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Woman’s posed picture on tracks at Auschwitz-Birkenau criticized by museum

A photo of a woman posing on the train tracks leading into the Auschwitz concentration camp was condemned by the memorial and museum that runs the complex.

Maria Murphy, a producer with conservative British news channel GB News, on Saturday posted a picture she had taken at Auschwitz of an unnamed woman posing for a photo on the train tracks with the aid of a man who was taking the shot.

“Today I had one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. Regrettably it didn’t seem everyone there found it quite so poignant,” the caption read. The tweet has been viewed more than 30 million times.

The picture was taken after the tour had finished going through the gas chambers and the group was taking a break between the two sides of the camp — Auschwitz and Birkenau.

Ms. Murphy told GB News other visitors also were behaving inappropriately.

“I saw not just this lady but multiple people going to real efforts to get the most flattering pose in front of this horrible place,” Ms. Murphy said. 

The official Auschwitz social media account criticized the photo, saying, “Visitors should bear in mind that they enter the authentic site of the former camp where over 1 million people were murdered. Respect their memory.”

Of the 1.3 million people transported to the camp in Poland from across Europe, 1.1 million died. 

The prisoners died from starvation, disease, hard labor, mistreatment and torture, and gas chambers. Auschwitz was the largest of the Nazi extermination camps.

About 1 million of the camp’s victims were Jews, with Soviet prisoners of war, Poles and Roma and Sinti people, among others, making up the remainder.

The Saturday incident was not the first time visitors to the complex, now a memorial and museum to its victims, behaved badly on the train tracks. A 2019 tweet from the Auschwitz account called out numerous people who had used the rails as balance beams.

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