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22nd Apr 2023

Woman sparks outrage after posing for photos on Auschwitz train tracks


Her actions have been described as ‘stomach-churning’

A woman has sparked anger online after a picture showed her posing for photos on the train tracks at Auschwitz.

The Auschwitz Museum has since reminded visitors that they should be respectful when visiting the former Nazi execution camp where an estimated 1.1 million people were killed.

In an image shared on Twitter by Maria Murphy, the anonymous woman is seen sitting on the railway tracks that transported millions of people into the camp.

Maria said her visit to Auschwitz was “one of the most harrowing experiences” of her life, but added that it “didn’t seem everyone there found it quite so poignant.”

In a later tweet, she added: “We were asked repeatedly to be mindful and respectful.

“You would think this sort of thing wouldn’t need to be specified as a no-go for that criteria.”


The woman posing in the picture was roundly condemned, and the post got a response from the Auschwitz Museum account.

It said: “Pictures can hold immense emotional & documentation value for visitors. Images help us remember.

“When coming to @AuschwitzMuseum visitors should bear in mind that they enter the authentic site of the former camp where over 1 million people were murdered.

“Respect their memory.”

Others labelled the woman’s actions as “mind-boggling”, “disgusting”, and “stomach-churning.”

This is not the first time the Auschwitz Memorial has had to address visitors posing for pictures on its railway tracks.

In 2018, the organisation shared images of people posing on the tracks, saying: “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.”

Speaking to VICE World News, Pawel Sawicki, from the Auschwitz memorial and museum press team described such incidents as “rather isolated”.

But he said the team “believe we have an obligation to react” to such incidents, no matter how rare they are.

He added: “Last year, around 90 percent of our visitors were guided.

“The educators sensitise visitors to the character and symbolism of the place they are in.

“If we see inappropriate behaviour, we react. This is our duty.”

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