Social Media Campaign To Raise Holocaust Awareness Through Euro 2012

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A group of technical-savvy Israeli students have set up a social media campaign based on the in-progress Euro 2012 football championship in Poland and the Ukraine to raise awareness of the Holocaust.

Inspired by the host cities, the students from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya have established a multi-forum campaign, through a website, smartphone applications, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram  accounts, to convey the histories of the Jewish communities that perished there during WWII.
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Following in the footsteps of the efforts of individual national football teams, many of whom visited Auschwitz concentration camp in the lead-up to the tournament, the founders of the initiative say it is designed purely as an educational tool to use the lessons of history to “guide you to be better people in the future”.
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Law student and campaign devisor Omri Ariav is frank about the somewhat exploitative nature of the campaign, admitting “we’re basically riding Euro 2012″. Whilst he has no qualms that the high-profile nature of the tournament bringing his project much-need publicity, he insisted his aim is not destroy the atmosphere of the four-yearly event, rather to highlight the unique position participants enjoy as free men and the platform they have to promote tolerance and liberality.
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National teams to have conducted high-profile visits to Auschwitz include England, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. England’s visit, which followed a team address by two Holocaust survivors last month, was being planned by the English Football Association (FA) in conjunction with the Holocaust Education Trust (HET), who will then produce a DVD of the visit featuring players’ thoughts on “why combating prejudice today matters to them”.
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The campaign’s graphics echo the official advertising campaign of Euro 2012. The welcome page of Euro 1945 displays a map in which each EUFA 2012 hosting city and stadium is marked with a Jewish tombstone. A click on the icon produces a summary about the Jewish community that existed there before the Holocaust.

The Instagram account is updated daily with photos from before and during the Holocaust. The text offers historical soccer-related anecdotes such as the Kiev Death Match in August 1942 at Zenit Stadium, in which a team of German soldiers lost to local players. The Germans sent the victorious squad to a concentration camp.

On Poznan, the text notes that the first Jewish labor camp in the area was set up at its municipal stadium.

“We decided this world event must also help commemorate the victims,” Ariav said. “Maybe it’s Israeli chutzpah, but I don’t think we’re raining on anyone’s parade.

(via JTA and JC)

 

 

 

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