Social media influencer uses her online platforms to educate millions on Holocaust

Singer-songwriter and actress Montana Tucker is tapping into the power of social media to teach the next generation about the Holocaust.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

An American social media activist and influencer with over 12 million followers on her combined social media platforms said she is inspired by her maternal grandparents who are Holocaust survivors to use her online presence to teach the younger generation about antisemitism and all forms of hatred, she told The Algemeiner.

Montana Tucker — an award-winning singer-songwriter, actress and former professional backup dancer who describes herself as a “proud Jewish woman” — recently shared on social media her visit to the White House to speak with Jewish Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff about combating hate and bias, and how their respective trips to the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland changed their lives.

The 30-year-old also created a video series last year for TikTok, which went viral, about her trip to Auschwitz and now visits schools to talk to students about Holocaust education.

“I find that a lot of times on social media, when people are passionate about something, they start attacking the other side, and that’s just continuing to fuel the fire,” she said. “It’s really important to say you’re educating, these are the facts, this is what’s going on, versus attacking the other side. We did the [Holocaust] series and it’s definitely not stopping there.”

Tucker used to post mostly dance videos on her popular TikTok page until she visited the former Auschwitz concentration camp in late 2022 to chronicle her grandparents’ experiences during the Holocaust and share their story with her social media followers, in order to educate them about the Nazi atrocities of World War II.

Tucker’s grandfather, who died three years and a half years ago at the age of 97, survived a Nazi labor camp and her grandmother, who survived Auschwitz, is 94 but has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years.

“Their goal was always to educate, educate, educate,” Tucker said about her grandparents. “It wasn’t until my Zaidy passed away and I rewatched their testimonials … that we decided ‘OK, we’re going to go to Poland and to Auschwitz … and I have millions of followers. The potential of people actually learning and seeing this series is pretty high. If we can make a difference, why not use my platform for that?

“We really wanted to make sure we were getting to the younger generation because there is so much Holocaust denial and kids are just generally not learning about it. We said, if we can be that education – let’s do it.”

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Tucker recorded her trip and has over 100 hours of footage from the visit to Auschwitz.

She posted some of the footage as a 10-part video series on TikTok, entitled “How To: Never Forget,” and told said that the short videos were made solely for social media and catered to the “social media generation,” who are used to scrolling quickly on various social media channels and watching quick, short videos.

Her Holocaust series has since been viewed by millions and was repackaged and combined as one, short documentary that is now also available on YouTube. Also because of the series and her continuing efforts to combat hatred, she will be honored by the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation at its upcoming gala in June.

Tucker added that she was nervous at first to post her video series on TikTok. “It was risk to take over my social media for 10 days and not post anything for 10 days and solely post something that is a heavy serious matter,” she noted, explaining that in the past when she posted a photo with her grandmother, she had thousands of people unfollow her and send her hateful messages.

But overall the response for her Holocaust series has been positive, she added.

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“A lot of people didn’t know I was Jewish, so [they] were really shocked and thankful,” Tucker said. “A new pride has been instilled in the community. I was getting messages from people saying ‘I was really ashamed to be Jewish and now seeing you come out and seeing you post this, I’m proud.’ And from the non-Jewish community, people being like ‘I just genuinely didn’t know this. Thank you for sharing.’”

Tucker hopes to make a second part of the Holocaust video series and continue using her platform to address the rise in antisemitism. She also encourages everyone to visit Auschwitz, calling the trip “the hardest thing but the most important thing anyone can ever do. If anyone has the opportunity to go – please go. It changes you forever.”