Teen takes Smiling Auschwitz Selfie, Defends Action

A teen becomes the accepting end of backlash on the internet for taking an Auschwitz selfie – a smiling photo of her with the notorious Nazi concentration camp in her background.

Breanna Mitchell took the Auschwitz selfie while on a tour in the said concentration camp used by the Nazis and notoriously known for being one of their killing facilities during the Second World War. She, then, posted the photo last June 20.

However, the Auschwitz selfie just gained popularity recently becoming a national sensation after making it to Twitter’s list of trending topics. In a span of 24 hours, over 2,000 tweets mentioned the said photo.

And the majority of these tweets aren’t positive.

A large chunk of the social media’s users who used the hashtag, Auschwitz selfie, used it to express outrage and disdain over the teen’s action. Some even put up memes of her Auschwitz selfie photoshopping her to appear with Hitler, with the burning World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks and with the Jew victims during the Holocaust. But in fairness to Breanna Mitchell, there are also Twitter users who came to her defense.

Additionally, the Auschwitz selfie also made it as news in different news outlets on the web and spawned several blogs. While some expressed hate, there are who others tried to see the light of her action.

Miss Mitchell, initially, expressed how she wished people would stop retweeting her Auschwitz selfie saying why smiling with the concentration camp as her background was such a big deal.

She went on to say that she made the trip and took the photo after her father died a year later. She said that her dad was a history buff and that, before his death, they had bonded over studying the Holocaust and the Second World War together.

When she took the grinning Auschwitz selfie, it was because she was glad she was there as it meant something to her, she said in her defense. She was only expressing what she felt at that time.

On the other hand, the website of the Auschwitz-Berkinau Memorial Museum states that visitors can take pictures throughout the camp’s grounds except on a hall where the hair of the victims are kept, the Block 11 basements as well as the gas chamber.


Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE