Temperatures in Poland have pushed 90 degrees Fahrenheit over the last week, leaving many locals looking for ways to cool down. Among them were the proprietors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, who came up with a novel idea for helping visitors beat the heat while waiting to enter the concentration camp: free showers.
— Ynetnews (@ynetnews) August 31, 2015
Needless to say, this particular innovation did not go over well with all observers. A cascade of local and online criticism followed, accusing the memorial of being insensitive to the historical connotations of the sprinklers.
In response, the museum defended its actions on Facebook, noting:
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.
Wherever one falls out on this particular Holocaust-related controversy, however, it’s safe to say that it’s not the most offensive one of the summer. That dubious distinction belongs to Ohio State University’s marching band, whose members were reprimanded in July for distributing a Holocaust-themed parody of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” with lyrics like “just a small town Jew … took the cattle train to you know where.”