Lauren Enos-Assistant Opinions Editor
There are times and places when taking selfies is appropriate and there are times when it is not. Taking pictures of yourself at sites where mass genocide or suffering has occurred is one of those times when it is not. No matter the expression on your face, the message you are sending is one of vanity and disrespect.
By taking a picture of yourself at a place like a concentration camp, you’re putting yourself at the forefront of something that is much bigger than you. Millions of people suffered and died where you’re standing, and the most important thing to capture in that moment is a picture of yourself?
In my opinion, taking any photographs in places like concentration camps or memorials is just bad taste. You can find pictures and videos of pretty much any memorial through official websites, educational films and documentaries, and books. That right there gets rid of the need to take pictures and videos – they exist already.
Perhaps it difficult for people to grasp the magnitude of the situation. It could be that it took place too long ago for them to relate, or they don’t really have a concept of the heinous acts that took place there, or they’re just ignorant. Hearing, imagining, and reading about brutality is much different from witnessing it firsthand. This is all the more reason to ban pictures and videos, and force visitors to experience it in its entirety.
When you visit one of these sites, the only thing you should be focusing on is reflection. Experience it in the moment. Don’t put a screen in between you and the momentous journey you are taking part in. You’re walking a path that millions have walked before you, except many weren’t so lucky as to leave alive. Be respectful to those who are forever scarred by the events that transpired there, and for those that never made it out alive.