The Auschwitz museum is outraged by a TikTok trend in which teens role-play as victims of the Holocaust — calling it “hurtful and offensive.”
The memorial site, located at the former Nazi death camp in Poland, bashed the so-called point-of-view videos, which feature some users sporting fake bruises or Star of David armbands and talking in first-person about dying in the mass genocide.
“The ‘victims’ trend on TikTok can be hurtful & offensive. Some videos are dangerously close or already beyond the border of trivialization of history,” the Auschwitz Memorial said in a Tweet Wednesday. “Some were not created to commemorate anyone, but to become part of an online trend. This is very painful.”
The short #POV clips mostly center on young people, some of whom also wear striped inmate outfits to portray themselves as concentration camp prisoners. Others look emaciated as they act out scenes, posing as Holocaust victims.
But while the Auschwitz Memorial shunned the videos, it urged observers not to “attack” or “shame” the teenagers involved.
“But we should discuss this, not to shame & attack young people whose motivation seem very diverse. It’s an educational challenge,” the statement added. “Educators should work with young people to present the facts and stories but also teach and discuss how to commemorate in a meaningful and respectful way.”
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
Nazi Germany set up the Auschwitz death camp after occupying Poland during World War II. One million Jews were killed at the camp between 1940 and 1945 along with 100,000 non-Jews.
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