Poland Institutes Social Media Campaign to Promote New Law

In an attempt to promote a new law censoring how people speak and write about Poland’s relationship to the Holocaust, Poland has rolled out a series of social media campaigns that seek to change the narrative of Polish compliance with the Nazi regime. Part of the campaign is an advertisement that is being shown as sponsored content on YouTube, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

We have talked about the law itself a few times in class, so I won’t go into details about that here, but I first heard about the shocking ad when someone I follow on Tumblr wrote a post saying they saw the ad and were confused by it. Here is the post, as well as some of the responses giving context to the ad.

To add to the strangeness, the advertisement is not just being shown in America. The other country it can currently be found in is Israel, meaning that the two countries with the largest Jewish populations in the world are the target audience of the ad. In spite of the falsehoods it presents, the video doesn’t actually violate any of the social media websites’ advertising policies and so it will continue to show on some of the most widely used social media available

In class we have discussed the different approaches to shaping the individual survivors’ narratives, and to me this seems like a slap in the face to anyone who experienced atrocities in Poland or at the hands of Poles. In trying to re-frame the narrative to make their country look better the creators of this law and this advertisement are completely invalidating the experiences of survivors. This feels like gas-lighting on a massive scale, and I can’t even begin to explain how surreal it feels for Jewish people to have something like this pop up as they’re trying to watch distracting YouTube videos.

Here is a link to a Vice article on the subject as well:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/4373m3/youtube-google-poland-holocaust-law

Buzzfeed Holocaust Survival Video

How My Grandmother Survived the Holocaust

Buzzfeed produced a short video where a woman tells the story of how her grandmother survived the Holocaust This video gives a heartfelt look into the struggles this woman faced and her will to live throughout an impossible situation.

How My Grandma Survived The Holocaust

This Holocaust Survival Story is Amazing and Badass

Posted by BuzzFeed on Friday, February 9, 2018

This story describes how her mother fought back against Nazi soldiers. When the Nazis tried to shoot her into the ground, she managed to play dead until she could hide. After the guards found her hiding place they imprisoned her. Leon, her friend, bribed the guard with a diamond he had sewn into his jacket and they let her go.
The production of this story by Buzzfeed is timely with the recent Holocaust remembrance day and it tells a powerful story. It helps to both give remembrance to the holocaust and evokes important individual memories and experience. The format that this video is in makes it accessible to wider audience. This video on Facebook got 1,512,585 views, 8,107 shades, and over 800 comments. Reaching a wider audience, especially in the format of social media, is important to preserving the memory of the holocaust. Social media allows people of all age groups to access and expose them to this material in a way that other mediums can not.

 

Holocaust Remembrance Day Video by ATTN:

This video was found the Facebook page for ATTN: on January 27th 2018.

Holocaust denial has no place in our society — Nev Schulman​

Holocaust denial has no place in our society — Nev Schulman

Posted by ATTN: on Saturday, January 27, 2018

The video opens with Shulman quoting a The Atlantic article, reading, “2/3rds of the world either hasn’t heard of the Holocaust or denies that it even happened.” I thought this number had to be incorrect, so I found the article to make sure. What Shulman says is right—only 56% of the world’s population has even heard of the Holocaust.

Shulman makes a statement that the memory of the Holocaust is fading, and at the same time white supremacy is rising. I would argue that the memory for the Holocaust isn’t fading—we see accounts and mentions of the events regularly in media and discussions. What he draws this conclusion on is from The Atlantic article, but that number is talking about the world. The article itself (found here) talks about how the majority of those who don’t know about the events of the Holocaust are in African and Asian countries. A research article I found from Harvard (here) says that 80% of Americans are informed about the Holocaust. The video is certainly geared towards an American audience—the company is American, the host is American, it uses American articles for evidence, and talks about white supremacy in America—so why use data not about the topic on hand? In my opinion this somewhat sensualizes the video, making it less effective, and overall more of an entertain piece more than an informative video (it was made specifically for Facebook after all).

What I do like about the video is a theme that we’ve already discussed: teaching what happened during the holocaust to prevent it from reoccurring in the future. Shulman worries that we may “be headed down the same path”, but I believe that to be dramatic. He verges on comparing white supremacist gatherings to the Holocaust. Sure, Hitler’s movement had to start somewhere, and worrying about the power of white supremacists is valid, but warning people that another Holocaust could happen if we’re not careful in a 3 minute Facebook video seems like a bit much.

ATTN:’s video https://www.facebook.com/attn/videos/1638589509509835/

 

Gal Godot Remembers

Found/posted on January 27, 2018 on her Instagram.

I would say almost everyone in America knows who Gal Godot is, I mean she is Wonder Woman for heaven’s sake. Something that stirred controversy when she was first cast was the fact that she was Israeli and Jewish herself. This puts the fact that she is remembering the Holocaust in a brand new light. Since she identifies as Jewish, it makes sense that she wants everyone in the world to remember such a horrific time in her people’s history. She wants to bring honor to the victims, however, fleeting they may be currently. I was completely surprised when I stumbled across her post just scrolling through insta because I had no idea that it was a day dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust.

The interesting thing here, is that she is using her station, as someone famous, to impolore her usage of the #WeRemember. She has a much wider reach than a lot of other Jewish people might and she is using that power to promote the remembrance of the Holocaust. You can see from the photo that over one million people liked the post, and in that bunch I know a couple of my friends who are white and American happened to like it as well. This just kind of shows the difference between our cultures, I think. I did not see anyone else posting about it on any of my social media, but someone who was connected to it and from Israel still feels its importance.