Auschwitz Selfie Teen Breanna Mitchell Defends Picture: "I Don't Think I Would Do Anything Different"

Celebrity News Jul. 22, 2014 AT 5:20PM

Unapologetic? Alabama teen Breanna Mitchell faced extreme scrutiny after posting a grinning selfie at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Germany on June 20. 

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About a month later the image went viral, and the teen received thousands of critical tweets from those offended by the controversial nature of the image. 

In the picture, Mitchell is smiling with one earbud in, and the caption reads, “Selfie in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp” with a blushing, smiley face emoji. 

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Auschwitz was the most infamous concentration camp in World War II, and between 800,000 and 1 million victims, most of them Jewish, were systematically exterminated at the horrific site. 

Breanna Mitchell defended her decision to take a smiling selfie at Auschwitz on TakePartLive.
Breanna Mitchell defended her decision to take a smiling selfie at Auschwitz on TakePartLive.

Before turning her Twitter profile private, Mitchell defended her photo online, writing that the image was a tribute to her late father. 

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“The Holocaust and World War II is the only thing that’s ever interested me in history,” Mitchell told TakePartLive in a video interview. “And it’s [my dad’s] favorite part of history. Whenever I graduated, [my parents] said they’d take me out of the States to go wherever I wanted. [My dad] died one year prior to that photo.”

Since the image went viral, Mitchell has dealt with “death threats” and hateful messages telling her to kill herself, but still defends her decision to post the image. 

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“Honestly, I don’t think I would do anything different just because I didn’t mean any harm,” she said. “And I’ve told everyone my story behind it. So that’s the only reason why I don’t regret taking it.” 

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