ABC News’ Rick Klein and Sunlen Miller Report: Sen. Barack Obama erred on Monday in referring to a Nazi concentration camp that a family member helped liberate, his campaign acknowledged Tuesday.
In a Memorial Day speech in New Mexico, Obama, D-Ill., touted the service of his grandfather and other family members during World War II, and added a few details about a great-uncle.
"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," Obama said, "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, right. 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."
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After several conservative bloggers and Fox News Channel pointed out that the Auchwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers, not Americans, Obama’s campaign clarified the statement.
"Senator Obama’s family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II –- especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald," spokesman Bill Burton said. "Yesterday he mistakenly referred to Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald in telling of his personal experience of a soldier in his family who served heroically."
Buchenwald was liberated by American soldiers in April 1945.
Said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant: "At times it appears that Barack Obama inaccurately recalls his own history and American history, so it’s important that we point to the facts. In this case, we’re happy to see that he took the time to set the record straight."