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Euro 2012 Soccer Tourney Used to Recall Shoah

Israeli students have launched a social media campaign which uses the Euro 2012 soccer games to commemorate the Holocaust.

Over one million people will visit Ukraine and Poland this month to watch the Euro 2012 soccer games. The Israeli students wondered how many of them will remember the some six million Jews murdered in those two countries some 70 years ago.The campaign, titled Euro1945, consists of a website, smartphone applications and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“We’re basically riding Euro 2012,” the campaign’s designer, Omri Ariav, said. A law student at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel, he designed the campaign along with seven students.

The graphics of Euro1945 echo the official advertising campaign of Euro2012. The welcome page of Euro1945 displays a map where each EUFA 2012 hosting city and stadium is marked with a Jewish tombstone. A click on the icon produces a summary about the Jewish community that existed there before the Holocaust. The Instagram account is updated daily with photos from before and during the Holocaust.

The text offers historical soccer-related anecdotes such as the Kiev Death Match, held in August 1942 at Zenit Stadium. A team of German soldiers lost the game 3:5 to local players. The Germans sent the victorious team to a concentration camp.

The text on Poznan notes that the first Jewish labor camp in the area was set up at the Poznan Municipal Stadium. “We decided this world event must also help commemorate the victims. Maybe it’s Israeli chutzpah but I don’t think we’re raining on anyone’s parade,” Ariav said.

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