Memoria [EN] Nr 35 (08/2020) - Page 25

Zdjęcia w artykule: Andrzej Rudiak

StElimelekh i Tamar Landau. Fot. Yad Vashem

pandemic in a Skype conference call, connecting us in Israel, Poland and Germany. Whereas this digitally afforded opportunity was welcome, the conversation addressed more intricate issues with regard to broader social media communication and technologies such as 3-D testimonies: What is possible? What is ethical? (How) can digital technology do justice to remembrance of the Holocaust? How does Naor as a survivor view digital methods of remembrance? And how to get through to today’s adolescents and young adults who, according to studies on Germany and other countries, frequently have enormous knowledge gaps regarding the Holocaust?

Speaking about social media, the panellists impart that the answers do not lie in a categorical decision between embracing and dismissing Twitter, Instagram and others. To them, the crux is how to make use of these communication systems, their features and languages while navigating the concomitant dangers.

Sawicki, who is in charge of the social media channels for the Auschwitz Memorial, argues that social media have become such a vital part of the world that memory work cannot ignore them: “We should be aware of limitations, vulnerabilities and challenges, yet if someone searches for information from the Auschwitz Memorial, we should be there.” On these platforms, respect and reflection manifest themselves differently from analogue approaches to the Holocaust but must be translated and read accordingly, says Sawicki. On the social media channels he oversees, a “like” represents a public affirmation of remembrance. When asked about hashtags such as #Holocaust, Hüttl postulates that “meaning depends on use.” Whether or not the hashtag is appropriate would be subject to the content of the tagged post.

Sawicki and Hüttl agree that in the case of abuse of hashtags like #Holocaust and #Auschwitz, you cannot leave the interpretation to anti-Semites. On the contrary, you should continue to connect these hashtags to the contexts of raising awareness, distributing knowledge and encouraging remembrance. Naor, who survived a ghetto, different concentration camps and two death marches, expresses a clear opinion on the subject: “As for anti-Semitism, I have to say it’s not my problem at all, it’s the anti-Semites’ problem. They still have to look at us. They have to live with this hatred.” His and Fuchs’s focus is on involving young people. Fuchs, who has been part of a permanent school project on remembrance, asserts that social media can be highly valuable for engaging youth.