A global social media campaign to raise awareness about the Holocaust spread rapidly, reaching some 650 million people from 155 countries, or 1 out every 11 people in the world.
More than 650 million people from 155 countries, or 1 out every 11 people on earth, were reached in the 2018 #WeRemember campaign launched ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, according to data compiled in three independent evaluations.
Approximately 564 million people were reached via conventional media coverage including television, newspaper, and radio in 40 different languages, and another 90 million were reached via social and digital media and live events, according to the data compiled by independent evaluators Meltwater Media Intelligence, Critical Mention, and Cision.
More than 1.5 million people took active part in the social media initiative, including heads of state, celebrities, religious leaders, and citizens from countries around the world.
The World Jewish Congress (WJC), which led the campaign, on Thursday honored 13 Holocaust survivors at its offices in New York. These survivors played an integral role in the campaign, helping to preserve the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust and all those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis.
As this year’s initiative came to a close, WJC President Ronald Lauder said that “just over seven decades since the Nazis attempted to systematically exterminate the Jewish people, anti-Semitism and xenophobia are on the rise again.”
“As the numbers of survivors among us dwindles, it has become more critical than ever to teach the next generation to bear witness in their names to ensure that this horrific and dark moment in history is never repeated, anywhere in the world,” he stated.
He stressed that the end of the campaign is not “an end to the conversation about Holocaust memory, it is just the beginning.”
“This initiative reached farther and wider than we could possibility have imagined, growing from a campaign to an incredibly strong and important movement,” said WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer.
Millions of #WeRemember Photos
As part of the campaign, which ran through most of January, millions of people across the world photographed themselves holding #WeRemember signs, and posted the images to social media, to help spread the message as widely as possible.
Participants of note included First Lady Melania Trump, actresses Gal Gadot and Mayim Bialik, reality TV star Siggy Flicker, congressmen, academics, and leaders such as Pope Francis, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Justice Minister Heiko Maas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the Massachusetts State Legislature, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, and prominent football teams from Israel and Europe, including the entire Chelsea Football Club and its owner Roman Abramovich, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, as well as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
Additional participants included representatives of different religions including the head of the German Evangelical Church Bishop, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, and the head of the All India Imam Association, in addition to ambassadors from Peru, Chile, Australia, Hungary, India, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Malta, and Armenia, among other nations.
The CEOs of Volkswagon, Siemens, and BMW, three German companies that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, have also posted their photos and shared the message against anti-Semitism.
The campaign was launched in 50 countries and 24 languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, German, and others, and secured media coverage in 40 different languages.
#WeRemember was produced with the support of more than 70 partner organizations, including Chelsea FC, UNESCO and United with Israel.
#WeRemember culminated on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, with participant photos streamed live on a projection screen on the grounds of Auschwitz-Birkenau for three days.