Selfie at Auschwitz in poor taste

MICHAEL KOZIOL
Last updated 14:20 22/07/2014
Selfie

IN BAD TASTE: Smiling selfie at Auschwitz leaves a poor taste.

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More than one million people died within its walls, but that didn't stop "Princess Breanna" from tweeting a smiling selfie at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Adorned with a grinning emoticon, Breanna's selfie displayed none of the sombre reflection one might come to expect at the heart of the Holocaust's atrocities.

Originally posted in June, the picture has caught the eye of social media users who queried her tastefulness.

"How can you be happy and smile in this pic?" Tara Simpson asked on Twitter. "Do you not understand the horrors and murders that happened here? I'd be crying."

In response, Breanna said she was aware of Auschwitz's history, having studied it for years with her late father.

At one point, she appeared frustrated with the negative response, saying: "I wish people would stop tweeting to, quoting, retweeting and favoriting my picture of my smiling in Auschwitz Concentration Camp." But half an hour later she boasted to another user: "over 150 retweets. Turnnnnnn Uppppppp."

Her account has since been made private.

Breanna's death camp display joins a long list of inappropriate selfies that have been shared and catalogued across the internet.

From Chernobyl to Ground Zero and the Anne Frank House, it seems no memorial is too sacred or haunting to deter tourists from documenting their happy travels.

A blog, selfiesatseriousplaces.tumblr.com, has taken to collating some of the more tactless posts - among them; duck faces at the Berlin Wall, google-eyes inside the gas chamber at Auschwitz (tagged "#respect") and a thumbs-up at somebody's car accident.

The site's creator Jason Feifer has had no shortage of work in the age of the smartphone. His separate blogs, "Selfies at Funerals" and "Selfies with Homeless People", document the modern compulsion to model oneself beside death and misfortune.

Of course, tools and tourists aren't the only ones taking tasteless selfies.

US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish leader Helle-Thorning Schmidt famously took their own picture at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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