People are pretending to be Holocaust victims in a new and disturbing TikTok trend.
The videos show creators wearing makeup that imitates burns and bruises while explaining how they died in Nazi death camps.
One TikTok creator told Insider that she made a video to "educate people" about the Holocaust because she felt as if it "was important to share these stories."
The trend has been criticized as insensitive and tone-deaf, with the US Holocaust Museum telling Insider that it "dishonors the victims' memory."
A new disturbing TikTok trend involves young people pretending to be Holocaust victims in heaven.
In the videos, creators appear to be wearing makeup that imitates burns or bruises while explaining how they died in Nazi-run death camps.
Other versions show people acting out representations of the genocide of Jewish people during the World War II, in some cases using the background image of the Auschwitz concentration-camp network.
Some creators don a yellow Star of David like the ones Jews were forced to wear or dress up in striped shirts, to mimic the concentration-camp uniforms worn by the prisoners of Hitler's Third Reich.
The videos, which use hashtags including #Holocaust and #heaven, have been viewed thousands of times on the platform. They are part of a wider TikTok genre of point-of-view videos in which users shoot from a first-person perspective, making the viewers the main character of the video.
But the trend has caused an outcry on social media, with one person tweeting: "i'm sad this has become something people think is okay to practice their makeup and acting abilities with."
Another person wrote: "Right. Now can we please STOP making Holocaust trends on tiktok? It's straight up antisemitism and you all let it slide."
The TikTok videos could be an ill-informed attempt to raise awareness around the Holocaust and teach others about its history.
A 17-year-old girl from New Jersey who did not want to be named for this story told Insider that she pretended to be a Holocaust victim in her TikTok video to "educate people" and because she felt as if it "was important to share these stories."
Her character in the video described being deported with her family to Auschwitz, where they were all murdered in the gas chambers.
"I've always been interested in the history of the Holocaust and just wanted to make a creative video informing people about it on TikTok," she said. "It was never intended to be offensive." She has since removed the video.
But others view the trend as "trauma porn" and say it's offensive for people with family members who survived or died in the war.
A 19-year-old Jewish woman from Los Angeles, identified as Briana, who posted a lengthy thread about the trend on Twitter, told Wired: "Our obsession with trauma porn [when discussing tragic histories] has only motivated a desire to dramatize these narratives." She added: "It can be very triggering for people who have family that either survived or was lost in the war."
Diane Saltzman, the director of survivor affairs at the US Holocaust Museum, told Insider: "Imitating Holocaust experiences dishonors the memory of the victims, is offensive to survivors, and trivializes the history."
"The Museum encourages everyone, especially young people, to learn about the Holocaust and understand the lessons it holds for us today," she added.
TikTok declined to comment to Insider about this story.
Read the original article on Insider