Austrian footballer Daniel Rechberger has been forced to delete a selfie posing with his foot leaning on Berlin’s famous Holocaust monument with the hashtags “don’t worry” and “good life”.
Defender Daniel Rechberger, 23, who plays for Rot-Weiss Erfurt in the fourth tier of the German football pyramid, uploaded the picture of himself leaning against the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the German capital of Berlin, which is formed of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.
Posing like a model with sunglasses and casual yet fashionable clothes, he wrote the hashtags “#dontworry”, “#enjoy” and “#goodlife’ with it at the location which commemorates the death of six million Jews in World War II.
Many of his 48,000 followers seemed to appreciate the picture, among them teammates Andis Shala who commented with two flame symbols and Rico Gladrow who clicked on ‘like’.
However, when he saw that an increasing amount of people found the picture insensitive and reminded him about the history of WWII, Rechberger deleted the picture from his account.
At a special press conference held yesterday (Wed), Rechberger stressed that he had acted in an ill-considered manner.
He said he saw the need to hold the press conference after an increasing amount of people linked him to far-right extremist ideologies.
He said: “I grew up in Vienna, a multicultural city. I grew up among Jews, Muslims and Christians, who I count as my friends. I have nothing to do with right-wing groups.”
A Rot-Weiss Erfurt spokesperson said that Rechberger will not be punished for his Instagram post as they want to shift the focus back to football.
Two years ago, a Jewish writer created an art project satirising the disrespectful behaviour of selfie-loving tourists at the Berlin Holocaust memorial.
Shahak Shapira created the website called Yolocaust in which he contrasts the behaviour of social-media-addicted youngsters with the horrors of the Holocaust.
On it, he shows pictures of the selfies and stunts from disrespectful teenagers, edited into old images of the Holocaust to highlight how absurd their behaviour is.
On social media, such pictures often come with captions such as “jumping on dead Jews” or with the hashtag “yolocaust” – a portmanteau of “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) and the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis.