For most, the term “Holocaust” refers to the slaughter of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.
Nearly 70 years later, with advances in technology and lessening memories of the genocide, some associate the term “Holocaust” with photographic opportunities.
Earlier this year, Alabama teen Breanna Mitchell took a smiling selfie while visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp. She posted the photo to her Twitter account on June 20 with “Selfie in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp” – complete with a red-cheeked smiley-face emoticon – as the caption. One month later, the photo went viral.
Happy with her newfound fame, Mitchell proudly tweeted “I’m famous y’all!” to her adoring fans. But not everyone was happy.
“This is one of the most tasteless things I’ve ever seen,” said a leading American rabbi, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Obviously this young woman has no idea of the historical evil that took place at Auschwitz.”
Despite the criticism, Mitchell says she’d do it all over again, since she doesn’t see that she did anything wrong. Additionally, the photograph was allegedly taken to honor her late father.
“This photograph was supposed to honor her father?” continued the leading American rabbi, speaking on condition of anonymity. “With what? Celebrating mass-murder and anti-Semitism?”
The Justice Department and State Department have been asked to look into the incident, but neither expect much from the upcoming inquiries.
“Quite frankly, it’s not against American law to act stupid in another country,” said a State Department spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“And you’re not violating any hate-crime laws by acting like an inconsiderate anti-Semite overseas,” said a Justice Department spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This story would end if Mitchell’s behavior had been an isolated incident.
On October 8, NBA player Danny Green offended just about everyone by posting a selfie taken in Berlin, Germany – in front of the city’s Holocaust Memorial.
Green used “You know I had to do it one time lol #Holocaust” as the Tweet’s caption.
The quick flood of criticism didn’t permit the San Antonio Spurs player to be LOL – Laughing Out Loud – for long. The Tweet was quickly pulled from his account and replaced with several apologetic posts:
- “Yes, mistakes do happen.”
- “I want to sincerely apologize for the insensitivity of my post!”
- “I have great respect n understanding for this country’s history n wanted to continue chronicling my experience in Berlin.”
- “But showed poor judgement [sic] … sorry once again.”
“Green has no respect or understanding of the Holocaust,” said a historian specializing in atrocities committed during World War II, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If he had either respect or understanding, he never would have posed for that photo. And posted it online. And signed it with “laughing” text.
“What Green has is an understanding of too many people nowadays. You can literally get away with murder, and as long as you apologize for it, everything’s OK.
“As a Jew, if I went up to Green and told him that Michael Brown got what he deserved, would he be laughing then?”
In Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed the unarmed Brown, an African-American. The aftermath? Twelve days of rioting, looting, arrests, investigations, additional shootings, and multiple autopsies.
Apparently, no one has yet felt it appropriate to LOL about the events in Ferguson.