For my final project I created a blog titled “Holocaust Memory Online.” I originally wanted to write a research paper, but there were not enough sources to do that successfully. For this project I looked at TikTok accounts from four different Holocuast memorial institutions/sites, Neuengamme, Mauthausen, Bergen-Belsen, and Dachau. For my blog I wrote a total of six posts, and introduction, one post for each account, and a conclusion post. In the posts dedicated to each site I did a close reading of two TikTok videos and an introduction to the site and the people who make the videos. Overall it was a really interesting project and I learned a lot about these different sites from their videos!
Hopefully this project can be a helpful resource for people interested in Holocaust history, public history, or digital history! I think creating TikTok accounts for these memorial sites was a great tool during Covid-19 when visitors were not able to visit. I am curious to see if and how they continue to make TikToks. I also hope that people continue to study TikTok as an educational tool for historians and sharing history in general!
I am really glad I had the opportunity to do a project like this. Normally for history stuff I just write papers but this was a fun way to talk about history that wasn’t writing a long research paper. I feel like I learned so much from this class and I had a lot of fun taking it! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my project. Hope y’all have a great summer!
Hi, making a quick update! I just heard back from the Neuengamme Memorial and have some interesting info to share! Firstly, all of their videos are a collaborative effort between volunteers, historians, and other departments at the memorial like the foundation, archive, etc. The videos are researched as a team and are proofed by a historian before they are posted. The most insightful bit from their response was about anti-Semitism. They use a filter to prevent anti-Semitic and hate speech from popping up in their comment sections, which is why I never saw any anti-Semitic comments. They also have a contact at TikTok to help with any tech issues like having videos banned because they deal with Holocaust material. So definitely an interesting realization. I think it’s great that they have a contact at TikTok to help with shadow banning and stuff and anti-Semitic comments, but it makes me curious about why this institution has these things but TikTok does not do that for all users. I am not sure how much work goes into it all, but if there is a formula/filter for hate comments….why isn’t it all over TikTok? Anyways that is my little update!
2 Replies to “Final Project: Holocaust Memory Online”
I absolutely loved this idea of using Tik Tok to study Holocaust memory and how it’s being presented to the public by the actual historical sites. I did my first research sem paper on Holocaust memory and it was not an easy topic to cover without getting bogged down with the heavy details that come with covering such a subject. Maybe one day this can become a bigger project that expands past historical societies and into the nuances of popular memory of the Holocaust both realistic and problematic (because I know there’s a lot of denial/misrepresenation on Tik Tok).
Again, fantastic job, and I loved how you embedded the Tik Toks you were discussing for a visual representation of your work!
Emma—what a great way to demonstrate how Holocaust memorialization continues. I must say, I was really impressed by seeing so many young people featured in these videos; of course, just because I’ve seen a handful of young people working at these sites doesn’t mean that it’s a representative sample (I’m guessing the employees and volunteers making these TikToks are, well, the ones who know how to use TikTok). I was especially impressed by the posts done by the institutions from your first two blog posts, although I really enjoyed seeing how little German I could recall from my two years of high school German by watching the videos from the latter two accounts, as well. Marlene’s explanations about pop culture using Maus and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas really hit me. Have you seen any other historians sharing their perspectives about using works of fiction to teach history? I find myself agreeing with Marlene; if so many other great and accurate sources exist, why keep promoting inaccurate narratives.