Sorry, Holocaust Selfies Aren't Going Away

Some will always treat them as just another tourist trap: Lilit Marcus
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2014 12:48 PM CDT
Updated Oct 9, 2014 1:59 PM CDT
Sorry, Holocaust Selfies Aren't Going Away
A file photo of the notorious "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign at the entrance gate of Auschwitz.   (AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski/file)

The NBA's Danny Green is only the latest person, but surely not the last, to catch grief for posting an ill-advised "lol" selfie at a place that seems like the last place in the world somebody would want to do that—a Holocaust memorial. At the Guardian, Jewish travel writer Lilit Marcus isn't surprised, however. It's why she never visits old concentration camps or similar places, for fear of tourists who will surely be taking goofy photos of themselves with prisoner uniforms or smiling brightly under the entrance way to Auschwitz. For them, it's just another stop on a vacation tour.

Not so for Marcus: "The Holocaust is so visceral and wrenching to me that I’d rather opt out of visiting a camp altogether than run the risk of having to interact with the people who will treat it like an attraction at Disneyland." She understands the need to preserve the camps, but she doesn't need to visit them herself to understand their horrors. Her own "personal Jewish tourism" involves seeing not places where people died, but where they "lived, where they thrived, where they fell in love and baked apple cakes for Rosh Hashanah and held Passover seders and taught their children to read Hebrew." Camp tourism is not for her, but with these sites open to the public, Marcus expects those selfies to keep rolling in. Click for her full column. (More Holocaust stories.)

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