The last time Auschwitz was in the news it was surrounding that oblivious American teen, Breanna Mitchell, who took a smiling selfie at the concentration camp. A selfie at Auschwitz could have been captured as “What up, y’all. Chillin’ at Auschwitz with my peops. Whoop whoop. #YOLO”
Now, the administrators of the facilities in Poland got into a bit of hot water when they installed cooling facilities to deal with the above-average temperatures for visitors. One person’s cooling mist is another person’s showers. Thus, some people have a problem with this.
As much as I understand why some would consider the misting hose insensitive, the whole situation seem like an episode of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm. I’m specifically thinking of the CYU episode about the Palestinian chicken restaurant or the Seinfeld episode about making out during Schindler’s List.
From the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum facebook page (which can bring a whole host of wrong humor … “I Liked Auschwitz” or “I Poked Auschwitz”):
Because of the extreme heat wave we have experienced in August in Poland, mist sprinklers which cool the air were placed near the entrance to the Museum. They are located in one place – near the area where a queue of people who collect the entry cards to the Memorial is formed. This is a place in the open sun and without any possibility of hiding in the shade where sometimes you need to stand for quite a long time since the Memorial is visited by thousands of people every day. The sprinklers are installed on the days of highest temperatures and removed when the temperature drops
Among visitors there are many people who come from countries where such high temperatures as we have this summer in Poland do not occur. Something had to be done, as we have noticed cases of faints among people and other dangerous situations. Therefore we had to do everything we could to minimize the risks connected with the heat and high temperatures. The safety and health of visitors are our priority during the period of extreme heat. Cooling air have been really helpful to visitors in this difficult situation.
The happy medium between cooling facilities and “showers” are the cooling stations you see at music festivals. The high end are the inflatable bouncy castles with mists you walk though. I think that would not fit in with the educational portion of the museum.
The low end are just throwing some water hoses onto some large fans onto the visitors. Handing visitors those battery powered spray bottles with fans would not be appropriate as well.