A screen grab of @PrincessBMM from herTwitter account.

New York -

A US teenage has received death threats after posting a smiling selfie while visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp, local media reported.

Breanna Mitchell, an 18-year-old from the state of Alabama, posted the selfie while walking through the Nazi concentration camp in Poland where more than 1 million Jews were sent to their deaths during World War II.

Two weeks later, the photo went viral on Twitter, causing a social media outrage. “Me, being a teenager, decided to take a selfie,” Mitchell told local newspaper AL.com on Thursday.

“There were death threats. Somebody told me he would come over and poison me.”

The picture, which Mitchell has not deleted from her Twitter account despite the backlash, has been retweeted more than 4 000 times and attracted several angry comments. “Kudos for being there and learning the horror.

(One) day you'll mature realising why this is inappropriate and offensive to millions,” one Twitter post said.

“Please stop my family was slaughtered there thanks,” another message said. Mitchell defended her photo saying she didn't mean to cause harm and did not regret taking the picture.

In an interview with online video news service Take Part Live, Mitchell said going to Auschwitz was an emotional experience because she had planned to take the trip with her father, who died last year.

The outrage over the selfie has prompted a discussion about the appropriateness of posting selfies from memorial sites such as the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City.

Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post, the author of a well-known book on etiquette, said that taking selfies at memorial sites is not inherently wrong but rather depends on how one takes them.

“If you're going to stick your tongue out or make a duck face in front of the World Trade Centre, I think that's probably inappropriate,” Post told ABC News. - Sapa-dpa