'That is the cemetery of millions of people...' Locals react to 'selfies' being taken at Auschwitz

Pictures have surfaced on social media of people posing for selfies on the train tracks that lead into the Auschwitz concentration camp. Those right here in the Wabash Valley said it's important to document your visit for educational purposes, but to do so respectfully.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 6:00 PM

TERRE HAUTE Ind. (WTHI)- "Selfies."

You've heard of them or even taken a few yourself.

This time, the controversy comes with where people are taking them.

Recently on social media, there have been several selfies shared of people posing on the train tracks that lead into the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The memorial museum even took to Twitter to remind visitors to be respectful.

The tweet said in part, "there are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site that symbolizes deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths."

Kori Wood is an intern at the Candles Holocaust Museum here in Terre Haute.

She's also been to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Wood said she was surprised to see the selfies.

"I was initially shocked for sure. Having the opportunity to be there, to go to Auschwitz with Eva was an incredible experience, but something I didn't want to document necessarily with a selfie," said Wood.

She did take pictures, but mostly to document her experience.

Leah Simpson also works at Candles.

Her goal is to make sure people walk away with more understanding and awareness.

"If the purpose of Auschwitz is to educate, it is a form of education... and so we have to find that balance in between what is education and what is appropriate," said Simpson.

She said it's that lack of education on the Holocaust that could've caused this issue.

"It is how the younger generation communicates and if they haven't.. if they don't have the education to support that base of knowledge of the Holocaust and the understanding, then they might not see anything wrong," said Simpson.

"Being in Auschwitz is a place where you need to be respectful. That is the cemetery of millions of people. When it comes down to it, the way you're going to reflect is the way you're going to reflect and if that's what you need to do.. okay, but also have it comes down to respect," said Wood.

The memorial has posted ideas on more respectful pictures on social media.

They have not banned photography for visitors, but they do encourage everyone to be respectful and honor the victims.

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