Holocaust memorials are somber places designed to honor the memories of the millions who lost their lives in the genocide, but tourists at the memorials can often be seen posing for lighthearted and disrespectful photos. Jewish artist Shahak Shapira has created a project called Yolocaust to speak out against this.
Warning: This article contains graphic photos of the Holocaust.
Shapira, a satirist based in Berlin, Germany, lives near “The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe” in Berlin, which is a 4.7-acre space covered with 2,711 concrete slabs. It resembles a graveyard, but the designers say it’s an abstract memorial that is open to interpretation.
Visitors to the memorial, however, often use the space as a backdrop for all kinds of goofy selfies and photos. To show a different perspective of what these tourists are doing, Shapira gathered some of these photos and Photoshopped the subjects into actual historical (and horrific) photos from Nazi extermination camps.
After launching the project’s website a few days ago, traffic surged as the Photoshopped diptychs went viral, and the hundreds of thousands of visits took down his site for periods of time.
Shapira says he will remove anyone’s photo from his project — all they need to do is email him at email@example.com.