Elon Musk's Auschwitz Visit: Carrying his son on his shoulders like in Disneyland

The museum of the former German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau warned American billionaire Elon Musk in vain that his three-year-old son, whom he brought, was too young to see the former largest 'death factory'

by Sededin Dedovic
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Elon Musk's Auschwitz Visit: Carrying his son on his shoulders like in Disneyland
© Omar Marques / Getty Images

On a visit to the former German camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, American billionaire Elon Musk caused controversy by bringing his three-year-old son, defying the museum's recommendation that young children not visit this place of suffering and horror, as it can affect the child's psychological development.

Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, visited Poland at the invitation of the European Jewish Association for a symposium on anti-Semitism. His decision to tour the infamous death camp with his young child led to a flurry of criticism on social media.

As always, Musk provokes strong reactions after each of his moves, but this time the comments were quite bad. The majority criticized him for his choice to take a small child to such a place, but the management of the museum received enormous criticism, which people resented for allowing it at all, even though it was the richest man in the world.

The Auschwitz Museum has a clear policy recommending that children under the age of 14 should not visit the camp due to its sensitive and disturbing nature. Despite this warning, Musk continued his visit, carrying his three-year-old son on his shoulders as if they were at a picnic or Disneyland.

Bartos Bartizel, a spokesman for the Auschwitz museum, confirmed that museum staff had warned Musk about the specific nature of the site and its potential emotional impact on his child. However, the decision ultimately rested with the director of Tesla, who did not pay attention to these recommendations of the museum management.

The question arises that the rules are related to the wealth of an individual, and how the administration would react if it were a "common mortal".

Auschwitz concentration camp© Omar Marques / Getty Images

The sight of Musk carrying his young son through the former site of extermination marked his visit to the former camp, and his visit and the nature of the visit were thrown into the background.

But on the other hand, this can be defined as a great "marketing move" by the museum administration, because surely the visit would not have caused so many reactions if this inappropriate incident had not happened.

Defenders of Elon Musk's decision

While most of the comments on social media expressed disapproval, there were those who defended Musk's decision.

There were those who defended Musk and argued that as a parent Musk has the right to decide what experiences to expose his child to. However, this point of view was in the minority, and the defenders of Musk's decision suffered the wrath of children's rights activists.

Musk's visit to Poland was at the invitation of the European Jewish Association, following accusations against his social network X (formerly Twitter) for spreading anti-Semitic messages. Musk addressed the allegations at a symposium on anti-Semitism in Krakow, defending X by saying it had the least amount of anti-Semitic content and arguing that free speech thrives on the platform.

This has inevitably fueled discussions about the responsibility of social media platforms in the fight against hate speech. After accusations of anti-Semitic messages on X, Musk was in Israel about a month ago, and Jewish associations recognized the importance of supporting one of the most influential people today.

A scene from Ostatni Etap (The Last Stage), a film about German atrocities at Auschwitz concentration camp© Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Musk's thoughts on the Holocaust

During the symposium, Musk shared his thoughts on the Holocaust, describing it as "extraordinarily sad and tragic" and expressing his belief that if social media had existed at the time, such atrocities could have been prevented.

This perspective of Elon Musk on the role of technology and social media in shaping public discourse can be said to be relatively accurate. But the videos and pictures of killed and massacred children in Gaza, whose number has risen to 10 thousand, do not support this claim.

It represents the most monstrous war of the last few decades in terms of the number of children killed.
Auschwitz-Birkenau, built by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II, initially targeted Poles, but later became the epicenter of the Nazis' genocidal plan against European Jews.

Over 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, along with other targeted groups such as Gypsies, perished in the camp's gas chambers or in inhumane conditions. The historical significance of Auschwitz-Birkenau emphasizes the importance of approaching visits with the greatest sensitivity, which we were able to witness during this visit as well.

However, the most sensitive this time were the critics of Elon Musk and his visits with the child. Elon Musk's decision to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau with his three-year-old son has sparked heated debate about parental responsibility, the appropriateness of exposing young children to historical atrocities and the role of social media in shaping public opinion.

Musk of course defends his actions as his own choice as a parent, but this got us all thinking about the delicate balance between personal freedom, historical awareness and ethical considerations surrounding such sensitive historical sites.

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