Lantos’ Auschwitz comparison riles Dutch

A comment by a U.S. lawmaker over Guantanamo Bay has angered Dutch officials.

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee, told Dutch officials that Europe is reacting far more harshly to the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay than it did to Auschwitz, disrupting diplomatic talks, according to The Associated Press.

Lantos, a Holocaust survivor, made the remarks shortly after Dutch officials toured the facility. The Dutch believed the physical conditions in the prison were acceptable, but said their concern was for the prisoner’s legal rights. Most advocated shutting down Guantanamo.

Lantos reportedly told the officials that “Europe was not as outraged by Auschwitz as by Guantanamo Bay,” and added that “you have to help us because if it was not for us you would now be a province of Nazi Germany.”

Members of the Dutch delegation said the comments by Lantos were “insulting and counterproductive,” and created a strange diplomatic situation. The Dutch government will announce soon whether it plans to continue its troops’ assistance with an anti-Taliban offensive in southern Afghanistan.

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