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Auschwitz visitors urged not to balance on railway tracks for photos

Auschwitz-Birkenau camp Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Auschwitz Memorial called on people to "respect" the memory of those killed

Auschwitz Memorial, which preserves the site of the former Nazi death camp, has called on visitors to stop posing for pictures on its railway tracks.

In a post on Twitter, the memorial shared images of people balancing on the train lines and told people to "respect" the memory of those killed.

It reminded people to consider the symbolism when taking a picture.

The Nazis murdered more than 1.1 million Jews at Auschwitz. Hundreds of thousands of others died, mainly Poles.

The official account for Auschwitz Memorial said on Tuesday: "There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolises deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths."

The post has been liked more than 2,000 times, with many people supporting the memorial's message.

One respondent, Francesca, wrote: "This is a very necessary post, our picture taking habits are completely out of control. I may be visiting in the summer. I will make sure I am aware of your photography policy. Thank you for the essential work you continue to do. Without our historical memory we are nothing."

Moran Blythe said: "I don't understand why people use Auschwitz as a photo op or how they take cheerful selfies at a site that saw the murder of thousands of innocent people."

Photographs at Auschwitz and holocaust memorials have caused debate in the past.

A selfie of smiling teenager Breanna Mitchell at Auschwitz went viral in 2014, sparking a backlash online. She said she had received death threats to her mobile phone.

In 2017, Shahak Shapira, an Israeli-German writer, copied 12 selfies taken at the Berlin Holocaust memorial and replaced the background with scenes from concentration camps. He said that he wanted people to "know what they were actually doing".

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