A high school class taking selfies, and posing on photos inside the concentration camp. That is what I witnessed, visiting Sachsenhausen. But should such depressing places be sites for selfies?
Unfortunately, these teens are not alone regarding posing on pictures inside the camps for thereafter upload online. It is well known that this is a common phenomenon of teenagers visiting the Nazi concentration camps. Getting likes and comments on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: “You’re sooo beautiful” or “Drop dead gorgeous!”. Seeming to forget that millions of Jews were killed and tortured in these places. As well as gypsies and resistance fighters.
Seeing them take these photos, made me feel disgust. Based on genocide studies, family history, and common sense, I understand that posing on a photo on a place like this is unacceptable. My grand-grandfather, was sent to one camp during the Second World War. The Germans tortured him, by ripping out his nails. He got little food, and rest, making him so weak that he died a short time after he was released. This, just for having a radio.
Furthermore, visiting the camps, we had a guide showing us around. A Norwegian man, which was sitting two years in the camp for being a part of a team publishing propaganda newspapers. Despite that he stated that he was treated better than most of the other prisoners, due to that he was Aryan, it was easy to see that he had experienced unbearable things in the camp. Furthermore, he started to cry several times during the tour.
While visiting the camps, you will see scape marks on the wall from nails inside the gas chambers. Mass graves. Pictures and belongings of the victims. But despite this it does not seem like many youth understand and manage to relate to the serious incident that happened there.
I do not know about you. But visiting places like this, makes me want to cry and vomit. Not to take a smiley selfie, stand with the thumbs up, pose with a duck face or blowing kisses to the camera.
What do you feel about people taking selfies and posing pictures in the concentration camps? Maybe you have seen people doing the same in other sites where horrible incidents have happened?