U.S. Rep. King after Auschwitz visit: "Bring pride back to Germany again"

He extended his trip to include a visit to Austria, where he met with far-right officials from the party founded by former Nazi SS officers.

October 26, 2018 20:52
2 minute read.
U.S. Rep. King after Auschwitz visit: "Bring pride back to Germany again"

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) takes questions from a reporter after a meeting on the House Floor regarding an immigration bill which was postponed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., June 22, 2018. . (photo credit: TOYA SARNO JORDAN / REUTERS)


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WASHINGTON -- A Republican congressman from Iowa said that Germany should stop apologizing for the Holocaust and sought an alternative, "Polish perspective" on the genocide mere days after visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau this summer.

Steve King, a notorious lawmaker from Iowa's 4th congressional district who has supported racist and Islamophobic policies since winning office in 2003, offered his thoughts to a right-wing Austrian publication associated with the nation's Freedom Party, as well as to the Washington Post, following a trip to Poland funded by a Holocaust remembrance group.

He extended his trip to include a visit to Austria, where he met with far-right officials from the party founded by former Nazi SS officers.

"Bring pride back in to Germany again," he told the Austrian publication, Unzensuriert, which means uncensored. "I came to Germany about 15 years ago, and a lot of conversations started with the words: 'I am German, therefore I apologize.' I took note the first time I heard this from an individual. But after I heard this ten, twelve times, then I knew: it's the culture."

"When I interviewed Poles," he continued, "especially the Jewish Poles that are left– and there are not very many of them– their level of resentment is so deep that they think any time a German opens his mouth he should apologize first. And I think you can't pass the sins of the fathers on to the succeeding generations. They need to know their history, they need to be aware of it, but that's not their sins. They were not yet born."

While King told the Washington Post that his experience at Auschwitz was "profound," he explained that he wanted to learn of the "Polish perspective" on events as well as the "Jewish perspective." Poland came under international criticism earlier this year for attempting to criminalize the accounting of Poles as complicit in the Nazi killings.

King sympathized with the concerns of the Unzensuriert interviewer, who warned of a "great replacement" of European whites with non-white immigrants. The congressman has frequently expressed worry that immigrants are a "threat to Western civilization," that Christians are under the threat of "white genocide."

"Culture and demographics are our destiny," he tweeted last year, to widespread condemnation from his Republican colleagues. "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."

King has been outraised by his Democratic challenger in Iowa, but is nevertheless expected to win reelection next month.

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