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‘Witness to the Truth’ Campaign Seeks Reversal of Policy Providing Platform for Holocaust Deniers

The Wiesenthal Center is urging Holocaust survivors and their families to join the Witness to the Truth campaign by emailing their family's name and brief details, if possible to witnesstothetruth@wiesenthal.net - to add to the existing roster of names.

 

Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center have launched a plea to FACEBOOK to deny access to their powerful social networking platform to anyone promoting denial of history’s most document crime. A recent letter from survivors of death camps and ghettos read in part;

We, the undersigned, are Holocaust Survivors who saw our parents, children and loved ones brutally murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust. We are writing to you to protest Facebook’s policy that categorizes Holocaust denial as “free speech,” rather than the shameless, cynical and hateful propaganda that it is.

Listen to the voices of Holocaust Survivors. We volunteer and speak at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and the Museum of Tolerance (MOT), where we have shared our personal testimonies with millions of visitors and youth. As individuals who are both victims of and witnesses to the truth of the horrors and hate of that time period, we are deeply hurt and offended by your policy that protects Holocaust denial as speech. Above all else, Holocaust denial, in any form, is a desecration of our suffering the suffering and martyrdom of our murdered parents, brothers and sisters.

Do not permit Holocaust denial any platform on Facebook to preach its inherentmessage of lies and hate. By allowing this hate propaganda on Facebook, you are exposing the public and, in particular, youth to the anti-Semitism which fueled the Holocaust. Please correct this terrible error in judgment before our generation passes away… (To read letter click here)

In an initial response, a Vice-President of Facebook offered to “keep the dialogue open” on the matter but re-stated his company’s position:”… we also think it's important to maintain consistency in our policies, which don't generally prohibit people from making statements about historical events, no matter how ignorant the statement or how awful the event.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an expert on Digital Hate and Terrorism, who often briefs online companies like Facebook, Google and Yahoo on such issues criticized Facebook’s stance, “I cannot however emphasize enough how wrong Facebook's policy on Holocaust Denial is. A review of denial sites currently active on Facebook confirm that it is not mere speech but that it constitutes at its core a platform for bigotry and hatred of Jews, dead and alive. That is how notorious Holocaust deniers, and anti-Semites continue to Facebook’s social networking service in multiple languages.

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“We will continue to urge Facebook officials to reflect on the pain and suffering their policy is causing victims of the Shoah. For these aging heroes, every posting by deniers labels them, not victims of history's greatest crime, but liars and thieves,” Cooper said.

The Wiesenthal Center is urging Holocaust survivors and their families to join the Witness to the Truth campaign by emailing their family's name and brief details, if possible to witnesstothetruth@wiesenthal.net - to add to the existing roster of names.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.