Last week, a member of the Polish Parliament challenged Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to put her money where her mouth was. The freshman congresswoman had stirred up a hornet’s nest by claiming that the Trump administration was running concentration camps on our southern border. Parliament member Dominik Tarczynski extended what he called the “olive branch of education,” inviting her to visit Adolf Hitler’s concentration camps in person so that she could see for herself whether her wild assertion was even remotely accurate.
Tarczynski’s letter was dated June 20, but before Ocasio-Cortez had a chance to answer, a second offer was tendered from a group called From The Depths whose stated mission is “to give a name to those who were brutally murdered in the dark days of the Holocaust and to continue the message to the next generations of those who survived.”
According to Joel Pollak at Breitbart, the group wrote:
We … would like to invite you as our guest during your summer recess from The United Congress, to join us along with Holocaust Survivor, United States Citizen and President of From The Depths, Mr. Edward Mosberg on an educational tour, specifically built for legislators, of the German Nazi Concentration Camps. The educational tour will visit Mauthausen, Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek Concentration Camps, amongst many other educational sites.
It has to be an uncomfortable couple of days for Ocasio-Cortez, who has never been all that big on the truth. But on June 22, she found the “out” she was looking for. It came in the form of a dare of sorts from Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who tweeted:
.@AOC I went to Auschwitz & Birkenau with Eddie Mausberg & Jonny Daniels with In the Depths. I went with a deep understanding of the Shoah and had a profound personal experience. Please accept their offer. https://t.co/9tjqgdP6N5
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 23, 2019
The following day, she tweeted back:
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. https://t.co/TQkaPEESoD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 23, 2019
As Pollak notes, King was indeed “rebuked by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year for appearing to support white supremacy,” adding:
The Washington Post reported last year that he had met with a far-right Austrian group after completing his tour of Holocaust sites with From the Depths, which denied any knowledge of his subsequent travel plans in Europe.
But King’s actions, however reprehensible, in no way justify her decision regarding the offers made to her. Does she think that visiting the scenes of the twentieth century’s worst humanitarian atrocity will convert her to a white supremacist?
No, this is just a convenient, nakedly veiled excuse to avoid having to confront the ugly reality that the real concentration camps are beyond her wildest imagining, let alone anything currently transpiring on the southern border.
Ocasio-Cortez can run but she can’t hide from the historical reality. She still has time to do the right thing, and make the visit. even But if she stubbornly refuses, she should set aside three minutes to watch this video featuring two Holocaust survivors made in response to her comments :
.@AOC claims America runs Concentration camps.
We spoke to the experts.
David and Sami survived the Holocaust.
They were beaten and starved.
They watched their loved ones die.
Sami was experimented on.
— Turning Point USA (@TPUSA) June 22, 2019