An Israeli artist’s website is shaming people who take inappropriate photos and smiling selfies at Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial by merging the images with horrific pictures from Nazi concentration camps.
The “Yolocaust” project is the brainchild of Berlin-based satirist and author Shahak Shapira, who combined the photos and selfies with concentration camp footage. “The selfies were found on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder and Grindr. Comments, hashtags and ‘Likes’ that were posted with the selfies are also included,” he explains on the website.
Berlin’s 4.7-acre Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe consists of 2,711 concrete blocks, or stelae, reflecting the scale of the Holocaust. The haunting memorial in the center of Berlin was designed by New York architect Peter Eisenman and inaugurated in 2005.
The Yolocaust website shows images of grinning people posing at and on the memorial for selfies and photos. However, when visitors to the site move their cursor over the images the pictures become black and white and the people are superimposed on graphic concentration camp footage of dead bodies and skeletal prisoners.
“About 10,000 people visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe every day,” explained Shapira, on the website. “Many of them take goofy pictures, jump, skate or bike.”
“No historical event compares to the Holocaust. It's up to you how to behave at a memorial site that marks the death of 6 million people,” he added.
Shapira explains that he will take down the pictures of anyone who regrets uploading them to the Internet.” Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org,” he writes on the website.
A number of images have been removed from the site since it went live on Wednesday. One image showed a woman doing yoga on the memorial. Another image showed two young men jumping from stelae – the social media caption included on the image was “Jumping on dead Jews @ Holocaust Memorial.”
Yolocaust combines the acronym “YOLO” or “You Only Live Once” with the word Holocaust.