Tova Friedman, 85, was a child when she was taken to Auschwitz by the Nazis in 1944. Now, as a survivor, she’s educating millions on TikTok about the Holocaust with help from her 17-year-old grandson, Aron Goodman.
The pair started posting videos about her experiences in September 2021, and from there, “it really snowballed,” Friedman told The AP.
“And then we realized it was a fabulous medium for the Holocaust, for young people who don’t want to read the books, who don’t like the classes in school, who don’t like the way the teachers teach or whatever, who are bored with it, or some who never heard of it,” she told the outlet. “Here they are, listening.”
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Friedman’s account has nearly half a million followers and almost nine million likes as she discusses life before, during, and after the camps. One of her most watched videos discusses smoke and screams heard from the gas chambers.
@tovafriedman Reply to @blackmagic1507 Everyone had a number, but only Auschwitz tattooed them #shoah#education#number#fyp#foryou#jewt[email protected]#israel#poland#jew ♬ Stories 2 – Danilo Stankovic
Goodman, who is rarely shown in the videos but is the one filming her behind the camera, told The AP that some of the most watched videos are those that show her number (the mandatory tattoo given to prisoners by Nazis in concentration camps).
“People around the world can’t really get the chance to see a survivor, to see the history on their arm,” Goodman told the outlet. “So social media and TikTok is the way we kind of impart our message and show the evidence of the Holocaust that people unrightfully deny.”
In a video responding to one user asking how Friedman deals with those who deny the Holocaust, she says that in every society there will be people who are hateful and that unfortunately, “it’s part of human nature.” However, Friedman says it’s always best to “ignore them,” and if she were to be confronted with such a denier she would “pass by and not say a word to them.”
Related: My Grandmother Survived the Holocaust. Her Quiet, Gentle Strength Inspired My Entrepreneurial Journey.
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