Teen's Smiling Selfie at Concentration Camp Is Dumb Not Evil

Introduce me to a person who can say she hasn't done one foolish thing as a teen and I'll ask her to confirm that she isn't actually an alien. Teenagers are supposed to do dumb things. Things that make us scratch our heads and remember that, oh yeah, they're really just super-tall children.

Breanna Mitchell is no exception. The teen girl got slammed when she posted a selfie on Twitter. She is shown grinning from ear to ear while posing in front of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where at least 1.1 million people were sent to die during World War II. It's the very definition of a dumb kid move, and it's insensitive and embarrassing. But Breanna does not deserve all the grief she is getting.


The teen posted her photo last month along with the message, "Selfie in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp" and a smiling emoji face. She has since received thousands of retweets and messages from others who have questioned how she could be so cruel and inhumane as to make light of one of the most horrific events to take place in recent history.

But I think we're forgetting two things here: 1) World War II feels as recent to this teen as the Crusades feel to us, and 2) Breanna is a child. She isn't going to consider historic events with the same intensity that we will as adults.

Instead of being angry at this teen, we should view this as a learning opportunity. This can open up conversations with our teen children about the significance of the Holocaust and why it isn't respectful to pose like this in front of Auschwitz because it diminishes the tragedy that took place there. This one photo can help us talk to our kids about other places and events that don't require our smiling selfies -- funerals, for example -- places where they should just give of themselves 100 percent without feeling the need to prove to all of their friends and followers that they were there.

We can complain all we want about how this disrespectful generation is so self-absorbed, they don't know any better than to take a selfie at a concentration camp, or we can remember their age and the fact that it's up to us to teach them why it is wrong.

What do you think of this teen's Auschwitz selfie?


Image via Twitter

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