Eva.Stories takes you back to 1940s Hungary through Instagram stories, selfies, and hashtags that depict the Holocaust in a modern way.
Eva.Stories is an Instagram account that brings history to social media by imagining what it would have been like to have had internet and a smartphone during the Holocaust. The account makes use of Instagram stories (rather than old-fashioned snapshots) that transport us to the 1940s Eastern European experience of a young Jewish girl in Hungary. The main character, Eva, is a girl-next-door kind of protagonist whose story we know through her diary (this rings a bell for obvious reasons, but I think it’s safe to say Anne Frank was not the only person keeping a diary at the time).
In case you are one of the young people who have never heard of the Holocaust, we are talking about a genocide that took place during the Nazi regime. Between 1941 and 1945, six million European Jews were rounded up and murdered. Nazi Germany also persecuted Slavs, Romani, political dissenters, communists, and members of the LGBT community, but the group most targeted for ethnic and religious reasons were the Jews.
The process was gradual: from boycotting Jewish businesses, to forcing them to live in crowded, underdeveloped areas of each city, to deporting the Jewish population in Nazi-occupied countries and sending them off to concentration camps around Germany and Poland, all of the what we now call "the Holocaust" culminated in what is known as the "Final Solution," where millions of Jews were murdered systematically upon arrival. Those who could work were spared, but the conditions inside the camps were so harsh, many of them perished quickly. In 1945, following the gradual retreat of German troops, these camps were liberated and the news of the Nazis' crimes became known to the world.
Eva.Stories features a young actress filming herself, as you do, in a recreation of 1940s Hungary. She often talks about her hopes and dreams and uses hashtags to express her feelings. For this reason, the account has opened up a debate about the best and most sensitive way to portray the Holocaust and whether or not using something as seemingly trivial as social media and hashtags trivializes such a dark subject matter.
He may be right. However tasteful or distasteful you might find this account, you have to recognize it has called attention, not only to the historic moment, but also to the means to talk about it, and the tone to talk to young people about it.
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