Republican N.C. Congressional Candidate Deletes Instagram Photos From Nazi Retreat That Hitler Visited

North Carolina congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn deleted Instagram photos taken during his 2017 trip to the Eagle's Nest, a remote Nazi retreat site, this week.

The 25-year-old Republican removed the social media post after Jezebelbrought it to the public's attention in a report published on Monday. Screenshots of the post remained online Tuesday afternoon. It included three photos from Cawthorn's visit to the mountainside German mansion, used by members of the Nazi Party to conduct meetings during its regime. Adolf Hitler visited the residence more than a dozen times between 1939 and 1940. It now serves as a tourist destination.

"The vacation house of the Führer," Cawthorn wrote in the deleted Instagram post's caption. Führer is German for "leader" or "guide." Hitler assumed the title when he rose to power in the German Third Reich, and his followers referred to him as such in a gesture of respect.

"Seeing the Eagles Nest has been on my bucket list for awhile, it did not disappoint," the caption went on. "Strange to hear so many laughs and share such a good time with my brother where only 79 years ago a supreme evil shared laughs and good times with his compatriots."

Eagle's nest
The Eagle's Nest, a remote Nazi retreat that now serves as a destination for tourists, is pictured in southeastern Germany. North Carolina congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, a Republican, recently deleted an Instagram post taken during his 2017 trip to the site. Tim Graham/Getty

Attorney Morris Davis, the Democratic nominee running against Cawthorn for a Congressional seat representing North Carolina's 11th District, responded to the Instagram post in a message shared to Twitter on Monday. "Hitler's vacation retreat is not on my bucket list," Davis wrote alongside a screenshot.

Cawthorn addressed the backlash surrounding his Instagram photos in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon.

"When our soldiers from Easy Company were photographed smoking, drinking and smiling at the Eagle's Nest in 1945 they were clearly celebrating the Allies triumph over one of the greatest evils in human history," he wrote, referencing an attached photo of U.S. Army soldiers at the Eagle's Nest after World War II.

"When I visited the Eagle's Nest this was the history I had in mind," Cawthorn continued. "It was a surreal experience to be remembering their joy in a place where the Nazi regime had plotted unspeakable acts of evil."

While social media users and news outlets criticized the Republican congressional candidate's tone in captioning his 2017 Instagram post, conservative supporters called the reaction "fake news." In Cawthorn's most recent social media post, shared to Twitter, he said the Republican Party he represents "will fight back against liberal lies."

Newsweek reached out to Cawthorn's campaign for additional comments but did not receive a reply in time for publication.