Some Grindr Users Think It’s Sexy To Post Pics From Holocaust Memorial

grindr photoWe were legit disturbed last week when a friend posted a link to the blog Totem and Taboo, which had found numerous Grindr profile pics taken at Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial.

Because nothing says “come fuck me” like the wholesale slaughter of Jews, gays and lesbians, and other “undesirables.”

Some of the guys just like the memorial’s stark, maze-like backdrop; others seem to think its funny; and a few are trying to be transgressive—showing the triumph of gay sexuality over the forces of the Nazis.

None of those excuses really work for us—and Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai  isn’t a fan, either.

“What started as users expressing themselves on a topic not often discussed in social networking profiles, has now become disrespectful,” a Grindr spokesperson told Salon on Monday. “We strongly encourage our users to engage in a respectful manner and honor the memory of those who perished in others ways outside of the app.”

This whole thing reminds us of those idiots who throw gang signs in photos taken at Ground Zero.

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  • Fidelio

    Clearly some fags can’t refuse to let a good profile pic go to waste.

  • Fidelio

    *some fags refuse

  • fagburn

    If you heard about this last week, why didn’t you post about it then?
    What’s the point of logging on here if you’re telling people stuff they heard about somewhere else days ago?
    Wake up Queerty!

  • 2wheels2four

    Stay klassy, Grindr boys.

  • Ann Mason

    Tom of Finland exploited that mentality, and books of his drawings are still in print.

    Human sexuality is complicated, and not very pretty if you stop to think about it for very very long. The sexual fascination with one of the worst tragedies in history may be unavoidable, but when the fascination is with something this extreme, maybe a person’s conscience should take charge.

    I’m sure most of the men who are acting insensitively and posting these photos have other sexual interests. Is it possible for them to respect boundaries and try to ignore something which is way out of line? They should try.

  • DeeCue79

    Fagburn: if you’re waiting with baited breath for your LGBT news, I’d rethink your news source if I were you.

  • AndrewIB

    Being in Europe I can’t tell you how incredibly offensive this is especially if these people are European, they really should know better, they are either incredibly stupid or have no feeling for the Millions of people who were murdered..

  • Jay

    Did the RHONJ take a trip to Berlin? He looks like Juicy Joe.


    Ugh. More Vacuous Fag News… :(

  • Jay

    Oh, and yes, this sort of picture-taking at the Berlin Holocaust Memorial makes the RHONJ look like a class act many times over.

  • rickydee1955

    Why cover it?

  • dmh

    While it is understandable that many would be upset with this, I was interested to see that last year when I was at the Jewish Museum in NYC, one of their exhibits was a colection of photos of gay guys at the memorial…. when the photograher was in Berlin …(unfortuenatly I dont remember the name of the artist)he was on some of the cruise sites and noticed that a lot of guys in Berlin had some of their profile phots taken there so he did a photo shoot at the memorial – there were mabe 30 some photos some dressed – some in stages of undress, in the exhibit…all slightly differnt sizes – displayed together in a rectangle – so that the over all efect was like the different size blocks of stone in the memorial…. I figure if the Jewish Museum wasnt offended (infact was displaying the photos as art)…..

  • maxdadmark

    And I thought only Americans were this ignorant and disrespectful. Glad to see the idiots are spread everywhere.

  • erikwm

    Tacky? Yes.

    But it could be worse… at least the pictures weren’t taken at Auschwitz itself.


    @erikwm Groan-inducing is more like it. I wonder what the chances are of any of these fools seeing this thread? This kind of behavior is not only NOT sexy, it’s pretty revolting on several levels… :(

  • Brian

    Well, if you’re horny, you’re horny. Why let the issue of propriety get in the way? Isn’t this how horny gay guys operate all the time?


    @Brian: Uh, No. Not this Horny Gay Guy…

  • MikeE

    @DeeCue79: If you’re waiting with “baited breath” you might catch something. (it’s “bated”)

  • barning

    There has been a loy of work done on the symbolic value of minimalism in queer erotics, look at the work of Jonathan Horowitz, Henrik Olesen or Tom Burr. This is merely another recoding of Daniel Libeskind’s version of turned minimal forms

  • viveutvivas

    I don’t see why people are up in arms about this. Remember that gays were also exterminated by the Nazis, so it is our memorial too. It is a triumph over Hitler’s evil that we can freely live out our sexuality today, and these photos are like giving the finger to the Nazis, so they are a good thing.

  • maxdadmark

    This might be an example of “turned minimal forms”, but the location of the shoot is inflammatory. If it was purely about “form”, revealing the location of the shoot would not be necessary. Additionally, I’m not sure that subscribers of Grindr are looking for “turned minimal forms”, especially since “art models” are not looking for a random blow job on a sexual hook up site.


    @maxdadmark: REALLY. I hardly think these Grindr Muscle-Girls-With-Pearls weren’t thinking too much about artistic aesthetic when they posted these pics. Ugh… :(

  • maxdadmark

    @viveutvivas: So posing in a sexually provocative manner in a church, synagog, or mosque is an appropriate “finger” to pedophiliac clergy who molested children?

  • Letlive

    @AndrewIB: I don’t get it!
    I’m a proud european and i can’t understand all of those arguments.
    This memorial in the heart of Berlin means to be used like that.
    The intention is to go around the stones, to play tag and make photos.
    And if you do so you would get impressed by the power of the stones.
    You would feel the love of all Jews that got killed in WWII. The Love and Spirit of Life.
    So If anybody posts photos from the ‘Stelenfeld’ it’s because they all share the beauty of that Memorial.
    Dare to touch that topic.

    p.s. my english is not the best. please excuse some mistakes.

  • Jay

    @maxdadmark No. 23: What ARE you talking about, “pedophiliac clergy”?

  • maxdadmark

    @Letlive: That’s an interesting claim, Proud European. Perhaps that’s what Giorgio Vasari had in mind when he designed the Uffizi in 1560… that cretins should come and spray paint their political and “insightful” thoughts on the marble walls.

  • barning

    I doubt that the posing men were thinking about recent recodings of minimalism per se but that the forms Libeskind created in that area are the same as one would find in a leather bar maze- and that is not accidental as both want visitors to lose a sense of wayfinding and bodily orientation. As far as I can see no one is posing in the much more emotionally charged empty tower room he created just fifteen feet away or in the relic rooms upstairs. The men are responding here as they might to a Richard Serra Torqued Ellipse and since the architectural language is identical their interpretation of how to respond to the space is not invalid.

  • maxdadmark

    @Jay: Since viveutvivas claimed that by this behavior, we are giving the finger to the nazis, then by extension, men who were molested as children by clergy are “giving the finger” to those who harmed them.

  • Jay

    @barning: I’m not sure I believe what you’re saying, and I would have to reserve deciding until after I’d seen the Memorial in person, but it’s definitely the most interesting interpretation we’ve been offered here.


    I think you’re ALL seriously kidding yourself by trying to attach some high-brow interpretation to these pics. They are what they are. And what they are is neither high-brow NOR sexy…

  • Letlive

    @maxdadmark: every reality in germany and europe are far from your particular american.
    Please go and visit before you judge.

  • Jay

    I kind of agree with you, too, KEVINVENTION (NICE NAME, BTW). I probably wouldn’t have posted it in the first place. But since it IS here, gotta say somethin’.

  • Dawster

    I’m going to go totally gay here:

    What a way to make yourself look like a bloated fat ass than next to museum for malnourished Jews.

    Just saying… in context, you know?


    @Dawster: HA! And @Jay, Thanks, Bub… ;)

  • Mark Jenkins

    @Ann Mason:Only one segment Tom’s Artwork chronicled his experiences and fantasies during the war years. He did not create drawings of the true horrors of the Holocaust, or disrespect the memory of those who lost their lives. It’s not the same thing at all. Please do not equate it as such.

  • Jay

    I like art, I like Jews (mmmm…Adam Levine’s tattooed tochis), I like minimalism.

    I want to go to Berlin now. Well, not now. In the spring, maybe.

  • rf

    like standing at the pearl harbor memorial, hiroshima memorial, or the peace park in taiwan, or wherever else in the world there is a cool momument to something commemorating such and such battle, genocide wherever…to me, this is bruhaha, genocide has happened over and over and over again. i got my picture taken in the ancient capital of thailand next to hacked off limbed statues that are still standing after the burmese terrorized their civiliazation, and it was a sexy photo, i shouldnt use the photo of me?…whatever! is my take on this ‘horror’…

  • stfallon1028

    What is happening to the world? (In Regina George voice of course)

  • yaletownman

    It all seems sad to me. Here we have something sacred, dedicated to our brothers and sisters who were abused and died for only being themselves and a few people want to disrespect it for their own narcissistic purposes. It is important to have sacred things, places, rituals, etc.. They remind us that life, in it’s essence, is holy. This memorial is designed to remind us that we too, as LGBT’s, are also a holy part of this universe and the we belong here. Live out your fetishes and fantasies as you will, it’s all part of the human experience but let us all honour this sacred place so that we are forever reminded to love each other and ourselves.

  • ilcorago

    This isn’t news, it’s just Queerty trying to make sensationalistic nonsense out of nothing. It’s gossip. Who cares? There really are things out there that affect the lives of LGBTQ people; this isn’t one of them. No more of this dreary mix of cheesy beefcake and yellow journalism. I’m just unsubscribing to the Queerty newsfeed. Simple.

  • maxdadmark

    @yaletownman: Very well said. But we have just lived through three decades of narcissism and lack of personal responsibility. In the US, things are just now beginning to turn around. And if one more eurosnob makes a remark about the difference in sensibilities with Americans, I’m gonna freak! Borders are fluid, information travel quickly, and tastes are not particular to a country. This is purely about respect for a solemn, or sacred if you will, place for people to reflect about the horrors of the nazi regime. And if some want to divide us along national borders, I will add that it is particularly galling to have a German defending this behavior. No concept of history.

  • maxdadmark

    @rf: What a narcissist!

  • Allen D.

    I would hope it’s just a case of someone looking through their pictures, wondering “where’s a good picture of me?” and it just happened to have been taken there. Although, I’m not sure what part of the memorial the above picture was taken at… but I’m pretty sure it’s disrespectful to be standing on those monuments.

    I’m all for rebellion. According to various personality tests, it’s one of my biggest driving forces. BUT, I don’t think a memorial for those who died is the best place to be “rebelling” against Hitler. Places that Hitler lived, etc – much better. I’ll occasionally look on ebay for WWII-era German military leather jackets. Which has everything to do with saying “you killed my people, but now one of us is wearing your jacket while you rot in the ground — winner? Us”.

    But maybe that’s just me.

  • Allen D.

    And to clarify, no – I don’t think your typical Grindr user is capable of putting that much thought into it.

  • Josh

    Who cares? Gays were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. In my opinion this is a perfect “fuck you” to the forces of homophobia, whether it’s intentional or not. In other news, it’s amazing how many self-hating gay men are on this site. The first several comments refer to “fags” and someone said something about more “vacuous fag news”. Apparently we haven’t come all that far from the 1940’s.

  • Allen D.

    @Josh: Again, though — this is a memorial to the victims. I don’t see how standing on top of victim monuments is exactly a slap in the face to Hitler. Piss in the parking lot that’s over his final bunker’s location. Something like that, not something that could be construing superiority over the victims.

  • Udon918

    I am amazed by all the attempts to read more into the act of using a profile pic from the Berlin memorial park than the act itself deserves. For all of you that have never been to the place, it is not a grave site. It is a series of columns in an urban park. It is usually filled with kids running around, and adults playing like kids. But the power of the place is that as you play, and get deeper into the space, the blocks get taller and more imposing. And you start to feel lost within the forest of blocks. And that is when you realize the power of what started as a bit of fun turning into something deeper and darker that has become difficult to get out of.

    Unfortunately the tone of this non-news article makes it seem as if these Grindr users were desecrating a cemetery, when all they were doing was to use a profile pic from a recognizable backdrop, where the grey makes skin tones look more bright.

  • gppm1103

    @DeeCue79: “bated”…not “baited”.

  • sfbeast

    “Jews, gays and lesbians, and other undesirables”…… This sentence is incorrect. Lesbians were neither arrested nor persecuted by the Nazis, unless they were Jewish, which wasn’t due to being Lesbian. Gay men were sent to camps and prisons and killed. As to the photos at the memorial, to me it looks more like ‘we’re still here, we’re still gay, even amidst the ashes of the horrors of history’.


    @Udon918: There ya go. It’s not so much a political/sociologocal statement to take your profile pic for a hookup site there as it is a place where the “grey makes skin tones look more bright”. Ugh. and BTW, @Josh, I’m the “someone” who used the term “Vacuous Fag” ’cause that’s, in my opinion, exactly what these particular Grindr “Renaissance Men” are acting like. I don’t engage in too much self-hate (more than the average person), but I do hate when these fools, by posting these types of photos for all to see, represent me, as a Gay Man, to the world at large. It’s a context thing…


    @sfbeast: I agree with you that photos show “we are still here…” but I also think that a memorial must be respected : it’s not good to use it for “special” photos.

  • Udon918

    I still think everyone is reading way too much into this. How is it different than the countless profile pics out there that feature the Golden Gate Bridge in the background? Or Big Ben? Or Notre Dame? Or the Great Wall of China? People just take a nice photo, and they like the way they look in the photo, or they want to show that they have been to an iconic location, and therefore they use it.

    But yes, you will all argue that because this place was designed as a memorial, it is somehow sacred. But this is not the same as pics of people flashing gang signs in front of ground zero, pics of people peeing on Veterans’ or Vemorial Day statues. And unfortunately, I see this criticism of people who have taken photos in the park as a very American narrow-minded point of view, and sadly I would guess that many of the judgemental criticisms on here were made by people who have never even visited the park.

    @kevinvention I was trying to be funny! But there is a reason why no one takes profile pics against a flesh-colored wall.

    @letlive I agree with you 100%.

  • Aaron

    I think context matters. Looking through the pics, some of them don’t bother me at all, they are similar to pictures anyone would have taken while vacationing and visiting any monument, museum, park. It would be nice if the picture had a caption like “just visited Holocaust memorial, very moving” but it IS Grindr.

    On the other hand, some of the pictures… pictures with a man taking off his shirt striking a “sexy pose” and/or a tagline like “bottom looking to get f-ed”, that is tacky and IMO disrespectful. When I visited the Holocaust Museum in DC, there was a group of teenage boys viewing a display showing a mass grave with hundreds of dessicated corpses. The boys were saying “cool” “awesome” and making many disrespectful comments. Some of these photos make me think of exactly that moment – people who have lost the ability to empathize with others. It’s all too common today.

  • Jay

    Udon918: How is it different than the countless profile pics out there that feature the Golden Gate Bridge in the background? Or Big Ben? Or Notre Dame? Or the Great Wall of China?

    Udon, if you have to ask…

  • Xanderer

    I understand why people have gotten upset about this. The holocaust was one of the darkest moments in recorded human history. Millions and millions of people died, and to regard that tragedy without a sense of awe and sorrow would be disrespectful to those who died.

    However to elevate a monument about the holocaust to the level of “sacred” would also be disrespectful. It would deny that all those people were people. That they ate, and drank, and thought, and dreamed, and went to the bathroom, and looked for people to have sex with.

    The fact that people are alive doing human things at Berlin’s holocaust memorial is to me a sign of hope. It says that we can go through those times of darkness, and still go on and live our lives. I can’t imagine that someone living their life, (including all the foibles people find embarrassing, like looking for sex) would be considered disrespectful.

    It’s hard to imagine the victims of the holocaust getting mad at someone for living.

  • viveutvivas

    @Xanderer, thank you, I was going to respond again but you said it so much better than I would have.

  • lmichaelj

    I am an American and live in Germany. I have lived here on and off for 20 years working for the US Department of Defense. These disrespectful photos to include some nude photos are not only Grindr & Grindr Xtra. I have seen them on Gaydar, Adam4Adam, GayRomeo, Bear411, Scruff, and Mister. Some of these gay social websites have asked members not to post pics from the Jewish Holocaust memorial in Berlin, but no avail. What’s that song from the “Wizard of Oz” that the Scarecrow sings? “If I only had a brain.” Yup, that’s the one.

  • maxdadmark

    I find all of the rationalization, especially those that speak for the dead, irrelevant. The bottom line for me is, if you don’t understand why this is inappropriate and offensive, either you don’t want to understand or you are so full of yourselves that it doesn’t matter what anyone says. Those of you with an opinion that disregards the feelings of those offended is clear to see. You only care about yourselves and your own desires. That makes you emotional pre-schoolers.

  • Jawsch

    *gasp* How dare someone do something we don’t agree with. Let’s all judge them and tell them how horrible they are.

    Sounds a bit hypocritical coming from the LGBT community if I say so myself.
    Sure it’s not classy but really, is this the sh*t that takes center stage in LGBT News Media? Do any of you all really have place to judge anyone in terms of their actions? We’ve all done stupid things in our lives that we later regret. Stop acting like you’re Saint Mary.

    I laugh at the fact that Grindr is trying to act like it’s not the cesspool of the gay community and acts like it’s trying to have “morals” or standards.

  • maxdadmark

    @Jawsch: You consider this site to be the source of your LGBT news? Queerty is to the Advocate as People is to Time magazine.

  • comus

    @Xanderer: It’s a good point. It’s also true that grindr has a generally douchey vibe and that clichéd pics at iconic sites are tedious and add a quality of stupid to that impression of douchiness.

Comments are closed.