Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Auschwitz criticises ‘tasteless’ ice cream stand set up outside ‘Death Gate’

Auschwitz has criticised a 'tasteless' ice cream stand set up outside the 'Death Gate' entrance to the historic site.

The jarring contradiction to the solemnity of the site popped up late last month on the private land, local media report.

A spokesman for the Auschwitz Museum told the Gazeta Krakowska newspaper that they were unable to have it removed as the plot is private land.

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"This is an example of not only aesthetic tastelessness, but also a lack of respect for a special historical place located nearby," Bartosz Bartyzel from the museum, said in a statement.

"We trust that the competent local government authorities will solve this embarrassing problem," he added.

Dagmar Kopijasz, of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Site Foundation, said nearby residents were also "upset".

It comes after management had to remind people to "respect the memory" of the people who died there after a woman posed on the tracks leading up to the site.

The woman was seen throwing her head back in a modelling pose as her companion captures the image last month.

The scene was witnessed by Maria Murphy, a producer with GB News. She tweeted the shocking image, which was shared 23.7m times.

She told her followers: “Today I had one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. Regrettably it didn't seem everyone there found it quite so poignant."

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Afterwards she said: "I had just come out of arguably the worst place, the gas chambers. I saw multiple people, not just this woman, making efforts to put on their most flattering pose.

"After utter bewilderment, I did not know what to do. But the first thing I thought was to call it out, to say this needs to stop.

"I am not surprised that a lot of people were appalled by it. But the thing that stunned me the most was that there were thousands who replied to say that they had been to Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Dachau, the 9/11 museum, and seen the same thing.

"People care more about what they look like on social media than actually taking in what happened in these places."

Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was the largest Nazi concentration of camps and extermination centres with men, women and children losing their lives within its walls.

Over one million people were killed at the former camp during the Second World War.

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