Influencer in trouble over duck pic
A travel blogger has apologised after being slammed online for posing a photo of a rubber duck on the tracks outside the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial.
The unidentified blogger, who runs the Instagram account @Atukapil, gained a growing following for posting photos of a yellow rubber duck in front of famous monuments, including Buckingham Palace and the Colosseum.
On Wednesday, the account posted a similar image on the tracks outside the gates of the infamous concentration camp in southern Poland, Fox News reported.
The caption read: "It was the largest extermination centre in the history of Nazism, where it is estimated that about 1,300,000 people were sent, of which 1,100,000 died, the vast majority of them Jewish," according to the New York Post.
"Auschwitz II (Birkenau), extermination camp, where most of the more than one million victims of the camp died. In this section were women," he added.
"Trains full of people arrived daily and were immediately separated between 'fit and unfit'. The fit had a life expectancy of months, while the unfit were sent directly to the gas chambers."
But the inclusion of the smiling duck in the photo caused the post to be quickly called out as "disrespectful" and "offensive".
It was flagged by the official Twitter account of the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum.
What if someone who travels with a rubber duck & uses it as an artistic Instagram convention arrives at @AuschwitzMuseum?— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 6, 2019
Is the rubber duck in front of the Gate of Death disrespectful - even unintentionally? Or is it a side effect of the visual world we should accept/ignore? pic.twitter.com/RVqqVPL9CH
"What if someone who travels with a rubber duck & uses it as an artistic Instagram convention arrives at @AuschwitzMuseum?" the account tweeted on Wednesday.
"Is the rubber duck in front of the Gate of Death disrespectful - even unintentionally? Or is it a side effect of the visual world we should accept/ignore?"
Someone replied: "Totally disrespectful & wholly inappropriate. They can't be that ignorant or uninformed to visit there and not know of the history and suffering that went on there. Sometimes you have to take a step back from social media for likes."
"The concept of taking rubber ducky photos at various destinations is adorable and sweet, but clearly this was highly inappropriate and insensitive," another person tweeted.
Someone else wrote: "@AuschwitzMuseum is not a fun tourist destination or cool looking building. It is a memorial site. It is a place to soberly reflect on the millions of human beings who suffered and died at the hands of others. He is treating it as just another photo opp. Callous and shameful."
The blogger behind the controversial picture eventually removed it from its Spanish-language Instagram account. The true identity of the blogger is unknown.
"The intention of the post was the one previously mentioned without intentions to disrespect or generate controversy on the matter," the blogger said in a statement shared by the Auschwitz Museum.
"My sincerest apologies to @auschwitzmemorial for the inconvenience and to all the people who have felt offended."
It comes just months after the Auschwitz Memorial called on visitors to stop posing for pictures on its railway tracks.
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
In March, the museum - which preserves the site of the former Nazi death camp - addressed a growing trend of visitors balancing on the beams of the notorious railway tracks leading to the gatehouse of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp.
The railway tracks are the ones used to deliver people from all over Nazi-occupied Europe to their deaths. The tracks stopped metres from the camp's notorious gas chambers.
More than 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz. Of the victims, close to one million were Jewish, with many being sent by train.
"When you come to @AuschwitzMuseum remember you are at the site where over 1 million people were killed," the memorial's official Twitter account posted.
"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."
A version of this article originally appeared on Fox News and was reproduced with permission