Story of Holocaust Victim Aims at a New Generation

When Anne Frank’s diary was discovered in her family’s hiding place after World War II ended — and after the teenage girl had died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp — her story has taught the world about the Holocaust for generations. Now, The Times of Israel’s Isaac Scharf and Audrey Horowitz tell us, a new generation is being reached as the true story of another Jewish girl murdered by the Nazis is being told through today’s technology:

For seven decades, survivor testimony has been the centerpiece of Holocaust commemoration.

But with the world’s community of aging survivors rapidly shrinking and global understanding of the genocide that killed 6 million Jews declining, advocates of Holocaust remembrance are seeking new and creative ways to share witnesses’ stories with younger generations.

Much as Anne Frank’s diary gripped the older generations, an Instagram account based on a true 13-year-old Jewish victim’s journal, called Eva.Stories, is generating buzz among the young.

“If we want to bring the memory of the Holocaust to the young generation, we have to bring it to where they are,” said the project co-producer, Mati Kochavi, an Israeli high-tech billionaire who hails from a family of Holocaust victims, survivors and educators. “And they’re on Instagram.”

Kochavi and his daughter, Maya, have created a series of 70 Instagram stories that chronicle the downward spiral of Eva Heyman’s life in the fateful spring of 1944 when the Nazis conquered Hungary.

Heyman was one of approximately 430,000 Hungarian Jews who were deported to Nazi concentration camps between May 15 and July 9, 1944. Of the estimated 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, around 568,000 were Hungarian, according to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Heyman’s tale, produced as a Hollywood-style movie with a cast of foreign actors and multi-million dollar budget, will stream throughout Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins at sundown Wednesday. The installments appear as if Heyman had owned a smartphone during World War II and was using Instagram to broadcast her life updates…

Tags: History Holocaust Social Media Video

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