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A 2018 survey found that 66% of Millennials didn’t know what Auschwitz was, and 41% vastly underestimated the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust. To address this knowledge gap and counteract hate speech on Instagram, a new project by an Israeli tech billionaire aims to educate social media users on the true impact of the Holocaust, and how it affected young people like them.
Israeli tech founder Mati Kochavi and his daughter Maya are behind the Instagram account @eva.stories, which tells the story of a Jewish family living in Hungary during World War II, from the perspective of a 13-year-old girl. The character of Eva is based on the diaries of Eva Heyman, a real Holocaust victim. Her tale is told in the way a modern 13-year-old would communicate, in a series of Instagram Stories that feature boomerangs, stickers, emojis and hashtags like #lifeduringwar.
Telling the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of a teenage girl makes it relatable and accessible for a generation who wouldn’t typically read books or watch documentaries on the subject. The project is an innovative approach to spreading an important educational message, and should be looked to for inspiration by charities and non-profits with similar goals, who may be struggling to achieve cut-through with young people. It’s also an impressive example of how content creators can use social media to tell a story, similar to Norwegian TV series Skam, which was told through a combination of online videos and social media posts.
The educational impact of the project is yet to be seen, but its reach can certainly be deemed a success. The @eva.stories account has accumulated 1.6 million followers and the trailer has been viewed 4.3 million times, thanks to promotion via Instagram Story ads, social media buzz, and wide-ranging press coverage.
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