Auschwitz online: raising Holocaust awareness in the digital age

Published April 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Agence France-Presse

Every day, Pawel Sawicki, head of social media at the Auschwitz Museum, posts several photos of victims of the former Nazi German death camp on a Twitter account that has become a powerful tool in Holocaust education.

For the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz, Twitter has become a powerful tool in Holocaust education (AFP / JANEK SKARZYNSKI / MANILA BULLETIN)

A recent post to the account, which has a million followers, featured a photo of a baby girl in a knitted woollen dress, adorned with a large white collar.

“8 April 1940 | French Jewish girl Jacqueline Benguigui was born in #Paris. She arrived at #Auschwitz on 25 June 1943 in a transport of 1,018 Jews deported from Drancy. She was among 418 people murdered in a gas chamber after the selection,” reads the caption.

Fate of individuals

“We show people on their birthday and provide biographical information,” Sawicki told AFP.

“It’s important for us to show the fates of individuals because it is sometimes difficult to fathom the scale of the crime.”

This year marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Nazi Germany’s most notorious twin death camp where over 1.1 million people, mostly European Jews, were killed.

Created by the Germans in the southern town of Oswiecim in 1940, in what was then occupied Poland, it has come to symbolise the murder of six million European Jews in the Holocaust.

Using social media, the museum hopes to teach a wider audience about the horrors of the genocide, especially as there are ever fewer survivors able to offer testimony.

“People are very touched by the photos of the victims, often they send us photos of their loved ones who died in the camp and ask us to publish them, which we do,” said Sawicki.