Monday, April 26, 2010

Remembering the Holocaust with Today's Technology

Most people will agree that the Holocaust was a tragedy that still needs to be remembered.  Those lost should not be forgotten, and we should look to the events of the past to ensure they are not repeated in the future.  We obviously find this to be very important as we move forward in creating the Kristallnacht memorial wall.  How these events are remembered, though, can be an interesting issue.  The Baltimore Jewish Times recently had an article about the way some people are using Facebook as a way to memorialize those who lost their lives in the Holocaust:

But the reality is that Holocaust memorialization is moving onto social-networking sites like Facebook and presenting new opportunities for remembering the victims —- and bringing a whole new set of complexities. One of the most popular and disorienting forms that this new virtual commemoration is taking is the Facebook profile. Even the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is now involved with providing information to fill out the details of some of these profile pages.
The desire to personalize the identities of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust is not new. What is novel is the combination of this desire with a platform that is premised on empowering anybody to project his or her individuality far and wide.
There’s no more successful example of this fusion than the Facebook profile page of Henio Zytomirski. A small boy who must be no more than 7 or 8 years old appears in a black-and-white photo in the box provided for a profile picture. He looks full of joyful young life. But Henio has been dead since 1942, killed in a gas chamber at the Majdanek concentration camp when he was 9. On March 25, which would have been his birthday, dozens of Facebook users wished him a happy birthday on his “wall.” As of April 12, he had 4,989 “friends.”

It's a very interesting article that brings up some unique viewpoints.  You can read the rest of the article here.

What do you think?  Is this type of memorial tacky, or is it ingenious?  Is it a good way to engage today's generation or not?

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