17.05.2019
Article Article Medium

Holocaust through the prism of modernity

The story of 13-year-old Hungarian Jew Eva Heyman recreated in Instagram

История Евы Хейман
Reading time 3 minutes

The story of the Jewish girl Eva Heyman, who died in the Auschwitz camp in 1944, was brought to live in Instagram. The creators of the project showed what would be the life of Eva if she posted on her social media everything she had been going through.  

«The Nazis conquered us»

The eva.stories project recreates the events which Eva wrote about in her diary. It consists of 70 short videos that reflect the life of a Jewish family during the war years. Everything is depicted in insta-stories format, in the profile, the authors of the project posted only a poster and a trailer. The role of Eva Heyman is played by British actress Mia Quiney.

View this post on Instagram

Eva.Stories Official Trailer

A post shared by Eva (@eva.stories) on

War first comes to Eva’s family when her cousin gets deported to Poland. After some time, the accomplices of the Nazis come to the pharmacy of the Eva’s grandfather and confiscate it in favor of the government. The decisive moment for Eva Heyman’s fate is the day when she sees the incoming Nazi army. From now on, she promises subscribers to broadcast everything that happens. The girl shows the details of life with a yellow star on her chest. In the ghetto.

Ева Хейман, жертва Холокоста
Eva Heyman is a Holocaust victim whose story served as a reminder of the tragedy

The project was sponsored by the Israeli businessman Mati Kochavi and his daughter Maya. It was launched on May 2nd, Holocaust Memorial Day. Before filming the story of Heyman, Mati and Maya Kochavi looked through about 30 diaries written by the victims of those events. But Eva’s diary stood out for its modernity and simpleness.

Злосчастная желтая звезда, которую евреи впоследствии были обязаны нашивать на наиболее заметные места своей одежды, стала самым зримым символом нацистского антисемитизма.
The Yellow star – a symbol of Nazi antisemitism, all Jews were obliged to sew it on prominent places of clothing

Before launching the eva.stories the authors widely announced the project both on street billboards and in social media. The initiative was supported by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. The account was also noted by different celebrities in their profiles, including the actress Gal Gadot («Wonder Woman») and the stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman. As a result, the account had around 200.000 followers before it was even launched. Now Eva’s profile has about 1.7 million subscribers.

Билборд с рекламой Instagram-аккаунта Eva.stories
The billboard advertising the Eva.stories Instagram account

The initiator and producer of the project Mati Kochavi believes that the world is beginning to forget about the terrible events of the Holocaust. That is why he created the project and invested about $5 million in it. Neither the government nor any organizations financed the creation of Eva’s profile.

Although, there are some critics on the way. Disputes in the comments under the publications in Eva’s profile do not cease. Users think that the profile is not serious enough. Critics of the project reckon that it is inappropriate to use Emoji, stickers and hashtags when it comes to the Holocaust. Many also criticize the implausibility of Eva’s modern story. For instance, how did the girl manage to charge the phone if there was no electricity in the ghetto?

According to Maya Kochavi, their team was expecting this kind of reaction as well. However, Kochavi family is convinced that they chose the best way to address the situation: the problem of antisemitism does not lose its relevance. Instagram platform was chosen for a reason: it was important to bring the issue to the younger generation.

Posted on Categories ArticleTags ,

Leave a Reply