Berlin does its best to honor the millions of people murdered by the Nazi regime between 1933 and 1945. There are over a dozen physical memorials peppered around the city, and “stolpersteine” or “stumbling stones” in the cobbles of the sidewalks which mark where Jewish residents lived (and where and when they were murdered by the state). In Berlin, you are reminded of the horrors of the Holocaust everyday.
One of the most iconic and striking memorials is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The monument was purposefully build on some of the most expensive and sought after land in the very center of the city. The reasoning at the time was so that it couldn’t be avoided — if you came to Berlin, you’d definitely walk by it at least once. That has been both enlightening for many visitors and downright infuriating for residents.
See, some people just can’t help but make the memorial about themselves. Posing for selfies, skipping across the stone blocks, or striking yoga poses on the monoliths (which, lest we forget, serve as graves).
Enter German-Jewish comedian, author, artist, and provocateur Shahak Shapira. Upset by what he saw, he decided to pull Instagram, Facebook, Tinder, and Grindr posts of people having a blast or doing yoga at the memorial and superimpose them on actual archival photos of the Holocaust.
Twitter has rallied around Shapira, enlightened by his work:
You can go to his website for the full experience and see the Instagram posts morph into posts of one of humanity’s greatest horrors.
Shapira puts it this way, “No historical event compares to the Holocaust. It’s up to you how to behave at a memorial site that marks the death of 6 million people.” The photos change periodically as people discover what they have done and request their images be removed, or delete them from their thread (as of this writing, two of the photos have already changed).
Below are more examples of the disrespect Shapira hopes to highlight. (In case you thought, “He probably digs through Instagram for hours for those!” — he doesn’t, these were all geotagged.)