We Remember, on Facebook

FACEBOOK.COM

By Devra Ferst

Published October 21, 2009, issue of October 30, 2009.
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It seems like an oxymoron to be a Jew and be a “fan” of Auschwitz, but there are more than 10,000 such fans.

They’re not fans of the infamous concentration camp, but rather “fans” of the Auschwitz Memorial page on Facebook, the social-networking Web site. The Auschwitz Museum in Poland launched the page October 14, and museum officials have since posted historical facts about the Holocaust and a photo gallery of Auschwitz in its current state, which gives visitors to the site a virtual tour.

“If our mission is to educate the younger generation to be responsible in the contemporary world, what better tool can we use to reach them than the tools they use themselves?” Auschwitz Museum official Pawel Sawicki told Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot.

Along with hosting discussions on the Holocaust on the page, the museum also offers a discussion board on whether such a page should exist at all. When posters were asked on the page why they became “fans” of the memorial, many simply wrote notes like the one added by Lindsay Bruckner, a student at Florida Atlantic University: “Because our last survivors are quickly fading, and we as the new generation must keep their story going — NEVER FORGET.”

A number of posts, such as Chana Levin’s, touched on combating Holocaust denial and antisemitism around the globe: “I have heard three people in my neighborhood denying the Holocaust and it sickens and angers me.” Others wrote more lengthy responses, hoping to draw attention to contemporary human atrocities.

Other Holocaust memorials and museums, such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, have already branched out to Facebook, but none as successfully as the Auschwitz Memorial, which has already surpassed the number of fans of the other two.


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Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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