A travel blogger has been slammed on social media after sharing a photo of a rubber duck outside the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial.
The anonymous influencer, who runs the Instagram account @Atukapil, gathered a massive following after posting a string of images of a yellow rubber duck in front of famous monuments across the world.
However, recently their followers were unhappy when they posted a photo of the rubber duck on the tracks outside the gates of the infamous concentration camp in southern Poland.
The caption read: "It was the largest extermination centre in the history of Nazism, where it is estimated that about 1,300,000 people were sent, of which 1,100,000 died, the vast majority of them Jewish."
"Auschwitz II (Birkenau), extermination camp, where most of the more than one million victims of the camp died. In this section were women," he added.
"Trains full of people arrived daily and were immediately separated between 'fit and unfit'. The fit had a life expectancy of months, while the unfit were sent directly to the gas chambers."
The composition of a happy, smiling duck in front of a place where terrible events unfolded left a sour taste for their followers, who branded the post "disrespectful" and "offensive".
The official Twitter account of Auschwitz Memorial and Museum debated whether the photo was appropriate.
"What if someone who travels with a rubber duck & uses it as an artistic Instagram convention arrives at @AuschwitzMuseum?" the account tweeted on Wednesday.
"Is the rubber duck in front of the Gate of Death disrespectful – even unintentionally? Or is it a side effect of the visual world we should accept/ignore?"
One person replied: "Totally disrespectful & wholly inappropriate. They can't be that ignorant or uninformed to visit there and not know of the history and suffering that went on there. Sometimes you have to take a step back from social media for likes."
"The concept of taking rubber ducky photos at various destinations is adorable and sweet, but clearly this was highly inappropriate and insensitive," another person tweeted.
Another agreed: "@AuschwitzMuseum is not a fun tourist destination or cool looking building. It is a memorial site. It is a place to soberly reflect on the millions of human beings who suffered and died at the hands of others. He is treating it as just another photo opp. Callous and shameful."
The photo was soon removed from the Spanish-language Instagram account.
"The intention of the post was the one previously mentioned without intentions to disrespect or generate controversy on the matter," the blogger said in a statement shared by the Auschwitz Museum.
"My sincerest apologies to @auschwitzmemorial for the inconvenience and to all the people who have felt offended."
It comes just months after the Auschwitz Memorial told visitors to stop posing and sharing pictures of its railway tracks as it became a growing trend on social media.
The railway tracks are the ones used to deliver people from all over Nazi-occupied Europe to their deaths, as they stopped metres from the camp's notorious gas chambers.
More than 1.1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz. Of the victims, close to one million were Jewish, with many being sent by train.
"When you come to @AuschwitzMuseum remember you are at the site where over 1 million people were killed," the memorial's official Twitter account posted.
"Respect their memory. There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolises deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths."