Selfies as a concept are already pretty absurd, but add a concentration camp as a backdrop and it takes absurdity to a whole new level.
The new craze among teens is snapping selfies in front of Auschwitz, the site of over one million deaths at the violent hands of the Nazis during Hitler’s World War II regime.
They post the photos with various hashtags onto an Israeli Facebook group that roughly translates to “With My Besties At Auschwitz.”
The page received over 12,000 likes, but it was pulled down after two days due to angry criticism.
In a Huffington Post interview, Dr. Thorin Tritter of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics says that there is not one correct response to visiting an emotional landmark.
Some people may go numb, some people may not take Auschwitz as seriously as others, and some might condemn people who appear to take photos disrespectfully.
Tritter emphasizes the fact that the Jews are indeed not all dead and that the Nazis did indeed fail, so visitors to the site can process this information “in their own way.”
They’re in the photo, that’s different from taking a pic of a place that they’re visiting without them. They’re trying to make their mark, leave their mark, for them to remember, for others to remember, that they were actually there.
Jason Feifer, creator of “Selfies and Funerals” and “Selfies at Serious Places,” said people might take selfies at a significant place because they may not have another person around them to take a photo, or might feel embarrassed to.
If you are feeling earnest in an emotional location, it feels stupid to go up to another tourist and ask for a photo instead of just simply extending your arm out and taking your own.
Asking someone else for a picture, said Feirfer, may feel more self-indulgent than taking the picture yourself.
via Huffington Post, Photos Courtesy: Facebook