AUJS remembering 6 million

THE Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) has launched an innovative social media campaign designed to help people conceptualise the number of Jewish people who perished in the Holocaust.

Entitled 6 Million Friends, the project provides a fresh perspective on the sheer magnitude of the Shoah as it counts real people through networks and connections.

When users sign up, the project adds their Facebook friends to an anonymous running total. The site shows a live summary of the number of people who have joined, how many friends they have collectively and the percentage of the six million these collective friends make up.

AUJS campaigns coordinator Rosa Zwier noted that in the context of rising anti-Semitism across the world, and the ageing of Holocaust survivors, AUJS recognises its duty to preserve the memory of the Jewish people’s traumatic history. “We wanted to create a visual representation of the number of Jewish people who were murdered by the Nazi regime in a way that relates to our lives and the people we care about,” Zwier said.

The campaign was launched last week, and within 24 hours, more than 200 people had joined, adding in excess of 90,000 people to the running total, a mere 1.5 per cent of the six million who died. At the time The AJN was going to press, approximately 350 people had joined, amassing more than 140,000 collective friends.

This campaign follows AUJS’ BYEstander campaign; a social experiment conducted earlier this year testing how students responded to racial harassment on campuses.

AUJS has also recently led groups of university student leaders and campus union representatives on visits to the Jewish Holocaust centres in Melbourne and Sydney.

AUJS chairperson Nicola Kobilski said AUJS feels the “strong and urgent need” to educate the future leaders of all faiths on this tragedy. “The memory of the Holocaust must remain a fabric of Australian society so that we can address racial discrimination as it arises,” she said.

For more information, visit www.6millionfriends.com.

PHOEBE ROTH 

AUJS’ 6 Million Friends campaign.