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Jewish Daily forward: Facebook Now Home to New Kind of Holocaust Remembrance

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-19-10 07:33 PM
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Jewish Daily forward: Facebook Now Home to New Kind of Holocaust Remembrance

http://www.forward.com/articles/127268/

By Gal Beckerman
Published April 14, 2010, issue of April 23, 2010.

Anne Franks Facebook page looks much like any other teenage girls: The profile picture shows Anne leaning against a wall; her hair is tucked behind her ears, and she stares off sideways, daydreaming perhaps, a slight smirking smile lifting up the corner of her mouth.

The comments on her wall are typical, too. We share the same birthday! and, I hate this girl. A string of teenage commentary follows every one of the many photos that have been posted to the page. One, in which Anne is standing outside in shorts and a sunhat, elicits this remark: she had long legs! woah! model In response, a prepubescent boy named Ricky laments, she did have long legsi hate hitler.

Whether the fact that Anne Frank has a Facebook page (one set up for fans) strikes you as creepy and inappropriate or as completely normal and even charming will depend largely upon your age and the number of hours you spend on a laptop each day.

But the reality is that Holocaust memorialization is moving onto social-networking sites like Facebook and presenting new opportunities for remembering the victims and bringing a whole new set of complexities. One of the most popular and most disorienting forms that this new virtual commemoration is taking is the Facebook profile. Even the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is now involved with providing information to fill out the details of some of these profile pages.

The desire to personalize the identities of the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust is not new. What is novel is the combination of this desire with a platform that is premised on empowering anybody to project his or her individuality far and wide.

Theres no more successful example of this fusion than the Facebook profile page of Henio Zytomirski. A small boy who must be no more than 7 or 8 years old appears in a black-and-white photo in the box provided for a profile picture. He looks full of joyful young life. But Henio has been dead since 1942, killed in a gas chamber at the Majdanek concentration camp when he was 9. On March 25, which would have been his birthday, dozens of Facebook users wished him a happy birthday on his wall. As of April 12, he had 4,989 friends.

FULL story at link.

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