The Republican National Committee accused Barack Obama Tuesday of a lack of judgment after the Illinois senator mistakenly said that his uncle helped liberate the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz while serving in the American military during World War II.
In fact, that concentration camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers in 1945.
Obama’s comments came Monday during a question and answer session after a Las Cruces, New Mexico speech marking Memorial Day. The Illinois senator was calling for better care for veterans who experience post-traumatic stress syndrome when he made the reference.
“I had a uncle who was one of the, who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps and the story in our family was is that when he came home, he just went up into the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months,” Obama said. “Now obviously something had really affected him deeply but at that time there just weren’t the kinds of facilities to help somebody work through that kind of pain.”
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton released a statement later Tuesday clarifying the remarks, saying the Illinois senator meant to refer to the Buchenwald camp, which American soldiers did liberate. Obama was also apparently referring to his great uncle, Charles Payne.