Tourism

Instagrammer slammed for “disrespectful”, “tasteless” Auschwitz shot

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

A travel photographer has been roasted on social media for a shot taken outside Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Instagram account Atuk Apil, which calls itself the ‘Traveler rubber duck’, has been slammed on social media after a divisive shot taken outside the Gate of Death at Auschwitz was shared to the Auschwitz Memorial Twitter page.

The account is known for sharing images of a yellow, rubber duck with a top hat outside famous monuments around the world, with some of its latest shots taken in Petra, Jordan; Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy; and Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, among others.

But the blogger’s latest attempt seemingly took the gaff too far.

“Is the rubber duck in front of the Gate of Death disrespectful – even unintentionally? Or is it a side effect of the visual world we should accept/ignore?” Auschwitz Memorial tweeted.

The decisive response to the shot was resoundingly against it, with many Twitter users describing it as “disrespectful”, “tasteless” and “insensitive”.

“Tasteless and disrespectful. Auschwitz is not ‘just another tourist destination’,” one user writes. “What is this person thinking.”

“Gas chambers in Auschwitz were disguised as bathrooms and victims sent to ‘shower’. The image of a happy bath toy in that context [in my honest opinion] demonstrates gross tastelessness and a gaping lack of historical knowledge,” another noted.

The Auschwitz Memorial noted the Instagrammer had given an in-depth description on the significance of the site, which divided users on whether this made the post better or worse.

“Disrespectful, but perhaps not ill-intended,” one user responded. “I’d like to think that whoever did this at least informed many thousands of people about what transpired behind the gate of death.”

“The concept of taking rubber ducky photos at various destinations is adorable and sweet, but clearly..this was highly inappropriate and insensitive,” another writes.

The person who runs the Spanish language account later pulled the post and issued an apology through the Auschwitz Memorial page.

“The intention of the post was the one previously mentioned without intentions to disrespect or generate controversy on the matter,” the blogger said in a statement.

“My sincerest apologies to @auschwitzmemorial for the inconvenience and to all the people who have felt offended.”

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