July 24, 2024
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World Jewish Restitution Organization Launches Social Media Campaign

Last week, to coincide with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) launched the third annual social media campaign, #MyPropertyStory: Speak About Justice, to shine a light on the unprecedented theft of property from Jewish people and communities during the Shoah and its aftermath. The five-week campaign began on Thursday, January 27 and will run through Sunday, February 27.

Over the last two years, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world engaged in the #MyPropertyStory campaign. People participated through social media in response to stories of lives that were forever changed by the Holocaust and their homes, land, businesses, and personal possessions that were powerful links to their pasts.

This year, 77 years after the Holocaust, the campaign will focus on youth speaking about justice. Their stories will be powerful additions to the campaign, which is expanding to TikTok and other social media platforms.

“The #MyPropertyStory social media campaign has been extremely successfully across generations of Holocaust survivors and their families, and it is important that we continue to reach out to younger generations. This year’s campaign will focus on youth speaking about justice for property wrongfully seized by the Nazis and their allies during the Holocaust and its aftermath. It will serve as a powerful reminder that even 77 years after the Holocaust, survivors and their families continue to await justice for the largest theft in history,” said Gideon Taylor, chair of operations, WJRO.

“#MyPropertyStory is an important social media campaign directed toward youth to elevate the issue of Holocaust era property restitution and shine a light on the stories of Holocaust victims who have lost so much. For Holocaust survivors, restitution or compensation for property is about justice and fairness. It is an acknowledgement of the destruction of their families and an opportunity to restore and reconnect with at least a small part of a life and culture that was so wrongfully taken from them. These stories will help ensure that the histories of survivors will not be distorted so that other generations can learn the truth and that justice may be attained,” said Mark Weitzman, chief operating officer, WJRO.

WJRO is asking people to engage with our #MyPropertyStory: SpeakAboutJustice campaign on TikTok. The organization is also asking participants to post their own stories, photos, and videos on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram and include the #MyPropertyStory and tag @WJRORestitution. People can also go to http://www.wjro.org.il/mps for easy access to one-click sharing of WJRO’s moving videos, stories and photos on social media in English and Hebrew. There is also a general email address for any questions at [email protected].

During the Holocaust, the Nazis, their allies and collaborators systematically robbed millions of Jews and Jewish communities throughout Europe of their every possession, including their homes, businesses, synagogues, artworks, Judaica and other personal belongings. Each item represented a cherished memory, a loved one, a childhood cut short, a lifetime of labor—generations of history—people’s lives that were taken. The #MyPropertyStory: Speak About Justice social media campaign will help raise awareness about the issue of Holocaust era property restitution and ongoing efforts to secure a measure of justice for survivors and their families.

The #MyPropertyStory: Speak About Justice videos feature:

Dr. Tova Friedman, one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz along with her daughter Taya Goodman, and her grandson, Aron Goodman from New Jersey—who share their own story of what has connected them to their family history. This video (and all additional campaign videos) can be reposted by anyone through this link.

@Holocausteducation, with three videos about Holocaust property restitution by a Holocaust historian who aims to bring Holocaust education to people’s everyday lives.

The story of the Romanian twin Mozes sisters—returning home from Auschwitz/Birkenau and building new lives.

The Woman in Gold and the untold story.

The Nazis Looted and Stole—why it is important to know the truth.

@thetrueadventures: 86-year-old Gidon Lev from Israel—co-author of “The True Adventures of Gidon Lev,” which describes not only his experience of surviving four years in the Theresienstadt concentration camp but also his long, fulfilling, adventurous life afterward—shares a video about everything that was stolen from him and his family.

Ido Even Haim, a youth from Israel—who shares videos in Hebrew about stories of survivors and why we must continue to seek justice for survivors and their families before it’s too late.

For more information about the #MyPropertyStory campaign, please visit: www.wjro.org.il/mypropertystory

By Lisa Sherman-Cohen

 

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