The Media's Role In Combating Holocaust Denial

·4 min read

The Media's Role In Combating Holocaust Denial

The Media's Role In Combating Holocaust Denial

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2021

An Online Event Focusing on Combating Holocaust Denial, Misinformation and Antisemitism

NEW YORK, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), in partnership with The Paley Center for Media, announces an online event -- PaleyImpact: The Media's Role in Combating Holocaust Denial, Misinformation and Antisemitism -- in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which was designated by the United Nations to commemorate the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

The event, moderated by Emmy award-winning journalist, Paula Zahn, will feature Monika Bickert, Facebook Vice President of Content Policy; Martin Fletcher, Emmy award-winning journalist; Eva Schloss, Holocaust survivor; Sara J. Bloomfield, Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Greg Schneider, Executive Vice President, Claims Conference.

Now more than ever, there is an unprecedented volume of content coming from cable news channels, websites, blogs, talk radio and social media. The public is bombarded with information that at times can be inaccurate at best and dangerous at worst. One of the topics that leads the pack in terms of disinformation, distortion and denial is the Holocaust.

The recent release by the Claims Conference of the U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey, the first-ever 50-state survey on Holocaust knowledge among Millennials and Gen Z, highlights a worrying lack of basic Holocaust knowledge, a growing problem as fewer and fewer Holocaust survivors – eyewitnesses to a state-sponsored genocide – are alive to share the lessons of the Holocaust and speak the truth. The Claims Conference survey, released in September, found that 49% of Millennials could not name a single camp or ghetto – not even Auschwitz, which was liberated 76 years ago today.

"Holocaust education is more important than ever in our current media environment. From the pandemic and divisive politics to the economic downturn, there's a perfect storm, as we've seen throughout history, for Holocaust distortion and antisemitism to flourish," said Claims Conference Executive Vice President, Greg Schneider. "It is critical that the media accurately depict the Holocaust in coverage, whether that be digital, broadcast or in print."

Eva Schloss, a Holocaust survivor who is participating in the event, was born in Austria and was a stepsister to Anne Frank stated, "I survived living in hiding, imprisonment in Auschwitz and the murder of most of my family, yet people still want to deny the Holocaust. For survivors who lost everything -- families, homes, entire communities – this lie is the greatest insult. We need the media, now more than ever, to be aware of denial and call it out. We cannot allow hateful lies to corrupt the truth. Denial retraumatizes those like me who were lucky enough to survive."

"The media plays a crucial role in educating the public about the Holocaust and combating misinformation that spreads antisemitism and Holocaust denial," said Maureen J. Reidy, the Paley Center's President & CEO. "The Paley Center, through its PaleyImpact series, is proud to convene these influential and respected leaders to shine a light on this most important topic in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day."

In addition, as the nation's lawmakers debate how to protect free speech, while also combating hate speech on social media platforms, Facebook's Monika Bickert will offer insight as to what the social media platform is doing and how it has evolved to tackle this growing global challenge.

"The Paley Center for Media offers a unique platform to discuss the intersection of media and society. I'm excited to be a part of such an important conversation at a time when it is so desperately needed," said Monika Bickert, Vice President of Content Policy and PaleyImpact panelist. "This is slated to be a powerful and pertinent discussion, and I am excited to share the stage with such a distinguished panel to delve into how we can help raise the voices of those speaking truth to power and better inform the world."

The event is part of the Paley Center's respected PaleyImpact program series and will premiere on the Paley Center's dedicated channel on Verizon Media's Yahoo Entertainment on Wednesday, January 27, 9:00 am ET/6:00 am PT.

About the Claims Conference: The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), a nonprofit organization with offices in New York, Tel Aviv and Frankfurt, secures material compensation for Holocaust survivors around the world. Founded in 1951 by representatives of 23 major international Jewish organizations, the Claims Conference negotiates for and disburses funds to individuals and organizations and seeks the return of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust. As a result of negotiations with the Claims Conference since 1952, the German government has paid more than $80 billion in indemnification to individuals for suffering and losses resulting from persecution by the Nazis. In 2020, the Claims Conference distributed approximately $350 million in direct compensation to over 60,000 survivors in 83 countries and allocated approximately $610 million in grants to over 300 social service agencies worldwide that provide vital services for Holocaust survivors, such as homecare, food and medicine.


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