The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (German: Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas), also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The monument is composed of 2711 rectangular concrete blocks (stelae), laid out in a grid formation, covering 4.7 acres where the Berlin Wall used to exist.
According to the memorial architect, Peter Eisenman’s project text, “the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.”
Twelve years after the memorial’s opening, a Israeli-German writer/artist, Shahak Shapira, noticed the youth visiting were out of touch with the memorial purpose and Eisenman’s design’s intended effect on visitors.
“Over the last years, I noticed an interesting phenomenon at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin: people were using it as a scenery for selfies. So I took those selfies and combined them with footage from Nazi extermination camps,” Shapira wrote.
The Israeli-German writer copied 12 selfies taken at the Berlin Holocaust memorial from various social media platforms and published them on a website in January.
Shapira wrote: “The page was visited by over 2.5 million people. The crazy thing is that the project actually reached all 12 people who’s selfies were presented. Almost all of them understood the message, apologized and decided to remove their selfies from their personal Facebook and Instagram profiles. Aside from that I also received tons of great feedback from Holocaust researchers, people who used to work at the memorial, folks who lost their family during the Holocaust…”
These are ten of the twelve selfies used in the “Yolocaust” project: