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Thread: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

  1. #1
    Gus
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    Default Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    A few days ago, during a private tour with a group from Brazil, the tour guide took a picture of the group, standing in front of the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial. It was a beautiful day and I decided to update Miami Tour Company's Facebook page with the photograph.

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    I received an email from a friend, saying they felt it was in bad taste to be taking pictures at the Memorial.

    I can see how somehow might feel that way.

    Would you agree? Is taking pictures at the Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    The Memorial is such a powerful place to see.

    Personally, I feel that we are honoring the monument by bringing people there and letting them experience it. Photos allow us to never forget the memory of being there.
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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I don't get the logic about it being disrespectful.

    If someone feels it worthy of taking a picture of a subject, what higher compliment can you give ?

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    Senior Member GandJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Gus -


    I agree with you about the "never forget" part, and some photos would help in that matter.

    What might have caused your friend to find it disrespectful is that about 4 or 5 people in the photo had big smiles on their faces, as if they were at Disney World, or something. I imagine that memorial is meant for quiet reflection, and is meant to evoke a somber mood.
    The happy smiles don't seem to fit that theme.

    So, the act of taking photos itself doesn't seem disrespectful. But what the heck were those tourists thinking with their big smiles at such a place? That's the part that seems odd.

    A photo of the memorial itself, or a photo of the memorial with tourists looking up at it in reflective thought would seem perfectly appropriate. But, tourists looking like they just had a party; .... that's not so great at that location.

    I'm not Jewish, but those are my thoughts as someone who didn't have family affected by Holocaust. Maybe some input from some of the Jewish MB411 members would be good.


    Glenn
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    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I don't understand, frankly, why someone would have an issue with respectful photos.

    The entire idea of the memorial is "never again," and "remember."

    The purpose of the memorial, as i understand it, is not only to honor the innocents who were murdered, the lives destroyed but also to make sure IT HAPPENS TO NO ONE ELSE EVER AGAIN!

    It needs to BE SEEN, respectful photos are to be encouraged!

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    Last edited by fredgarvin; 03-24-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Fred - Is there a museum on that site as well ?

    On two occasions I've visited " Holocaust" museums. The grim residue lasted for a bit even after the visits. Personaly it would have been impossible for me to crack a smile and pose for a picture after going through museum displays. Same holds true after seeing the Secret Annex.

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    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I see Glenn's point. I think it's ok to take a photo of the Holocost Memorial itself, but it's maybe not the best place to do a cheerful group photo. I think if the group wanted their picture taken there then it's perfectly ok.

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    Travel Advisor fredgarvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackford Oakes View Post
    Fred - Is there a museum on that site as well ? [/I]
    As you point out mainly a memorial, but in an educational sense, thus museum-like aspects.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Judging by the picture, looks like a walk or garden sorrounds the monument, which gives sense how you termed it.

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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    To me, the image of the rising fist formed from the holocaust victims is so striking, I can't imagine how anyone wouldn't want to photograph it. It's such a powerful visual. Some people won't get it, but that's their loss.

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    Editor Matt Meltzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I think the person who emailed you is in the minority on this one. As a Jew it doesn't bother me at all that people would want to take pictures. As a matter of fact it's really a good thing, insofar as it keeps people talking about it and the like. Makes a part of our history a part of everyone's history.

    The smiling, I mean, if it's your own private photo, ok. And I see wanting to promote people having a good time on the tour. But Glenn is right insofar as it being a strange juxtaposition. It's tough not to smile when it's sunny and there's palm trees around. But for promotional purposes maybe just a flattering picture of the memorial would work better, or at least be less controversial.

    That said, if everyone was like me and just refused to smile in pictures we wouldn't have this problem.

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    Member Mario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I see Glenn's POV too, but the main objective of the monument is for people to have knowledge and never forget what happened. If they want to take a picture smiling, it's perfectly ok. Personally, I wouldn't do it. Even though it is a monument, no one actually died there in Miami Beach, unlike the former World Trade Center site, or Auschwitz.
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    Senior Member wpns4l's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I've been to Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen concentration camps and they have "no photo" areas. Those i can kinda understand as they are usually in areas where bodies where burned or killed but a memorial in Miami i dont see an issue with if its just a simple photo and no one is doing anything disrespectful.

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    Editor Christy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I'm changing my mind. After I look at the photo again, it is a beautiful photo of the memorial and grounds and I think it's fine to have on the MTC facebook page. I think the memorial is really such a unique sculpture and historically significant, and the group is posing respectfully. I say leave it up.

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    Administrator Michelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Thank you for all your feedback! Gus and I were torn on this one and it helps to get your opinion. Most of the photos are taken before the group visits the memorial, which explains the smiling faces.

    Blackford Oakes, you must visit some day, it is such a powerful memorial!

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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Honestly I dont even get why we have a holocaust memorial in Miami?
    Poland,Germany, Czech Republic; sure. They where part of it, had concentration camps and all.

    But Miami Beach? What has that got to do with it all?
    I actully find the memorial to be an ugly modernist creation.

    When I want to experience all of the holocaust, I go to auschwitz or treblinka, I dont go to Miami Beach...

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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    I think if anything pictures just help us remember. I see nothing wrong with taking pictures. The monument is there to for us to remember. The Washington monument, and the Vietnam Memorial are in a great number of pictures and I don't find that offensive. As long as the pictures do not have disrespectful taste or poses then I think it is in fine taste.

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    Member Mario's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Actually, the memorial is there because Miami Beach has a sizable Jewish community which includes Holocaust survivors.
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    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    ...And the type of tyranny that created the Holocaust could return at any time if we forget the lessons of history.
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    The memorial is for a war that affected all of us, in every part of the world. I think anything paying tribute to those who died in vain should be welcome anywhere.

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    Senior Member Blackford Oakes's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is taking pictures at Holocaust Memorial disrespectful?

    Today is Halocaust Remberance Day.
    NEVER FORGET !
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