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May 2, 2019 3:08 pm

Actress in Viral Instagram Story About Holocaust Says She Was ‘Honored’ to Play Auschwitz Victim Eva Heyman

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A screenshot of actress Mia Quiney playing Eva Heyman in the Instagram stories from the account Eva.Stories. Photo: Screenshot.

A young actress opened up about playing the lead role in a viral Instagram project about the Holocaust that launched on Wednesday to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel.

Mia Quiney said she felt “so honored” to play the role of Jewish teenager Eva Heyman in a series of Instagram stories posted on the fictional account Eva.Stories that tried to show the Nazi occupation of Hungary through the firsthand account of a teenage girl who would have had Instagram at the time. She added, “It’s such an amazing project that means so much to me.”

The project is based on a diary kept by Heyman, who lived in Hungary and was killed in the gas chambers in the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944. She started writing her journal on her 13th birthday, on February 13, 1944, and her last entry was one day before she was deported with her grandparents to Auschwitz. Her mother and stepfather escaped deportation that same day and survived the rest of the war.

Eva.Stories was created and funded by Israeli high-tech entrepreneur Mati Kochavi and his daughter, Maya, in commemoration of the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.

Heyman’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 Kochavis said the project cost several million dollars to produce, The New York Times reported.

The first Instagram story went live on Wednesday and the clips and videos have all been saved on the Eva.Stories page for viewers who wish to see them at a later date. The account, created last month, already has 912,000 followers.

Celebrities who have endorsed the video include Israeli actress Gal Gadot, Israeli model Bar Refaeli, who posted about it on her Instagram stories, comedian Sarah Silverman and Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedic actor Jerry Seinfeld.

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