Holocaust survivors confront denial posts from social media in new digital campaign

The Claims Conference will post a video every day for 30 days on social media.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) will share videos of Holocaust survivors from around the world reading and responding to posts from social media that deny the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews as part of a new digital campaign launched on Thursday ahead of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah).

In each video as part of the #CancelHate campaign, Holocaust survivors introduce themselves, read social media posts about Holocaust denial, and then address the lies they’ve read while sharing their personal experiences under Nazi persecution. Every video ends with the tagline, “Words matter. Cancel hate.”

Starting on Thursday, the Claims Conference will post a video every day for 30 days on social media and on the organization’s website.

The month-long campaign aims to tackle the issue of Holocaust denial and distortion on social media, showing how these false narratives promote antisemitism and spread hate.

“Holocaust denial is cruel. When it is on social media it has the potential to spread misinformation even faster,” Holocaust survivor and #CancelHate campaign participant Abe Foxman told The Algemeiner.

“It is important that we all do what we can to combat denial and disinformation.”

Thirteen members of Foxman’s immediate family died in the Holocaust.

As part of the #CancelHate campaign, he read a post from social media in which the writer said in part:

“There were no gas chambers. Every single thing we know about World War II is a lie … I have the same goals as Hitler: exile the Jews and keep their degeneracy and corruption and lies out of society.”

Posts on social media that deny the Holocaust “are hateful and deny the suffering of millions of people,” said Foxman. “We must take our words seriously. Our words matter.”

“Campaigns like #CancelHate are incredibly important in the fight against Holocaust denial and distortion,” Greg Schneider, executive vice president of the Claims Conference, told The Algemeiner.

“We are seeing these hateful posts while we still have survivors here to tell their stories. Imagine when we don’t. These kinds of hurtful posts are an epidemic of hate online and we cannot let them go unanswered.”

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Announcing the campaign on Thursday, he said:

“We all saw what unchecked hatred led to — words of hate and antisemitism led to deportations, gas chambers, and crematoria. Holocaust survivors from around the world are participating in this campaign to show that hate will not win. Those who read these depraved posts are putting aside their own discomfort and trauma to ensure that current and future generations understand that unchecked hatred has no place in society.”

Herbert Rubinstein, a Holocaust survivor in Germany who read a denial post shared by a social media user in his home country, added:

“I lived through the Holocaust. Six million were murdered. Hate and Holocaust denial have returned to our society today. I am very, very, very sad about this and I am fighting it with all my might and strength. Words matter. Our words are our power.”

In January, Meta’s Oversight Board announced that it would not allow Holocaust denial content on its platforms, which include Facebook and Instagram.

It said the “prohibition is consistent with Meta’s human rights responsibilities” and that “it is important to understand Holocaust denial as an element of antisemitism, which is discriminatory in its consequences.”