Due to COVID-19, for the first time since its opening in 1947, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum had to close its doors to visitors, thus being unable to provide the world with access to the material remains of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp that is one of the main global symbols of the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity.
The Auschwitz Memorial holds a special place in AppsFlyer CEO Oren Kaniel’s heart as his family has been directly impacted by the Holocaust.
Given this challenge, AppsFlyer partnered with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation to support their continued efforts in preserving the biggest and most important Holocaust memorial site in the world. This collaboration will lead to developing innovative tools and immersive tour formats providing millions of people around the world with modern educational opportunities through remote guided visits. This development will make the Memorial and its important heritage accessible to all, including people and nations who wouldn’t be able to bear witness in any other capacity. It will support educators guiding visitors on site.
Through its social impact center, AppsFlyer Cares, AppsFlyer will be responsible for funding and will lead the program along with the Museum and Foundation. Diskin, an Israeli creative agency, was selected as the creative lead for the program. These innovative solutions will enable both live and on-demand online tours through the Memorial led by trained museum educators. They will also become an extension of the onsite tour, sensitively layering relevant content over the silent remains.
“In 2020, only 502,000 people visited the Auschwitz Memorial, nearly five times less than the year before. Due to the pandemic, last year we were forced to close the historical site to visitors for 161 days, and it still hasn’t opened this year,” said Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, Director, the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. “Whether it be through online virtual tours or onsite group tours, the Auschwitz Memorial and resources must always be available, accessible, and adaptable to all who attempt to comprehend it. The Voices from Auschwitz cannot be muted. In Auschwitz we can fully confront and address the most important questions about mankind, society, the poison of antisemitism, racial hatred and contempt towards others. Remembrance gives us strength to act responsibly and repair the world we live in, while making it better for our children and their children.”
“The tremendous consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that innovative tools must be applied to bridge history with the present and respond to amplified needs of young generations,” said Wojciech Soczewica, Director-General, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. “That is why the Foundation decided to initiate educational programs to support the Memorial’s global mission. We’re extremely grateful for the unique and true partnership with the team at AppsFlyer. Working jointly in these challenging times proves that our common responsibility for history must always be based on mutual trust and understanding.”
“When we learned that the Auschwitz memorial site was closed for the first time after 75 years due to COVID-19, we felt an urgent responsibility to act,” said Oren Kaniel, CEO and Co-Founder, AppsFlyer. “Supporting the Holocaust survivor community has been a big part of AppsFlyer Cares for years. We prioritized this important project because time is of the essence, as the number of live survivors is declining, and in a few years they’ll all be gone. Tragically, COVID-19 has been accelerating this. We must make sure that even when they can no longer share their own stories, the world will never forget. My grandmother, who passed away two years ago, lost her entire family in Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps. This is true for many Israeli and Jewish families around the world. We’re extremely proud to put our expertise in mobile to good use by using education to promote cross-cultural understanding and warn about the consequences of racism and blind hatred.”
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed today, January 26th, in Poland and Israel, by the Museum Director, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, the Foundation Director-General, Wojciech Soczewica, the Foundation Financial Director, Elwir Świętochowski and AppsFlyer’s Co-Founder and CEO, Oren Kaniel.