From The Jerusalem Post:
Israeli tourists who arrived at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland on Sunday expressed shock and outrage over what appeared to be the placement of showers near the entrance to the site. Asked about the outcry, a spokesman for the Auschwitz memorial told The Jerusalem Post that “no showers were placed at the parking lot of the museum.” “Because of the heat wave in Poland, sprinklers which cool the air were placed near the entrance to the museum. They are located near the area where – in the open sun and without any possibility of hiding in the shade – a queue of people who collect the entry cards to the memorial site is formed. “Among visitors there are many people who come from countries where such high temperatures as we have this summer in Poland do not occur. We have noticed cases of fainting among people. Therefore we must do everything possible to minimize the risks connected with the heat and high temperatures and take care of the safety of health of our visitors. The sprinklers are installed on the days of highest temperatures and removed with the temperature drops.”
“As a Jew who has lost so many relatives in the Holocaust, they looked like the showers that the Jews were forced to take before entering the gas chambers,” Meir Bulka, 48, told the Post . According to Bulka, he was not the only one deeply disturbed by this unusual scene. “All the Israelis felt this was very distasteful,” he said. “Someone called it a ‘Holocaust gimmick.’” Bulka decided to do something proactive about the situation rather than let it go. He went to the main office and asked the management for an explanation to the strange scene.
“The management decided that it was a good way to cool people off on a very hot day,” Bulka said.
There is something very wrong when those in charge of the Auschwitz historical site decide to erect nozzles misting water downwards at visitors outside the notorious death camp and nobody in involved in the decision detects the obvious problem. Whether the problem is with the administrators, the post-WWII generations, non-Jews, or something else, like Europe and the world, I am not sure. I do know that ethics alarms should have been ringing loudly. Did they malfunction? Or are they not installed?
Clues to what is wrong are suggested by the comments made by Ann Althouse’s readers to this story. I’m still trying to figure them out. Her audience is, I presume, ideologically-mixed, tilting to the left, and on the young side, since she is a law professor and many students read her posts. Is the utter insensitivity bordering on hostility to Jewish sensitivity on the little, insignificant matter of the Holocaust displayed here attributable to ignorance (an excuse the Polish curators of the museum cannot claim), callousness, distance from the events memorialized, antipathy to Israel or anti-Semitism?
Here are 17 out of the 20 comments so far:
9/1/15, 6:29 AM
Blogger Hagar said…
This is silly.
9/1/15, 6:50 AM
Blogger Expat(ish) said…
Does she object to the pavement and the water fountains and the a/c visitors center?
Good to know that Americans aren’t the only special snowflakes.
PS -If you follow the link the picture that ‘reminds’ people of the showers couldn’t be any more absurd.
9/1/15, 6:51 AM
Blogger rhhardin said…
You’d think that victimhood would work the Islam connection today, not the Germans.
It suggests the lazy outrage or well-worn paths.
Maybe Islam is too touchy to offend.
9/1/15, 6:57 AM
Blogger Bay Area Guy said…
Stop with the symbolism, please. Yes, the showers 70 years ago in Auschwitz were evil, but that has no bearing on showers in general today, jeez.
9/1/15, 7:29 AM
Blogger CWJ said…
I’d like to second Expat(ish)’s postscript. These are not showers. They are misters.
You can react one of three ways. You can enjoy being cooled off. You can notice the superficial similarity and chuckle at what seems a tone deaf juxtaposition. Or you can be predisposed to outrage and stretch the facts to fit. Given that these are visitors to Auschwitz, I imagine an over-representation of the last group.
I presume the management either didn’t have the funds or didn’t have access to the more high-tech rotary fan misting devices I’ve seen here in the states. If they did this would never have come up.
9/1/15, 7:46 AM
Blogger Tank said…
I wish they would, in general, STFU about the Holocaust already. It was a long time ago. The Germans alive today didn’t do it. Teach it as history, but stop looking for a way to scream victim and act all butt hurt every day. God, I hate these f*****g Jews.
It’s a fricking mister designed to keep you cool.
Everyone searching for their victimhood.
Tank (A Jew)
9/1/15, 7:54 AM
Blogger Ignorance is Bliss said…
“… and I told them that there is no way to apologize to the victims of the Holocaust.”
There is no need to apologize to the victims of the Holocaust, they are not the ones taking offense.
9/1/15, 8:06 AM
Blogger Scott said…
They are not showers, they are mist generators. This is an example of an aggrieved minority struggling to take offense at any damn thing. The self-pity is appalling.
9/1/15, 8:10 AM
Blogger Fernandinande said…
Record-Breaking European Heat Wave Forces Ikea to Take Meatballs Off Menu in Poland
9/1/15, 8:27 AM
Blogger Peter said…
These appear to be the usual outdoor misters that are used to provide outdoor evaporative cooling, and in any case they’re outdoors; they seem visually quite distinct from the gas “showers” which, of course, had to be in an enclosed space.
Although if an actual holocaust survivor were to explain how these things somehow related to the mass murders I think I’d pay attention.
9/1/15, 8:30 AM
Blogger Eric the Fruit Bat said…
High school gym class must have been a living hell.
9/1/15, 8:54 AM
Blogger chickelit said…
Heidi Klum should apologize on behalf of all Germans and it go at that.
9/1/15, 8:56 AM
Blogger Mary E. Glynn said…
Is it the descendants of these people who are instituting all the “trigger warnings” on college campuses that we read about?
9/1/15, 9:05 AM
Blogger Mary E. Glynn said…
(I never understood how PTSD skips several generations, but then is transmitted like that. ie/slavery, holocaust, poor legal tx. of women, etc.)
9/1/15, 9:07 AM
Blogger tim maguire said…
I have two showers in my house. I had no idea that made me double-Nazi. They’re coming out today. I may smell a little tomorrow.
9/1/15, 9:13 AM
Blogger traditionalguy said…
The story talks about showers for the new arrivals on the trains. That was only true for the immediate death line of the weak and old or small children that were made to strip naked and then packed into locked ” shower rooms” that had no water from the shower heads but zyglon B gas fumes. Only the line for slow death slave laborers got real water.
It is that gassing that is the icon of Professional Jew Exterminationists. That is why the Hamas today in Gaza also love to use gas on their targets and Syria like Saddam’s Iraq pushed poison gas programs. Spraying water is ok.
9/1/15, 9:14 AM
Blogger Jason said…
Bunch of douches if you ask me.
Yes, there are repeat commenters, but still: that’s 17 out 20 comments ridiculing the idea that hanging nozzles shooting down spray that visitors to Auschwitz are invited to stand under before filing past the showers that sprayed Zyklon B down on naked Jews marked for extermination is in nauseating taste, supremely insensitive, and especially offensive to Jewish visitors.
No wonder so many Democrats see nothing wrong with Obama’s Iran deal.