Modern Germany is still haunted by the Holocaust. Following the extermination of some six million Jews in death camps – as well as countless slavs, gypsies, homosexuals and disabled people – numerous solemn memorials were erected. Today in Germany, any display of flippancy towards the Holocaust is viewed as deeply disrespectful. But that doesn’t stop certain people.
“Over the last years, I noticed an interesting phenomenon at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin,” explains Israeli artist Shahak Shapira. “People were using it as a scenery for selfies. So I took those selfies and combined them with footage from Nazi extermination camps.” The project, entitled “Yolocaust”, takes photos and captions from social media sites and superimposes hard-hitting photographs from the Holocaust. Some readers may find these images distressing. For legal reasons, we haven’t revealed the identities of those involved.
1. “Pose – no problem”
2. “At Berlin Holocaust museum”
3. “German Gangster”
4. “Berlin ✨✨✨”
“About 10,000 people visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe every day. Many of them take goofy pictures, jump, skate or bike on the 2,711 concrete slabs of the 19,000 m² large structure,” Shapira explains.
5. “#flexiblegirl #circus #summer”
6. “Yoga is a connection with everything around us”
7. “Jumping dead Jews @Holocaust museum”
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.
9. “Momento al Holocasuto”
11. “What an incredible place”
12. “At Holocaust Denkmal, Berlin”
Commenting on the design of the memorial, Shapira stated: “The exact meaning and role of the Holocaust Memorial are controversial. To many, the grey stelae symbolize gravestones for the 6 Million Jews that were murdered and buried in mass graves, or the grey ash to which they were burned to in the death camps.” Regardless of its precise purpose, it’s important to remember that any memorial is a place for respect, not frivolity.