An Israeli artist upset by the amount of disrespectful ‘selfies’ taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin adapted the images to send a powerful message.
If anything, this series is controversial. However, it does raise awareness about a common issue: the lack of respect many visitors have for historical monuments and sites of importance.
Recently, Israel artist Shahak Shapira unveiled an art project called “Yolocaust” which intends to shame those who have taken disrespectful selfies at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. The Memorial offers tribute to the thousands of people who died during WWII, particularly in concentration camps around Europe.
On the Yolocaust website, Shapira wrote:
“Over the last years, I noticed an interesting phenomenon at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin: people were using it as a scenery for selfies. So I took those selfies and combined them with footage from Nazi extermination camps.”
Bored Panda relays that selfies were obtained from a plethora of social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, and Grinder. Then, they were edited so that the backdrops feature some of the poor souls who endured unimaginable torture and distress during the holocaust.
As you will notice, the original comments, hashtags, and amount of “likes” that were found on the posted selfies are included on the original images. This was done to remind people that the Holocaust Memorial is a place of reflection which demands respect, as the artist was in shock after seeing photos of people doing everything from yoga to juggling at the somber site.
“About 10,000 people visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe every day. Many of them take goofy pictures, jump, skate or bike on the 2,711 concrete slabs of the 19,000 m² large structure,” Shapira wrote. “The exact meaning and role of the Holocaust Memorial are controversial. To many, the grey stelae symbolize gravestones for the 6 Million Jews that were murdered and buried in mass graves, or the grey ash to which they were burned to in the death camps.”
If anyone whose image is featured in the series wishes for their photo to be taken down, they can email [email protected]. Following are some ‘Before & After’ photos of the Yolocaust series which aims to shock and send a clear message to disrespectful tourists:
No pictures of Palestine?
No, since they live in heaven. Maybe check first what’s going on in Syria if you care so much.
Thank you for doing this. I visited the memorial and was quite upset that people were not respectful. I also visited Auschwitz, I have no connection to the holocaust. I went to pay my respects. It will haunt me till the day I die.
I hope these idiots see these, my stomach sinks, just at the thought of their disrespect & it churns seeing their idiotic smiling faces
That´s shocking, of course. But I think it´s a good way of reminding people, what the monument is all about. But still I think there´s nothing wrong though with a photo with yourself and the monument in the background, if it´s done for documentation and not for “fun”.
I actually think the artist incorporated a very good point by doing this. You don’t think of the disrespect that you’re acting out until you see it in that light!
wow nice hate porn
More Native-Americans were murdered and massacred by Anglo-Americans (50,000,000) than jews; More Chinese, innocent citizens were murdered and killed by Mao (100,000,000); More Russians were slaughtered and put to death by the nazi’s (20,000,000); and More Polish citizens were annihilated and murdered by the nazis as well (20,000,000) – More Armenians were genocide-ed than jews (millions); So why in the fuck do we keep hearing about the jews (5 or 6,000,00) gassed in gas chambers…because jews have money, power, greed, and the where-with-all to keep putting out the message that most of the world is totally and completely tired of hearing, seeing in movies, spread throughout the mainstream media (lies); and the jews keep killing Palestinians by the hundreds, and no one says anything, especially the US. Instead the US gives Israel millions of dollars in aid each year, plus the atomic bombs, plus killing war machines (fighter jets, tanks and many more types of arms) to keep killing Palestinians!!!!!! Fuck the jews…
I am not speaking to what is happening palestinians but just to what you mentioned about the deaths in WWII and your comment “fuck the Jews”.
Anyone, even Germans, who broke the law according to the Nazi Party were sent to camps during the war. But looking at everything during that time in context is not just about the number of deaths of each race it’s about genocide; it is about the intent behind it.
There were prewar laws made to discriminate against the Jews specifically interracial marriages involving a Jew with someone else was illegal. People who did, were shunned and humiliated in the street publicly because there were considered unclean once being involved with a Jew.
You also have to remember many of the people in the camps were a mix
An Individual who had three or four Jewish grandparents as a Jew, regardless of self classification, was considered a Jew. This is why many Germans and others who had not practiced Judaism or who had not done so for years were sent to camps. Even people with Jewish grandparents who had converted to Christianity could be defined as Jews. So it’s not about the numbers. The Jews were attacked before the war even started. So even though we may not considered them to have been Jewish, they were sent away for having any heritage or background involving Jews.
The lives lost and even the lives liberated should be respected. No one deserved to be dehumanized and treated the way they were. I recently went to the US Holocaust Museum in Michigan. I cannot compare it to visiting Berlin yet I did not have a smile on my face. I started crying at the reminder of such events. I cannot fathom what physical, emotional and psychological distress they experienced and it makes me feel so blessed to be living the life I live. I am very sure even the people on the other side had psychological and emotional troubles after such an event, relearning how to live with themselves after what they participated in doing.
Showing respect demonstrates empathy and understanding towards the heaviness in life which needs to be protected if we aim to be unified. Empathy is a huge part of being human and demonstrates care for everyone.
Saying “fuck the Jews” is out of line.
I visited the memorial a few years ago. Like the 9/11 memorial in NYC, I was awed by it. The memorial successfully impressed upon me the weight, the darkness of the Holocaust, but also of genocide in general. That is to say, I was deeply moved by it. But, I also took a picture. I’m not a photographer. My picture wasn’t an artsy reflection of the enormity of such a memorial. So, I guess I wasn’t moved at all? I guess I didn’t understand the weight of it? I can understand Shapira’s perspective. But I disagree with it. Memorials become a part of public space and it’d be ridiculous to say that no one should take pictures (neither serious nor fun ones) at any memorial ever because they represent tragedies or monumental (see what I did there) events. People like to record the things they do and see, it does not mean things they don’t respect them. Furthermore, Shapira took and edited people’s photos without permission or even a slight enquiry as to what they were doing before or afterwards. Perhaps the people in the photos spent time meditating on the atrocities. But we’ll never know. We’ll just assume they’re all disrespectful individuals who don’t care…
I think the artist is actually making a good point by remiding those tourist, who took the photos, what this memorial is all about. (In case they forgot or confused it with the amusing park or something).