Israeli activists on Wednesday launched a Holocaust education project in an instantaneous response to comments by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons.
Yoram Dori, former spokesman for the International March of the Living and a senior adviser to late president Shimon Peres, announced the launch of the “6 Million Brothers- The 3rd Generation” project, which calls on students and youngsters across the globe to write songs describing the emotions they feel while visiting Nazi death camps in Poland.
The initiative is inspired by fallen IDF soldier Yair Engel, who wrote a song called “Six Million Brothers” after he visited the concentration camps as a high school student. Following Engel’s death in 1996, his parents found the poems he wrote during his visit to Auschwitz and his father read “Six Million Brothers” at a memorial ceremony held in cooperation with Peres in Treblinka some five years ago.
Israeli musician Moshe Yosef composed the song, which was performed by singer David D’aor during March of the Living 2016 in Birkenau.
The project is a collaboration between Dori, D’aor, Yosef, Engel’s parents Yonit and Joseph, the Foundation of Commemoration of Yair Engel and Prof. Zehavit Gross of Bar-Ilan University, who researches youth writing about the Holocaust.
A special professional committee will examine the songs and choose some with which to compile an album and to create a show dedicated to promoting the memory of the Holocaust and the commemoration of Engel.
Dori noted that the project is one of many other activities aimed at tackling ignorance and Holocaust deniers. Such activities are supported by organizations such as March of the Living and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center.
Yad Vashem also released a statement in response to Spicer’s comments, urging him to visit its website to learn about the Holocaust.
“Yad Vashem expresses deep concern regarding the inaccurate and insensitive use of terms related to the Holocaust by the White House Press Secretary,” the statement said. “His statements imply a profound lack of knowledge of events of the World War II, including the Holocaust. Moreover, they are liable to strengthen the hands of those whose goal is to distort history.”