Gal Gadot Urges Instagram Users to Follow Account Telling Story of Jewish Girl During Holocaust
Israeli actress and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot is encouraging social media users to follow an Instagram account that attempts to tell the story of how a young girl in the Holocaust would have documented her experiences on Instagram.
A series of Instagram stories on the account called Eva.Stories depicts the Nazi occupation of Hungary through the eyes of a teenage girl, and the first story went live on Wednesday, in conjunction with Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. The account, created last month, already has more than 392,000 followers.
The project is based on the diary of Eva Heyman, a Jewish teenager who lived in Hungary and died in the Holocaust in 1944, and was created and funded by Israeli high-tech entrepreneur Mati Kochavi, together with his daughter, Maya, in commemoration of the 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. Eva’s diary entries were adapted into a screenplay and filmed in Lviv, Ukraine, with the assistance of about 400 actors, extras and production assistants, according to Ynet.
The Instagram stories include photos and videos of Eva’s friends and family, the guy she had a crush on, Nazi forces taking control of her town, as well as the racial slurs and racist laws she had to endure. The stories also show her family being moved to the ghetto, the violence she faced, and finally the train ride that took her to the Auschwitz death camp where she died.
“This is the way to make the Holocaust accessible to the young crowd,” said Kochavi. “Only 2.7 percent of the total discussion about the Holocaust around the world today, is initiated by the younger generation, which is a significant decline in comparison to previous years. In an age when Holocaust survivors are scarce, people’s attention span is dropping and thrills are quick to achieve — there is a need to find new models of memory and testimony.”
The project garnered the attention of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, in a video posted to his Facebook page, called for more Instagram stories to be created in commemoration of the Holocaust.
Eva Heyman was born in Nagyvárad, Hungary, and started writing her journal on her 13th birthday, on February 13, 1944. Her last entry was in May of that same year, a day before was deported with her grandparents to Auschwitz, where she died in the gas chambers. Her mother and stepfather escaped deportation and survived the rest of the war.