Holocaust survivors around the world, inspired by 84-years-old Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, on Wednesday launched the #NoDenyingIt Campaign against billionaire Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, demanding that he remove Holocaust denial content from his entire social media network.
The Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany released a media alert on Wednesday, titled (in all-caps): Mark Zuckerberg, there’s no denying it! – Holocaust survivors from around the globe make personal appeals to Facebook CEO: remove Holocaust denial posts.
The Claims Conference press release reported the launching of an online campaign to ensure the voices of Holocaust survivors are heard by Zuckerberg. In the first-ever digital campaign driven by Holocaust survivors, the message to Zuckerberg is clear, says the media alert: “Holocaust denial posts on Facebook are hate speech and must be removed!”
As one survivor put it, “They are calling us liars. We aren’t liars. We are witnesses.”
Beginning Wednesday, July 29, each day – every day – a recorded message from this final generation of Holocaust survivors to Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg will be posted on Facebook, Instagram (owned by Facebook) and other social media platforms such as Twitter.
While there have been many calls and efforts to try to remove hate speech from Facebook, Holocaust denial has not been removed. Back in 2018, the Claims Conference was outraged by Mark Zuckerberg’s comments to the tech website Recode, suggesting Holocaust denial posts should not be removed. He argued that Holocaust deniers did not get their facts wrong “intentionally,” and were not calling violence against Jews. He later said that even though he found “Holocaust denial deeply offensive,” nevertheless “the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech.”
In other words, while shaming a classmate violates Facebook’s community standards—as it well should, accusing Jews of making up the testimonies of their suffering at the hands of the Nazis does not.
Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister, responded: “In Germany or in Austria people go to prison if they deny the Holocaust because they know it’s a lie, it’s libel.”
“How can somebody really doubt it? Where are the 6 million people? There are tens of thousands of photos taken by the Nazis themselves. They were proud of what they were doing. They don’t deny it, they know they did it,” Schloss said.
These Holocaust survivors from around the world have recorded thirty-second messages to Mark Zuckerberg. They include many notable survivors such as famed Nazi hunter Serge Klarsfeld, Roman Kent (Auschwitz survivor, head of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors), and Kristallnacht survivor Charlotte Knobloch.
Here are a few samples of what Facebook Boy can expect starting this week:
Eva Schloss, lives in the UK: “I was born in Vienna and had to flee from the Nazis. I ended up in Holland where I was arrested with my whole family and sent to Auschwitz death camp. There, only my mother and I survived. I lost all my family. Many, many family members. There is no denying it! Remove Holocaust denial from Facebook.”
Roman Kent, lives in the US: “Most of my family was murdered, as well as many of my friends…You must know that Holocaust denial is nothing short of hate dialogue. There is no denying it.”
Eva Diamant Szepesi, lives in Germany: “I was deported from Hungary to Auschwitz in 1944 when I was 12 years old. My mother, my father and my little brother Thomas were murdered by the Nazis…This is my story, there is no denying it.”
And, as promised, these testimonies will keep on rolling, every day, as long as there are Jewish Holocaust survivors alive, and as long as Mark Zuckerberg continues to make money on hosting the Holocaust denial industry.
Facebook said in a statement that it takes down Holocaust denial posts in countries where it is illegal, like Germany, France and Poland. Elsewhere they don’t. “We take down any post that celebrates, defends, or attempts to justify the Holocaust,” Facebook told the AP. “The same goes for any content that mocks Holocaust victims, accuses victims of lying about the atrocities, spews hate, or advocates for violence against Jewish people in any way. Posts and articles that deny the Holocaust often violate one or more of these standards and are removed from Facebook.”