By Leah Waxler
World Jewish Congress launched its annual #WeRemember campaign this week.
The campaign, lasting until January 27 in advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, takes in 50 countries to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred, genocide and xenophobia.
Taking in 20 languages, the initiative concludes on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945.
Now in its third year, participants are encouraged to photograph themselves holding a #WeRemember sign on social media to spread a message that never again means never again.
Participant photos, Holocaust survivor interviews and messages from influencers will be projected on the walls of Auschwitz-Birkenau and streamed live January 24-27.
Over 650 million people worldwide were reached last year.
Social media companies, including Twitter and Snapchat, are supporting the campaign.
UNESCO has joined as an integral partner, after launching a joint website on Holocaust education.
Roberta Grossman and Nancy Spielberg, filmmakers of Who Will Write Our History are also supporting the project during a global event screening in over 200 venues.
“With levels of antisemitism, xenophobia and Holocaust-denial rampant and rising across the world, it is imperative that the memory of the Holocaust be shared more widely than ever, to ensure that the atrocities we witnessed just seven decades ago never repeat themselves,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.
“A concerning report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights last month found that nine out of 10 European Jews said they believed anti-Semitism was getting worse, and a shocking CNN poll released shortly before that found that more than one-third of Europeans know little to nothing about the Holocaust.
“With fewer survivors among us, it is the responsibility of the next generation to keep their stories and memories alive. Together, we must remember the past to protect our future for generations to come.”
The campaign launches with Holocaust survivors sharing stories with younger generations.
Participants also include reformed neo-Nazis, sports teams and people of all religions and backgrounds.
“Education is the key to combatting the spread of antisemitism and hatred, and given today’s digital sphere of influence, social media is the best tool to reach the masses,” added Lauder added.
“Since the initiative began it has become a grassroots movement of wide impact.
We urge everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, to participate and help further spread awareness.”
Previous campaign participants include Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Pope Francis, First Lady Melania Trump, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov, Holocaust survivors and supporters fighting antisemitism.