update deskHolocaust & Holocaust Survivors

Yom Hashoah 2024

Holocaust survivors actively campaign against resurging denial

As denial and distortion escalate online, survivors fight back.

Jewish twins were kept alive to be used in Josef Mengele's "medical" experiments. These children from Auschwitz were liberated by the Red Army in January 1945. Credit: USHMM/Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography.
Jewish twins were kept alive to be used in Josef Mengele's "medical" experiments. These children from Auschwitz were liberated by the Red Army in January 1945. Credit: USHMM/Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography.

The New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany has launched #CancelHate, a digital initiative in which Holocaust survivors worldwide respond to antisemitic comments that proliferate on social media.

In stark videos, the survivors steel themselves to read slurs such as “The Holocaust was a lie—Stop spreading misinformation” and “There were no gas chambers. I have the same goals as Hitler: Exile the Jews and keep their degeneracy out of society.”

They then counter with testimony validating the veracity of the atrocities they endured and witnessed firsthand.

“I survived the Holocaust, but 13 members of my immediate family were murdered because they were Jewish,” states former Anti-Defamation League head Abe Foxman, a U.S. survivor participating in #CancelHate. “Holocaust denial on social media isn’t just another post. Posts that deny the Holocaust are hateful and deny the suffering of millions.”  

The potency of the campaign lies in its undeniable truth emanating from the last remaining survivors.

Hedi Argent, a U.K. citizen, joined the initiative online. Credit: Claims Conference.

Hedi Argent, a British citizen, recounts, “My family was turned out of our home because we were Jews. Seventeen members were murdered. The Holocaust did happen.”

Their voices take on profound urgency amid studies showing Holocaust knowledge waning perilously among younger generations, leaving them vulnerable to distortions. Nearly half of U.S. millennials and Gen Z report seeing denial rhetoric online, mirroring trends in other countries such as the United Kingdom.

“I could never have imagined Holocaust survivors confronting such a tremendous wave of denial and distortion, but sadly, that day is here,” laments Greg Schneider of the Claims Conference. “We saw what unchecked hatred led to—words of hate and antisemitism sparked deportations, gas chambers, crematoria.”  

In a world where social platforms enable hatred to spread unabated, this campaign harnesses survivors’ firsthand experiences as a barrier against those seeking to rewrite the past.

“Words matter,” affirms German survivor Herbert Rubinstein. “Six million were murdered. I am fighting Holocaust denial with all my might and strength.”

For 30 days, #CancelHate’s videos will tell survivors’ truths to those propagating revisionism and hate under the virtual cloak of anonymity. Their words serve as a defiant rallying cry for a world still susceptible to the dangerous consequences of allowing hate speech to go unchecked.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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