The Auschwitz Museum has issued a plea to visitors to the former concentration camp to respect the memory of the dead, chastising people who upload photos on social media of them balancing on the railway.
Alongside pictures of travellers walking along the tracks, the official Twitter account for Auschwitz Memorial posted: "Remember you are at the site where over one million people were killed. Respect their memory.
"There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolises deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths."
The Museum later added that photography at the site will not be banned but that visitors should behave respectfully when taking pictures. It said that images can "commemorate victims and teach [the] difficult and emotional history of Auschwitz" and encouraged anyone interested to view its Instagram account.
Responding to one Twitter user who said that the images showed that "we're in a much better place right now", adding "remembrance does not mean being solemn and stern all the time", the Auschwitz Museum account said: "Smiling is human. There are also human stories from #Auschwitz that can make people smile. You do not have to be solemn and stern all the time. Yet, there are some things which are simply disrespectful."
When you come to @AuschwitzMuseum remember you are at the site where over 1 million people were killed. Respect their memory. 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. pic.twitter.com/TxJk9FgxWl— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 20, 2019
Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps, on annexed Polish territory, where around 1.1 million people were systematically murdered. Today, the site is open to visitors, welcoming more than 1.5 million people a year.
This is not the first time the behaviour of visitors to sensitive memorial sites has been criticised with reference to social media. In 2017, Israeli-German artist Shahak Shapira launched a project called Yolocaust, documenting inappropriate selfies taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
"Look, this is not a place for fun selfies, and people need to know this," he said.
The Telegraph, London