a crisis for ourselves. This is a crisis on if America will remain America in its actual principles and values or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency,” Ocasio-Cortez continued.
“And so I think that that is … you know I don’t use those words lightly, I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is,” she added.
“A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it’s very difficult to say that,” she ended.
Reaching Out to Edify not Fight
The Holocaust education group From the Depths, of which Mosberg is president, reached out to Ocasio-Cortez via Facebook. They encouraged her to tour the “German Nazi concentration camps” with Mosberg. He invited her to the museum and memorial site at Auschwitz, where his mother was murdered.
However, she publicly declined. Iowa Rep. Steve King was one congressman who encouraged her to go, as he had once made the trip with Mosberg.
She tweeted to King, “The last time you went on this trip it was reported that you also met w/ fringe Austrian neo-Nazi groups to talk shop. So I’m going to have to decline your invite. But thank you for revealing to all how transparently the far-right manipulates these moments for political gain.”
Mosberg said he was very disappointed by Ocasio-Cortez’s rejection.
“She should be taught a lesson,” he said. “If you’re not there, you will never know what happened. She doesn’t want to learn—she’s looking for excuses. I would like to nominate her for the Nobel Prize in stupidity.”