Coming to terms with 6,000,000

July 21, 2014 by  
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The Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) has launched ‘6 Million Friends’, an innovative social media campaign designed to help people conceptualise the number of Jewish people who died in the Holocaust.


The unique project provides a fresh perspective on the sheer magnitude of the Holocaust 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 comprise.


“6 Million Friends is a community dedicated to providing the world with a better understanding of the enormity and horror of the Holocaust,” AUJS campaigns coordinator Rosa Zwier said.

In the context of rising antisemitism 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.

In less than 24 hours, more than 200 people have added their friends, adding over 90,000 people to the running total, a mere 1.5% of the six million who died.

6 Million Friends is the second initiative that AUJS has launched this year to expose genocide against the Jewish people, and try to ensure that systematic and targeted murder is never again accepted. It follows AUJS’ BYEstander campaign; ( a social experiment conducted in semester one testing how students responsed to racial harassment on campuses across Australia.

“As third and later generation descendants of survivors, AUJS feels the strong and urgent need to educate the future leaders of all faiths on this tragedy,” AUJS chairperson Nicola Kobilski said.

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.

“The memory of the Holocaust must remain a fabric of Australian society so that we can address racial discrimination as it arises,” Kobilski said.
JCA Gittel, Berta and Nissan Wilkenfeld Fund generously supported AUJS’ Holocaust awareness initiatives.

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