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Auschwitz asks visitors not to balance on train tracks

Rebecca Staudenmaier
March 21, 2019

The museum called on visitors to behave more respectfully after finding photos of people balancing on the tracks at the former Nazi death camp. "There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam," it said.

Train tracks leading to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Woitas

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum implored visitors to respect the memories of the 1.1 million people who were killed at the concentration camp — and not to balance on the train tracks that brought Holocaust victims to the site.

"There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolizes deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths," the museum wrote on Twitter.

They also posted several pictures visitors had taken of themselves walking on the tracks.

The Auschwitz Museum added in a later post that photography will not be banned at the site, but that "we ask visitors to behave respectfully, also when taking pictures."

Auschwitz survivors return to face the past

In recent years, numerous visitors to concentration camp museums and other Holocaust memorials have been criticized for taking selfies and other seemingly jovial pictures at the sites that remember the victims of Nazi genocide.

Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest Nazi death camp, where 1.1 million victims, including some 1 million Jewish prisoners, were killed.

Last year, the Auschwitz Museum saw a record number of visitors, with 2.1 million people coming to visit the site.

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