Sweden's deputy prime minister has apologized for comparing the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean to the horrors of the Holocaust.

In a televised party leader debate Sunday, Asa Romson deplored the desperate situation of migrants trying to make the perilous and often deadly crossing to Europe, saying "we are ... turning the Mediterranean into the new Auschwitz."

Critics, including Jewish leaders, called the comparison to the Nazi death camp misguided and offensive. About 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed in Auschwitz during World War II.

Romson, who represents the Green Party, apologized Monday on Twitter, saying "It was wrong to make the comparison with Auschwitz."

Swedish news agency TT said Romson also called the head of Stockholm's Jewish community to say she regretted her choice of words.