The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum, the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, has issued a request on Twitter asking visitors to the Oświęcim, Poland cultural site to refrain from playfully posing on its train tracks.
The tracks were used to transport prisoners to the concentration camp, where the Nazis killed 1.1 million people and, according to the Auschwitz Museum, should not be used as a “balance beam” for a social media post. “Respect their memory. There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolizes deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths,” the museum shared.
When you come to @AuschwitzMuseum remember you are at the site where over 1 million people were killed. Respect their memory. There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolizes deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths. pic.twitter.com/TxJk9FgxWl
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 20, 2019
The museum also shared photos of people balancing the rails which lead to the gatehouse of the camp, known as the “Gate of Death.”
“Photography at @AuschwitzMuseum will not be banned. Yet, we ask visitors to behave respectfully, also when taking pictures. See our @instagram account to see how images can commemorate victims & teach difficult and emotional history of #Auschwitz,” the museum said in a follow-up tweet.
The museum’s rules and regulations read: “Visitors to the grounds of the Museum should behave with due solemnity and respect.” But some on social media feel that the rule, along with the public chastising of people’s posing, goes too far.
And walking on it symbolizes that we're in a much better place right now. Let people smile. Remembrance does not mean being solemn and stern all the time.
— Ostez vostre lion ⚜️ (@OstezVostreLion) March 20, 2019
I have visited Auschwitz with my children. My mother was a Holocaust survivor. Many of her family perished. I think this tweet is unworthy and controlling. Sometimes you just need to de-stress a bit. Stop trying to manage everyone into 'your version' of respect.
— David Berger (@davebergie) March 20, 2019
While not the most reverent, notice not all are doing it. Sometimes a person needs a break from all the horrors there, just taking a couple minutes to re center them selves. All mourn in different ways. From one who walks train tracks.
— aswegrow (@aswegrow2) March 20, 2019
Others applaud the museum for taking a stand on how to act at such a heart-wrenching, historic place.
This is a very necessary post, our picture-taking habits are completely out of control. I may be visting in the summer, I will make sure I am aware of your photography policy. Thank you for all the essential work you continue to do. Without our historical memory we are nothing.
— Francesca 🇪🇺 (@Just__Fran) March 20, 2019
Fully agree. These immature and disrespectful people should be escorted out. Let them play somewhere else. Standards of appropriate behaviour should be established and made a condition of entry to the site.
— Peter Bernstein (@pb4120) March 20, 2019
We visited on Monday, but couldn’t believe how many individuals took it as an attraction rather than a memorial. This is a site of mass extermination of many people. It’s a completely harrowing experience. pic.twitter.com/8QSFIuT1Vg
— Martin (@CrimmboSlice) March 20, 2019
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Australian soccer star faces ‘sexual abuse,’ via internet trolls, after photo of her kicking goes viral
- Parkland shooting survivor Sydney Aiello died by suicide after allegedly struggling with survivor’s guilt
- ‘I was not expected to live more than a few years’: Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, wife of Ted Koppel, on life with COPD
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle’s newsletter.