BANGKOK — A member of a Thai top girl group on Wednesday posted photos of her visit to an extermination camp in Poland where at least 1.1 million Jews were murdered.
The social media post by BNK48 member Jennis Oprasert earned praises from key members of Israel’s diplomatic mission to Thailand, who offered thanks to her “admirable” actions, months after the same band drew worldwide ridicule and criticism for allowing one of its members wear a Swastika shirt onstage.
“I went to Auschwitz concentration camp yesterday. It was very sad. There’s a lot of historical information inside, but I couldn’t read it all in just one day,” Jennis, 19, wrote on her Facebook page.
She also published photos of her visit at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, and said she would write more about the place.
Deputy Chief of Mission of Israel in Thailand Smadar Shapira said she admired Jennis’ effort to learn about the Holocaust.
“It is highly admirable to see that #JennisBNK48 has dedicated the time during her trip to Europe to visit @AuschwitzMuseum and learn about the #Holocaust,” Sharipa wrote. “Jennis is a wonderful person, and she performed on our recent Independence Day Celebration.”
It is highly admirable to see that #JennisBNK48 has dedicated the time during her trip to Europe to visit @AuschwitzMuseum and learn about the #Holocaust,
Jennis is a wonderful person, and she performed on our recent Independence Day Celebration 🇮🇱#BNK48https://t.co/w7kldcbFJ2 pic.twitter.com/ai1wvrCuqO
— Smadar Shapira 🇮🇱 (@ShapiraSmadar) November 20, 2019
Shapira’s tweet was followed by a statement from Israeli ambassador Meir Shlomo, who thanked Jennis for bringing attention to the history of deadly persecution against Jews.
“Not many Thai people have had the opportunity to visit the extermination camps, and therefore I am very much impressed of Jennis’ decision to visit Auschwitz and thank her for sharing her thoughts and photos,” Shlomo wrote. “Bringing up the Holocaust remembrance issue to the Thai public awareness is of major importance.”
In January, another member of BNK48, Pichayapa “Namsai” Natha, invited international fury after she was seen wearing a Nazi symbol shirt while rehearsing for a concert in an online broadcast.
Namsai later apologized for what she blamed on a lack of knowledge on the Holocaust and World War II. The band also apologized to the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok, who condemned the incident.
In May, members of the band including Namsai and Jennis performed at the Israeli Independence Day celebration at a Bangkok hotel. Namsai said in an interview that she had since watched many movies related to the Holocaust and even posted about them on her social media to educate her fans about world history.