The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial spoke out about a recent phenomenon on the TikTok social networking site where users act as victims of the Holocaust.
Unsurprisingly, the site-based museum called the video “hurtful and offensive” in a statement posted on Twitter August 26.
“The ‘victims’ trend on TikTok can be hurtful and offensive,” said the museum at the site of the former Nazi-German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in a statement. The museum added that some of the videos trivialized history.
The brief clips show juveniles explaining how they died in the Holocaust. Some wore fake bruises, a striped prisoner uniform, or one of the bracelets labeled with the Star of David Jews.
TikTok took the spotlight for its anti-sementic controversy. Netizens accused the video sharing application for supporting a series of anti-semitic videos. The posts soundtracked by the lyrics, “We’re going on a trip to a place called Auschwitz, it’s shower time”.
Netizens react over TikTok trend portraying Auschwitz
Many people from Jewish community and other groups opposed the current movement. The creators chillingly paired the video to Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out From Heaven.” The proliferation of images, predictably, has offended those inside and beyond the Jewish community who have called it “trauma porn.”
“Our obsession with trauma porn has only motivated a desire to dramatize these narratives,” Brianna, an Ashkenazi Jewish teenager from Los Angeles, told Wired. She added the video could trigger people who have family that survived or was lost in the war. She said the TikTok story is such an insensitive provocation of millions of Jews and other persecuted groups’ genocide.
One video depicts the person with tears in her eyes and “dirt” on her face. She shared a story of being up with her family in Auschwitz. The person explained in depth how she had been sent to die in the gas chamber.
Many of the producers involved with the movement have spoken out. They justified their videos as informative and raising consciousness about the holocaust horror.
Motivation behind the trend is ‘diverse.’
There were numerous reasons behind the movement. The museum admitted that some creators wanted to “share personal memories.”
Some videos are not made to remember everybody, the museum said. Becoming a part of an online phenomenon is “quite difficult,” the museum added.
Diane Saltzman, US Holocaust Museum’s head of survivor affairs, said many believe that the effort went in the wrong direction.
Site of learning
According to the museum, the Holocaust site has become a landmark of the Nazi extermination of six million European Jews, with over one million people murdered at the camp between 1940 and 1945 and over 100,000 non-Jews.
The Polish Parliament established the Museum and Memorial in 1947. It would honor the one million Jews and others killed in the camp between 1940 and 1945 and former concentration camp prisoners.
For educational purposes, school and youth groups visit the former camp from all over the world to know more about Auschwitz. The camps postponed the tour operations since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.