Photo Credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of James Blevins
Young Heinrich Himmler gives the Nazi salute as he marches in the first Nazi Reichsparteitag (Reich Party Day) rally in Nuremberg (1927).

Eric Ebenstein, Director of Public Policy at TikTok, and Elizabeth Kanter, the social network’s Director of Government Relations, on Thursday announced their plan to help “our community access authoritative information on the Holocaust.”

Noting that “communities around the world today mark Holocaust Remembrance Day by commemorating the victims of the Holocaust and the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945,” Ebenstein and Kanter said “the day calls on each of us to reflect on the Holocaust and other genocides, and to educate ourselves to help prevent future atrocities.”


“Education is one of the most powerful ways to counter hate,” they said, “So to mark this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, and building on our continued work, we’re partnering with the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and UNESCO to provide our global community with easy access to educational resources all year round so they can learn more about the Holocaust, the Jewish community and antisemitism.”

To that end, they continued, “Starting today, if people search for a term related to the Holocaust – such as ‘Holocaust victims’ or ‘Holocaust survivor’ – they will see a banner at the top of the search results page that prompts them to visit to learn more. For community members who search for terms related to the Holocaust that violate our Community Guidelines, we’ll continue to block search results and additionally display this banner to direct them to the WJC and UNESCO educational resources.”

I checked out this morning to discover summaries directed at young people with a short attention span on What was the Holocaust? The Holocaust was the attempt by Nazi Germany and its collaborators to murder the Jews of Europe (there are two more paragraphs).

What was the Nazi Party? The National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) was an extreme right-wing German political party founded in 1920 after Germany’s defeat in World War I. It was led by Adolf Hitler from 1921 to 1945 (3 more paragraphs).

Who perpetrated the Holocaust? The Holocaust was conceived of, planned, and directed by the Nazi-German regime led by Adolf Hitler. It was implemented in large part by officers of the SS (Schutzstaffel; literally, Protection Squadrons), a Nazi paramilitary organization which came to administer and control large parts of the German state and the territories conquered by the Nazis. It would not have been possible to murder as many Jews as they did, however, without collaborators and accomplices from across Nazi-occupied Europe (1 more paragraph).

Who was Adolf Hitler? Adolf Hitler was the leader (Führer), or unchallenged dictator, of Germany from 1933, when he came to power, until April 30, 1945, when he committed suicide in his bunker in Berlin (2 more).

What were Ghettos? Ghettos were districts of towns and cities in German-occupied eastern Europe in which Jews were forced to live segregated from the wider population. The vast majority of ghettos were located in German-occupied Poland and territories belonging to the Soviet Union before the German invasion of 1941. The first ghetto was established in the town of Piotrków Trybunalski in 1939 after the German invasion. The last ghetto to be liquidated was that of Lodz/Litzmannstadt in August-September 1944 (2 more).

Did all Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe live in ghettos? Not all Jews were forced to live in ghettos during the Holocaust. Most ghettos were established in Nazi-occupied Central and Eastern Europe. Some Jews escaped from the ghettos and lived in hiding, or used their “Aryan” appearance to live on false papers in the wider population. Others were hidden in religious institutions, schools, or elsewhere. Finally, some Jews survived in the forests of eastern Europe as partisans (3 more).

What was the SS? The SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons) was originally a paramilitary organization that provided security to the Nazi Party (2 more).

Who was Heinrich Himmler? As Reichsführer (National Leader) of the SS, Heinrich Himmler was by the end of World War II the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany. He was responsible for conceiving and directing the implementation of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”. The German secret police, security police, and criminal police all reported to him through his chief lieutenants Reinhard Heydrich and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. He also oversaw and controlled the vast Nazi concentration camp system, including the economic exploitation of prisoner labor as a means of extermination (2 more).

How did the Germans know who was Jewish? German officials identified Jews residing in Germany through the normal records created by a modern state. They used census records, tax returns, synagogue membership lists, parish records (for converted Jews), routine but mandatory police registration forms, the questioning of relatives, and from information provided by neighbors and municipal officials (1 more).

What were the Nuremberg Laws? The Nuremberg Laws is the name given to two laws enacted in Nazi Germany in September of 1935, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor and the Reich Citizenship Law ( 3 more).

Why were Jews targeted for persecution and annihilation? Hitler and the Nazis were rabid anti-Semites who falsely claimed that German Jews had betrayed Germany during World War I and were responsible for its defeat. The Nazi ideology was also based on a racist ideology whose goal was the elimination of Jews and other undesirable groups from German society. The Nazis also held Jews responsible for Germany’s economic misery during the depression of the late 1920s and early 1930s (3 more).

All in all, I must say that the website offers excellent, accurate information to individuals who know very little about the events of 1933-45. The text is impartial, unemotional, and well-written – with nothing but well-established facts. If you receive your information about the world from TikTok – you could do worse than using this resource.


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