The Auschwitz Memorial responded to MSNBC host Chris Hayes defending Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s rhetoric on concentration camps. (AusciStock/MSNBC/AP)
Auschwitz Memorial responded to MSNBC host Chris Hayes Tuesday after he defended divisive comments by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who recently compared U.S. border facilities to concentration camps.
Hayes responded to a tweet by Rep. Liz Cheney, which mocked Ocasio-Cortez for evoking the extermination of six million Jewish people during the Holocaust to make a point about the treatment of migrants.
“If you spend a few minutes learning some actual history, you will find out that concentration camps are different from death camps and have a history that both predates and extends far past the Nazis,” Hayes tweeted in an attempt to defend Ocasio-Cortez.
The verified twitter account of the Auschwitz Memorial took notice and suggested the far-left MSNBC host educate himself about the tragic events that took place at the concentration camp.
“Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust,” the memorial says on its website. “Initially, Auschwitz was to be one more concentration camp of the type that the Nazis had been setting up since the early 1930s. It functioned in this role throughout its existence, even when, beginning in 1942, it also became the largest of the death camps.”
The term “concentration camps” has been in the news because of an extreme comparison made by Ocasio-Cortez during an Instagram live stream on Monday.
"The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the land of the free is extraordinarily disturbing," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Many on the left agreed with Ocasio-Cortez, and she doubled down after seeing Republican outrage, claiming she was not engaging in "hyperbole."
"And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as 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 wrote on Twitter.
The Auschwitz Memorial sent a similar tweet to CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski, who declared that the camp was “a mixture of work and extermination camps.”
“The history of Auschwitz is far more complicated than this as it combined two functions: a concentration camp and from March 1942 an extermination center. See our online lesson,” the memorial responded.
Meanwhile, Hayes continued to discuss the situation in a series of tweets and admitted he deserved criticism.
"I probably deserve the ratio but whatever the hell you call them we should be closing them. There is absolutely no reason to be detaining the vast, overwhelming majority of these people. It's unconscionable,” he wrote.
Fox News’ David Montanaro contributed to this report.