(JTA) — The creator of a website that shamed selfie-takers at Germany’s national Holocaust memorial took down the site after he said it had reached all the people whose photographs were posted.
Shahak Shapira, an Israeli-German writer and satirist, removed the “Yolocaust” site Thursday, less than a week after it went live.
The site, which referenced the acronym for “you only live once,” had featured a dozen selfies taken at the Berlin memorial and shared on social media platforms. As visitors ran their cursors over the photos, however, the background images changed to graphic photographs of Nazi atrocities.
Shapira wrote in a statement on the site that the project had reached all 12 selfie-takers and had been visited by over 2.5 million people.
“Almost all of them understood the message, apologized and decided to remove their selfies from their personal Facebook and Instagram profiles,” he wrote.
Shapira, 28, also shared an email he received from one of the selfie-takers, who apologized and said he “didn’t mean to offend anyone.”
He gave selfie subjects an option to have their photo taken down through contacting him through an email address that made his view of them obvious: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In one photo on the site, a gleeful girl balanced atop the memorial is suddenly teetering among corpses at the Kaufering slave labor camp in Bavaria as the local population stands staring, forced by liberating American troops to view the scene in April 1945.
In another, two fellows who posted themselves as “Jumping on dead Jews” are suddenly seen leaping smilingly over contorted corpses.
Shapira said he received praise from Holocaust researchers, family members who lost family in the Holocaust and teachers.
In 2015, Shapira was badly beaten by several men in Berlin after he asked them to stop singing anti-Semitic songs.